Business, Rights and Obligations of Lawyers
Article 28 A lawyer may engage in the following business:
(1) accepting authorization by natural persons, legal persons or other organizations to act as legal counsel;
(2) accepting authorization by a party involved in a civil or administrative case to act as agent ad litem and participate in the proceedings;
(3) accepting authorization by a criminal suspect involved in a criminal case to provide him with legal advice and represent him in filing a petition or charge, applying for bail for an arrested criminal suspect, accepting authorization by a criminal suspect or defendant or appointment by a people’s court to act as defender, or accepting authorization by a private prosecutor in a case of private prosecution or by a victim involved in a case of public prosecution or by his close relatives to act as agent ad litem and participate in the proceedings;
(4) accepting authorization to act as agent in filing petitions in all types of litigation;
(6) accepting authorization to participate in mediation or arbitration;
(7) accepting authorization to provide non-litigation legal services; and
(8) answering inquires regarding laws and serving as scrivener of litigation documents and other documents concerning legal matters.
Article 29 When acting as legal counsel, a lawyer shall, in accordance with what is agreed upon, provide to the client opinions on relevant legal issues, draft and review legal documents, act as agent to participate in litigation, mediation or arbitration, handle other legal matters he is authorized to handle, and protect the lawful rights and interests of the client.
Article 30 When acting as agent in litigation or non-litigation legal matters, a lawyer shall, within the limits of authorization, protect the lawful rights and interests of the client.
Article 31 When acting as defender, a lawyer shall, based on facts and laws, present materials and arguments to prove that a criminal suspect or a defendant is innocent or less guilty than charged, or that his criminal responsibility should be reduced or exempted, for the purpose of protecting the lawful rights and interests of the criminal suspect or defendant.
Article 32 A client may refuse to be further defended by a lawyer he has authorized or to continue to have him act as agent ad litem, and may authorize another lawyer to act as his defender or agent ad litem.
After accepting authorization, a lawyer shall not, without justifiable reasons, refuse to defend a client or to act as agent ad litem. However, if the matter for which he is authorized violates law, the client uses the services provided by the lawyer to engage in illegal activities, or the client intentionally conceals important facts concerning the case in hand, the lawyer shall have the right to refuse to defend the client or to act as agent ad litem.
Article 33 After a criminal suspect is interrogated by an investigation organ for the first time or from the date on which compulsory measures are adopted against him, the authorized lawyer shall, on the strength of his lawyer’s practice certificate, the papers issued by his law firm, and the letter of authorization or official legal aid papers, have the right to meet with the criminal suspect or the defendant and enquire about the case. The meeting between a lawyer and a criminal suspect or defendant shall not be monitored.
Article 34 An authorized lawyer shall, from the date on which a case begins to be examined for prosecution, have the right to consult, extract and duplicate the litigation documents and case file pertaining to the case. An authorized lawyer shall, from the date on which the people’s court accepts the case, have the right to consult, extract and duplicate all the materials pertaining to the case.
Article 35 An authorized lawyer shall, depending on the circumstances of the case, apply to the people’s prosecutorate or the people’s court for the collection and delivery of evidence, or apply to the people’s court for telling the witnesses to appear in court and give testimony.
When a lawyer investigates to collect evidence for a case on his own, he may, on the strength of his lawyer’s practice certificate and the papers issued by his law firm, inquire of the unit or individual concerned about the legal matters which he has undertaken to handle.
Article 36 When a lawyer acts as agent ad litem or defender, his right to pleadings or defense shall be protected in accordance with law.
Article 37 In legal practice, a lawyer’s right of the person is inviolable.
A lawyer shall not be legally liable for the opinions he presents as an agent ad litem or defender in court, with the exception of the views he presents to endanger State security, maliciously slander another person, or seriously disrupt the court order.
Where a lawyer is, in accordance with law, detained or arrested because he is suspected of committing a crime when participating in litigation, the organ that detains or arrests him shall, within 24 hours after the execution of detention or arrest, have his family members, his law firm and the lawyers association to which he belongs informed of the fact.
Article 38 A lawyer shall keep confidential the secrets of the State and commercial secrets that he comes to know during his legal practice and shall not divulge the private affairs of the parties concerned.
A lawyer shall keep confidential the things and information that he comes to know during his legal practice which his client or another person does not want other people to know, with the exception of the facts and information about a crime which his client or another person prepares to commit or is committing to endanger State or public security or seriously endanger another person’s personal safety or safety of property.
Article 39 A lawyer shall not act as agent for both parties involved in one and the same case, and shall not act as agent where there is a conflict of interests between himself or his close relatives and the legal affairs he is handling.
Article 40 A lawyer shall not do any of the following in his legal practice:
(1) privately accepting authorization, collecting fees, or accepting money, things of value or other benefits offered by a client;
(2) seeking the disputed rights and interests of a party by taking advantage of his provision of legal services;
(3) accepting money, things of value or other benefits offered by the other party and infringing the rights and interests of the client through ill-intentioned collusion with the other party or a third party;
(4) in violation of regulations, meeting with a judge, prosecutor, arbitrator or another staff member concerned;
(5) giving bribes to a judge, prosecutor, arbitrator or another staff member concerned, introducing bribes to them, instigating or inducing a party to resort to bribery, or, by other illegitimate means, attempting to influence their handling of a case in accordance with law;
(6) intentionally providing false evidence or intimidating or luring another person into providing false evidence, for the purpose of preventing the other party from obtaining evidence lawfully;
(7) instigating or inciting a party into settling disputes by disrupting public order, endangering public security or by other illegal means; or
(8) disrupting the order of a court or an arbitration tribunal, or interfering with the normal conduct of litigation or arbitration.
Article 41 A lawyer who once served as a judge or prosecutor shall not act as agent ad litem or defender within two years after leaving his post in a people’s court or people’s prosecutorate.
Article 42 Lawyers and law firms shall, in accordance with State regulations, perform the obligation of legal aid, provide the recipients with standard legal services, and protect their lawful rights and interests.