Edited by Teresa Wright
Chapter 4: Legal advocacy as liberal resistance: the experience of China’s human rights lawyers
China’s human rights lawyers, a relatively small group of legal professionals who emerged in the post-Mao era, insist that the Party-State follow the law in all cases, including those deemed “sensitive” by the authorities. Throughout their existence, they have faced a repressive system that treats their advocacy as criminal acts of disobedience and subversion. In the Xi Jinping era, the contrast between their liberal outlook and a system in authoritarian (or neo-totalitarian) regression has become sharper, and rights defenders are now increasingly treated as enemies. As they are pushed to engage in legal resistance, the lawyers draw on, and test the boundaries of, the right of resistance as a human right.
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