From Louisa Lim of NPR, a look at the daunting challenges rights lawyers face in China:
Jerome Cohen, a Chinese law expert at New York University, says that the rule of law in China has suffered a setback following changes in the leadership of the Supreme People’s Court.
“For 10 years, there was a movement to improve the professionalism of judges, to give them more scope to try to make independent decisions more frequently. Under the new leadership for the last year or more, that line seems to have been reversed. This is a shift in emphasis,” Cohen says.
The new Supreme Court president, Wang Shengjun, is not a legal professional but a police and party administrator. He has introduced a doctrine known as the Three Supremes — which are, in order of importance, first the party, then the people and last, the law.