The Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers (“the CSCL”) is a group of independent lawyers from outside China whose mission is to support lawyers in China in their quest to uphold the rule of law there. The CSCL, which is housed at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School in New York City, seeks to strengthen the role of lawyers and to promote their independence.
What We Do
The CSCL seeks to educate the public about the situation of lawyers in China and to promote the rule of law in China through:
Research: The CSCL develops information about the situation of lawyers and other legal advisors in China. The CSCL also tracks the cases of lawyers and legal advisors who are or may become subject to persecution, abuse or intimidation in China.
Advocacy: The CSCL advocates or coordinate advocacy on behalf of threatened or abused lawyers where there is reason to believe that such advocacy would be helpful.
Capacity-Building and Cross-Cultural Exchange: The CSCL supports capacity building, cultural understanding and exchange between the Chinese legal community and legal communities outside of China.
Situation of Lawyers in China
Despite recent progress in China developing the rule of law, Chinese lawyers and legal advisors are increasingly the targets of intimidation and abuse because of the clients and causes they represent. Lawyers have been detained due to their involvement in politically sensitive criminal, political, religious, property, and environmental cases. Many others have been subjected to surveillance, harassment and personal assault. Close family members are also targets.
The intimidation, detention, prosecution and disappearance of Chinese lawyers undermines China’s legal reform and deters creation of a professional and independent bar dedicated to serving the rule of law. We support Chinese lawyers in the hope that our support will advance the rule of law in China.
The Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers is a group of independent lawyers from outside China whose goal is to support lawyers in China in their quest to strengthen the rule of law there.
The Committee's work is directed by a Steering Committee, and a group of jurists advise their work.
Adjunct Professor of Law, the University of Arizona College of Law
Leitner Family Professor of International Human Rights
Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
R. Scott Greathead
Partner, Wiggin and Dana LLP
Jerome A. Cohen
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
The Honorable John Gibbons
Director, Gibbons P.C.
The Honorable Richard J. Goldstone
Justice, South African Constitutional Court (retired)
Bacon-Kilkenny Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
The Honorable Jed S. Rakoff
District Court, Southern District of New York New York, NYEleanor Wong
Associate Professor, National University of Singapore
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