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In His Book, Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Discusses His Personal Experiences of China’s Judicial System

In doing research for his new book, Consideration of (Post-Communist) China’s Constitution, Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng reported a conversation that enlightened him about how government cadres are not subject to the law. A retired vice president from the Xinjiang High Court told him, “In our country, once the leader reaches a position at a certain level, he no longer needs the law. His power can solve all problems. Only those who are helpless would take the route of a lawsuit.”

Gao Zhisheng used many of his personal experiences of China’s judicial system under the Communist Party as background information that led to his thinking when drafting a new constitution for (Post-Communist) China. Below is one anecdote relating his experience:

“In 1996, in one community, I visited a community office (similar to a homeowner’s association) to get some data regarding marriages and families. There, in chatting with an elderly man who was retiring, I acquired a lot of knowledge. His first sentence at this meeting aroused my interest in talking to him. Learning that a lawyer had come to visit him, he picked up his reading glasses and said laughingly, ‘In China, lawyers aren’t worth a fart (Chinese slang, but often used in the West).’ He asked me, ‘Being a lawyer, when have you heard of a lawyer representing a government leader in divorce case litigation?’ I said I really have never heard of it. Then he started to talk endlessly. He said, ‘Impossible! In China, whoever is in charge of the law will not take the law seriously. I have been in this post my whole life and will retire in a few days. According to the law, as far as a divorce is concerned, both sides, the man and the woman, must personally show up in front of me to go through the divorce procedure. However, even for a small office chief in a government department, you have to get the proper procedures ready and send them over to him. I have never seen a government official with a decent position come here to process (a divorce).’

“I later chatted with a retired vice president from the Xinjiang High Court about the above conversation. He said it was a fact. He said he had been doing civil trial work his whole life and had never encountered a lawsuit that involved a government cadre. He said something that really ‘improves’ one’s knowledge (of society), ‘In our country, once the leader reaches a position at a certain level, he no longer needs the law. His power can solve all problems. Only those who are helpless would take the route of a lawsuit.’”

Source: Epoch Times, February 12, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/2/12/n8803346.htm

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