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Is it fair to support lawless lawyers?

Updated: 07 14 , 2015 09:13
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BEIJING -- Lawyers are a respectable group, expected to be loyal to the law and uphold social fairness. So what happens when they are suspected of breaking the law themselves and disturbing social order?

Police officer Li Lebin shot dead Xu Chunhe in May at Qing'an County Railway Station after Xu attacked Li several times and multiple warnings went unheeded. An investigation showed that Li opened fire entirely in accordance with the law.

But some lawyers spread rumors that "Li opened fire on the orders of an official because Xu was a petitioner." A group of so-called "petitioners" were then hired to shout slogans and raise defiant signs in support the lawyers' spurious claims.

By turning such a matter -- a tragedy indeed, in the eyes of many -- into a hot issue, even a political one, those paragons of legal virtue got exactly what they wanted: celebrity and money.

When the police detained the lawyers who initiated this sordid chain of events, they were faced by the absurd spectacle of western media loudly supporting these stalwart "defenders of human rights" who seem to be nothing more than self-serving self-publicists with nothing at heart but their own fame.

Without recourse to anything as useful and obvious as details or facts, the western media simply equates "lawyers" with "justice", and "Chinese police" with "oppression".

How easy it is for journalists to use provocative words to catch attention. How reluctant they are to bear responsibility for misleading the public!

China's Ministry of Public Security suspect a group of using Beijing's Fengrui Law Firm to disrupt public order, seek illegal profits, illegally hiring protesters and attempting to unfairly influence the courts. Since July 2012, the group has allegedly organized more than 40 such controversial incidents.

China is doing all it reasonably can to advance the rule of law. New rules will regulate interactions between judges, lawyers and other interested parties. Lawyers' rights will be better protected. Lawmakers, judges and prosecutors are being recruited from the ranks of qualified lawyers and jurists.

Lawyers, surely, should take the lead in obeying the law. It is a universal requirement in all the countries that seek to supplant the rule of men by the rule of law.

Lawyers should safeguard justice in the courtroom with the application of their knowledge, morality and skill, not undermine the law by rabble-rousing in the streets. Rule of law is not mob rule.

Western media who support of human rights and justice should take better care to ensure they stand on the right side of the line. Enditem