China’s ACLA bans lawyers from “hyping cases”

The All-China Lawyers Association (ACLA), a national-level self-regulatory organization of Chinese lawyers, has issued a new guideline, banning its members from “hyping cases against rules”.

The guideline, containing thirteen articles, elaborates on the specific situations of case hyping and the possible penalties. It prohibits lawyers from “hyping the cases they are working on in ways including online petitions or online gatherings or supports,” and “themselves or inciting others to conduct distorted or misleading publicity or commentary through platforms such as the media and personal media.”

Besides, when it comes to “major decisions and policy arrangements by the Communist Party of China and the government, public events or any legal issues,” lawyers and law firms shall not “manufacture public opinion and incite dissatisfaction,” nor shall they “express commentary that does not comport with one's professional identity as a lawyer, seriously harming the image of the profession.”

Lawyers and law firms are also prohibited from expressing comments and opinions through text, a/v, or other means in media, personal media, or other platforms without “checking the veracity of the information, and ensuring that their opinions are professional, legal and are not harming the dignity and image of the profession.”

According to the guideline, violators shall be given administrative punishments.

Check the guideline in Chinese here.


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