刑事案件律师辩护全覆盖(xíngshìànjiàn lǜshī biànhù quánfùgài):Lawyers for the defense in all criminal cases
The Supreme People's Court and the Ministry of Justice have jointly issued a document launching a program for defense lawyers in all criminal cases to be piloted in eight provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
In the past, defense lawyers have only represented the suspects in about 30 percent of cases, and now the document requires legal representatives for the defense in all cases. And if the defendants don't authorize anyone to act on their behalf, a lawyer will be designated to act on their behalf.
The document not only requires guaranteeing all the defendants get such assistance, it also stipulates the rights of defense lawyers, including the right to know, to petition and to conduct questioning, cross-examinations and debate.
After the one-year pilot program has been completed, the new regulation is expected to be incorporated in the Lawyers Law, which is under revision, and this may completely upgrade China's criminal defense system.