The Practice of Law as Conscientious Resistance: Chinese Weiquan Lawyers’ Experience

23 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2010  

Eva Pils

The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Chinese human rights defenders’ efforts to protect and defend rights (‘wei quan’) are based in a commitment to law understood as a political ideal. Weiquan is premised on liberal ideas that would, if accepted, require a democratic transformation of China’s legal and political system, such as was called for by the June Fourth movement. In China’s authoritarian current environment, law may therefore be practiced as a form of conscientious resistance to political attitudes and official practices that reject and offend the value of legality. This article seeks to understand the connection between lawyers’ professional experience and their conscientious decision to resist.

Keywords: China, human rights lawyers, resistance, social movement

Suggested Citation

Pils, Eva, The Practice of Law as Conscientious Resistance: Chinese Weiquan Lawyers’ Experience (2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1564447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1564447

Eva Pils (Contact Author)

The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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