Caixin
Jul 21, 2020 06:32 PM
POLITICS & LAW

Justice Ministry Orders Lawyers to Quit Illegal Part-Time Jobs

What’s new: China’s Ministry of Justice has ordered lawyers to quit illegal part-time positions in response to the infamous alleged sexual assault case of former ZTE director and lawyer Bao Yuming, according to a statement published on Sunday.

Those who still practice as full-time lawyers in China after losing their Chinese citizenship will also face consequences. Lawyers who conceal or refuse to correct misconduct will have their licenses revoked, according to the ministry. The campaign will last until Sept. 25 and has started among law firms in the form of self-inspection.

Bao “has been working in an enterprise for a long time” and “concealed the fact that he took American citizenship in 2006,” which “caused severe social influence and seriously damaged the image and reputation of the lawyer team as a whole,” said the statement from the ministry.

The background: The verdict in Bao’s case has been long-awaited since reports emerged in April accusing him of sexually abusing his then 14-year-old adopted daughter. Last Friday, Bao was removed from the board of telecom equipment giant ZTE Corp., where he was an independent nonexecutive director.

According to Chinese law, full-time lawyers are not permitted to sign additional labor contracts with other companies, while only those working in higher education and research institutions can apply for part-time lawyer licenses. But having a number of different jobs had become fairly common in China until Bao’s case brought the issue to light.

The statement was published by the state-owned newspaper Legal Daily’s bureau in Jiangsu province on Sunday. An official from the Ministry of Justice told Caixin on Monday that the announcement was not released through their official channels, but did not deny it. The director of a Beijing-based large law firm confirmed the notice.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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