Disbarred over Tibet

The Chinese Communist Party has disbarred lawyers (Source: International Herald Tribune) who offered free legal services to Tibetans arrested during the official crackdown against protests in western China because 30 Tibetans, represented by party-appointed lawyers, were given sentences from three years to life during trials in April. How? The regime has simply decided not to renew their licenses.

I could see how the party could feel threatened:

Lawyers are increasingly at the cutting edge of efforts to push systemic reform in China. Self-styled “rights defenders” regard the law as a tool to expand and protect the rights of individuals in an authoritarian political system. But the ruling Communist Party is often wary of lawyers who try to challenge what it regards as the unassailable preeminence of the party in society.

But if we suppose that the regime’s rules are the laws, these lawyers have broken no laws, nor have they been lousy lawyers, so whence the disbarment?

Let’s be reasonable here.


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