All-China Lawyers Association Rules on Prohibiting the Hyping of Cases in Violation of Rules

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Promulgation Date: 2021-10-15
Title: All-China Lawyers Association Rules on Prohibiting the Hyping of Cases in Violation of Rules
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:All China Lawyers Association
Source of text: http://www.acla.org.cn/article/page/detailById/32079

All-China Lawyers Association Rules on Prohibiting the Hyping of Cases in Violation of Rules

Article 1: These Rules are formulated on the basis of the PRC Lawyers Law, the Charter of the All-China Lawyers Association, and so forth, so as to further strengthen the establishment of lawyers' professional ethics and practice discipline, to prevent lawyers from impacting the lawful handling of cases through means such as hyping cases, to preserve the positive practice environment that is honest and fair, to preserve the image of legal practice, and to preserve judicial fairness.

Article 2: The right of lawyers taking on cases to express opinions for representation, defense, and so forth in the course of litigation is protected by law, except however where the speech endangers national security, maliciously defames others, or seriously disrupts the order of the proceedings or court.

Article 3: Where lawyers' right to express opinions for representation, defense, and so forth, is improperly obstructed of illegally infringed upon, they have the right to request that the organs handling the case make corrections. Where the organ handling the case does not make corrections, the lawyers may request that the Lawyers Association protect their practice rights, and may also make a complaint to the organ handling the case or to the organ at the level above it. On the basis of an investigation and verification, the Lawyers Association shall coordinate the relevant departments to handle it in accordance with laws and regulations, and promptly notify the lawyers of the outcome. Based on the relevant provisions, in situations where lawyers' lawful exercise of their practice rights is obstructed, the lawyers may also make collateral appeals or accusations to the people's procuratorate that bears the duty of legal supervision.

Article 4: Lawyers and their law firms shall perform their duties in accordance with laws and regulations and must not hype cases in violation of the rules through the following methods:

(1) Creating pressure from public opinion and impacting the handling of the case in accordance with law through methods such as joint signatures, publishing open letters, organizing online gatherings, or declaring support;

(2) Conducting distorted or misleading publicity or commentary through platforms such as the media and personal media, or hyping misleading, false, or speculative information through means such as forwarding or comments.

(3) Insulting or defaming case-handling personnel, opposing parties, and their agents ad litem, or misrepresenting or denigrating the image of case-handling personnel, parties, and other litigation participants through improper methods such as disclosing the private information of case-handling personnel, parties, and other interested parties;

(4) Violating provisions by disclosing the personal information of minors involved in a juvenile case, or conducting publicity, stirring up public opinion, and creating influence by using juvenile cases as a gimmick in non-juvenile cases.

(5) Inciting or instigating parties or other persons to make improper comments on the case through media such as the internet, creating influence, and putting pressure on the organs handling the case;

(6) Other situations of hyping cases in violation of rules through improper methods.

Article 5: In cases that are publicly tried, the lawyer taking on the case must not disclose or disseminate important information or evidence obtained through practice activities such as meeting clients, reading the case file, or investigation and collection of evidence, that might impact the lawful handling of the case. In cases that are not tried publicly, the lawyer taking on the case must not disclose or disseminate case information and materials except that which the law permits to be made public.

The lawyers taking on the case must not indirectly disclose the information and materials described above through their clients or other persons.

This is enforced by reference against the law firm of the lawyer handling the case and other lawyers who know the circumstances of the case.

Article 6: Absent the court's permission, the lawyers taking on cases must not make audio or video recordings or photograph trial activities, or transmit courtroom conditions outside the court; and must not disclose trial details and circumstances that have not been made public through methods such as accepting interviews, writing articles, or expressing commentary.

Article 7: After the trial of a case has concluded, lawyers and law firms that feel an effective judgment is truly in error shall guide the parties to resolve it through the legally-prescribed procedures in accordance with law. They must not use the hyping of cases in violation of rules to create public opinion pressure on possible subsequent legal procedures such as retrials, procuratorial counter-appeals, and appeals.

Article 8: Lawyers and law firms expressing commentary about major decisions and allocations of the Party and state, public incidents, and problems related to law, shall do so lawfully, objectively, justly, and cautiously, and must not use to following methods to create hype in violation of rules:

(1) Disseminating speech that goes against the Party's line, directives, and policies, that denies the leadership of the Party, or denies the Socialist Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics, and attacking or vilifying major policies and arrangements of the Party and state;

(2) Manufacturing public opinion, inciting dissatisfaction against the Party and government, stimulating social conflict;

(3) Clearly going against social mores and good customs;

(4) Expressing commentary that does not comport with one's professional identity as a lawyer, seriously harming the image of the profession.

Article 9: When lawyers or law firms express comments and opinions through text, a/v, or other means in media, personal media, or other platforms, they shall check the veracity of the information, and ensure that their opinions are professional and legal; they must not harm the dignity and image of the profession.

Article 10: Law firms shall strictly perform management duties, establishing and completing internal management systems prohibiting the firm's lawyers from hyping cases in violation of rules, and promptly correcting any issues that are discovered.

Lawyers associations shall strengthen training in lawyers' professional ethics and practice discipline, teaching and guiding lawyers to be clear on bottom lines and red lines for practice, to practice honestly in accordance with laws and regulations, and to conscientiously resist acts of hyping cases in violation of rules.

Where lawyers and law firms violate these Rules, the local Lawyers Association to which they belong is to conduct oversight and management through methods such as proactively investigating of conducting an investigation and handling based on a complaint.

Where lawyers associations receive notification from people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security organs, or other such case-handling organs that lawyers have exhibited conduct of hyping in violation of rules, they shall carry out an investigation and promptly give feedback on the outcome.

Article 11: Where lawyers and law firms violate the provisions of these Rules, the lawyers associations shall notify the lawyers or law firms to make corrections within a set period of time, and give corresponding disciplinary sanctions on the basis of the Code of Conduct for Lawyers Practice, Rules on Sanctioning Members of Lawyers Associations for Acts in Violation of Rules, and other professional regulations.

Where lawyers and law firms have illegal conduct and shall be given administrative punishments, the lawyers associations shall recommend in writing that the judicial administrative organs give the corresponding administrative punishment and transfer related evidence.

Article 12: The All China Lawyers Association's Executive Board is responsible for interpreting these Rules.

Article 13: These rules will be provisionally implemented from the date of their promulgation.

 

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