Defense Counsel Wonders: Why is the Party Spirit of Corrupt Officials Stronger than their Legal Consciousness? (in Chinese)

September 6, 2005

The China Youth Daily reports a prominent defense lawyer's views on why leading cadres fall into corrupt practices. His article helps to understand the climate of impunity surrounding leading cadres in China.

The lawyer, who had respresented Liu Fangren and Cheng Kejie in well-known corruption cases, notes that, even after his arrest, Liu Fangren worried that hiring a lawyer would anger the Party organization. Hiring a lawyer might reveal a poor attitude, a sense that he was resisting the organization.

Other high cadres demonstrate contempt for the procuracy, and fear only the Party's Disciplinary Inspection Commission. The lawyer interviewed speculates that there are historical reasons for this attitude. First, it is often easier to use either administrative or Party disciplinary rules than to take high-level corruption cases to court. Second,the judicial process is shackled by the need to get approval from the same or a higher level branch of the Party Disciplinary Inspection Committee before coming to judgment. Third, the target officials remain in power and can issue orders that determine the outcome of the case, so they do not fear the courts.