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The Political Participation of Chinese Lawyers from Above and Below

Lee, Dongjin 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

As is well known, thanks to reform and openness, China has succeeded in the economic development, but it is faced with serious social inequalities. For its economic expansion was based on the sacrifices of social minorities-largely farmers. Now it is time to pursue an economic development while reducing social inequalities. The reform in this direction is the one infringing the vested rights, and therefore the government and corporations with their privileges have limits in carrying out the reform. Besides, the politics of social movement is required in the circumstances where the politics of parties and interest groups is fragile. The activities of ‘human rights lawyers,’ who take up one part of ‘public intellectuals’ in the politics of this social movement, is noticeable. Backing up the activities of the human rights lawyers needs their enhanced political and social status, which could be looked at through their political participations of ‘self-representation’ and ‘people's representation’ activities. The ‘self-representation’ activities means that the Lawyers Association is legally independent from the state and becomes an autonomous organization for the lawyers in the reality where they are actually under the control of the government. It is obvious that the lawyers cannot represent the clients when they cannot be their own representative-that is to say, autonomous. The ‘people's representation’ activities refers to those of Representative Congress of Chinese Communist Party (NRCCCP) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) members. The Chinese lawyers have expanded their activities in these fields, meaning that their political and social status has been advanced. Their expansion in the political participation was due to the social movements in 2003 and 2007, to which the Chinese Communist Party responded by implementing a policy giving preference to “the new social class” which includes lawyers.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.