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New rules to supervise lawyers in China. From the Financial Times July 7, 2001
Jul 7, 2001

Beijing Lawyers' Association is to implement a new regulatory framework for lawyers on a trial basis to meet demands by foreign lawyers after China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The new piece of regulation prescribes the principles of professional ethics and the disciplines of lawyers in its 12 chapters. In Beijing there are 440 certified law offices and 5,700 practicing attorneys after more than 20 years of development since China resumed its lawyers' system in 1979.

The rules are based on rules from the United States, Britain and France including the confidentiality principle. The new set of rules is to encourage a large number of Chinese lawyers to return to China after studying abroad to help meet the challenges of the country's entry into the WTO when more foreign law offices will come to the country.

Special training will be given to lawyers in Beijing to get the regulation into effect in the latter half of this year, according to the Lawyer’s Association. Lawyers themselves have expressed their hopes of providing high quality and efficient legal services. The new rules should strengthen the development of counseling services in a market where fees are considered above Asian levels.

The regulation follows Ministry of Justice interest in strengthening the supervision of lawyers to establish a lawyers' system with Chinese characteristics and meet international standards.

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