Provisions on Legally and Effectively Protecting Lawyers' Procedural Rights

 2018-05-22  20


Notice of the Supreme People's Court on Issuing the Provisions on Legally and Effectively Protecting Lawyers' Procedural Rights


· Document Number:No. 16 [2015] of the Supreme People's Court

· Area of Law: Lawyers

· Level of Authority: Documents of Judicial Interpretation Nature

· Date issued:12-29-2015

· Effective Date:12-29-2015

· Status: Effective

· Issuing Authority: Supreme People's Court

 

Notice of the Supreme People's Court on Issuing the Provisions on Legally and Effectively Protecting Lawyers' Procedural Rights
(No. 16 [2015] of the Supreme People's Court)
The higher people's courts of all provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government; the Military Court of the People's Liberation Army; and the Production and Construction Corps Branch of the Higher People's Court of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region:
The Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Legally and Effectively Protecting Lawyers' Procedural Rights are hereby issued for your conscientious implementation.
Supreme People's Court
December 29, 2015
Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Legally and Effectively Protecting Lawyers' Procedural Rights
In order to thoroughly implement the strategy of comprehensively promoting the rule of law, give full play to the positive roles of lawyers in safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of the parties and promoting judicial justice, and effectively protect lawyers' procedural rights, the following provisions are hereby provided in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law, the Civil Procedure Law, the Administrative Litigation Law, and the Lawyers Law of the People's Republic of China as well as the Provisions of 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 on Legally Protecting Lawyers' Practicing Rights:
I. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to know. The people's court shall constantly improve the building of “three platforms” for the disclosure of trial procedure, the disclosure of judicial documents, and the disclosure of execution information and provide convenience for lawyers to have access to procedural information in a timely manner. The people's court shall, in a timely manner, notify lawyers of such important matters as litigation procedure, protection of litigation rights, mediation and reconciliation, and judicial documents and the corresponding progress.
II. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to consult case files. Where a lawyer applies for consulting case files, the people's court shall make arrangement within a reasonable time limit. Where the case file materials are consulted by other parties, the people's court shall make coordination and arrange the time for all parities to consult case files. Where a lawyer legally consults, excerpts, or duplicates the relevant case file materials or checks the audio-video recording of court trial, the people's court shall provide place and facilities. Where conditions permit, the people's court may provide online case file consultation services.
III. The people's court shall protect lawyers' right to appear in court. When determining the date of court session, the people's court shall reserve necessary time for lawyers to make preparations for appearing in court. Where the date of court session is changed due to special circumstances, the people's court shall notify lawyers three days in advance. Where a lawyer requests the change of the date of court session with good reasons, the judge may approve such change upon consultation of other parties' opinions. Where a lawyer appears in court with an assistant, the judge shall approve it.
IV. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to debate and defense. In the court trial, the judge shall reasonably distribute time for raising questions, conducting cross-examination, making statements, and conducting debates and defenses by the parties involved in the litigation, and fully listen to the opinions of lawyers. The judge may not interrupt lawyers unless their statements are over-repetitive or irrelevant to the case, or a consensus on the corresponding issues has reached before the court trial.
V. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to apply for excluding illegally obtained evidence. Where a lawyer applies for excluding illegally obtained evidence and provides the corresponding clues or materials, and where, upon examination, the judge has some doubts about the legality of the collection of evidence, a pre-trial conference or court investigation shall be conducted. Where, upon examination, there are circumstances of collecting evidence by illegal means as prescribed in law, the relevant evidence shall be excluded.
VI. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to apply for the taking of evidence. Where a lawyer could not collect evidence by himself or herself due to objective reasons, he or she may file a written application for the taking of evidence with the people's court according to the law. Where the lawyer's application for the taking of evidence meets the statutory conditions, the judge shall approve such application.
VII. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' personal safety. Where, in the process of case trial, the contradictions between the parties are intensified, which might endanger the personal safety of lawyers, the people's court shall take necessary measures in a timely manner. Where any person commits such acts as assault, threat, insult, and defamation of lawyers in court, the judge shall promptly stop and punish him or her according to the law.
VIII. The people's court shall legally protect lawyers' right to lodge a petition on behalf of the petitioner. Where a lawyer lodges a petition on behalf of the petitioner, such petition shall be diligently handled according to the procedure as prescribed in law. Where the people's court holds that the original case handling is proper, it shall give support to the lawyer and ask him to effectively interpret laws and analyze arguments to the petitioner, and reduce petitions and complaints.
IX. The people's court shall provide convenience for lawyers to legally perform their duties. The people's court shall further improve such functions as online case-filing, payment, inquiry, consultation of case files, application for preservation, submission of representation statements, court session scheduling, and service of process. Where conditions permit, the people's court shall provide rest areas for lawyers participating in court trial and equip tables and chairs, drinking water, and other necessary facilities.
X. The people's court shall improve the remedy mechanism for protecting lawyers' procedural rights. The people's court shall designate special institutions to take charge of handling lawyers' complaints, disclose contract information, and unblock channels for lawyers' complaints. Complaints shall be investigated in a timely manner and handled according to the law and lawyers shall be notified of the results in a timely manner. The people's court shall, in a timely manner, make a reply on the proposals for safeguarding lawyers' practicing rights raised by the judicial administrative organ or the bar association.