Judicial System

Chinese lawyers to play bigger role in offering legal aid to criminal suspects, defendants

Updated: Sep 9, 2020 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- Chinese authorities have introduced measures for duty counsels offering legal aid, highlighting their role in assisting criminal suspects and defendants in accordance with the law.

The measures, jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Justice, focus on making provisions concerning lawyers' duties, mode of operation, supervision and management, cooperation among departments, and the guarantee of funds in criminal proceedings.

In cases where the defendants plead guilty and submit to punishment, the measures specify legal assistance provided by the lawyers, including offering legal consultations involving the suspected crime and other related provisions, as well as putting forward opinions for judicial organs.

To date, more than 1,700 legal aid stations have been set up at procuratorial organs, while legal aid stations can also be found at all detention houses and courts across the country, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Duty lawyers nationwide provided legal assistance for about 400,000 cases in 2019, of which in nearly 340,000 cases, defendants pleaded guilty and accepted punishments.

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