Chinese authorities may be rethinking their willingness
to allow the courts to serve as forums for challenges to existing Party and
government controls. Over the last year,
Chinese authorities have launched the “Three Supremes” campaign, re-emphasizing
Party control as a key principle that should guide the work of Chinese courts,
instead of merely relying on the written law.
The “Three Supremes” campaign coincides with personnel
changes within the courts that suggest a less friendly environment for legal
activists trying to use the court system to pursue their claims. In March, Wang Shengjun assumed the role as president of the Supreme People’s Court, and has since played a leading role
in promoting the “Three Supremes” campaign.
Unlike his predecessor, Wang’s background is deeply
rooted in the Party’s political-legal apparatus and the public security forces,
rather than in the courts or other legal institutions.
The “Three Supremes” campaign also occurs at the same
time as Chinese officials appear to be less comfortable with relying on court
adjudication as a means to resolve citizen grievances.In recent years, Chinese authorities have
pushed to channel administrative and civil cases involving hotly disputed
issues or large numbers of plaintiffs out of the court system and into
mediation.Chinese officials have also taken steps to
curtail the use of such forums by Chinese lawyers and legal activists,
including restricting their involvement in such cases.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China is currently soliciting resumes for spring internships (paid) in
working on Chinese human rights and rule of law issues. Interns must be
Applications for spring internships must
be received by December 1, 2008. Further details are available below and on the Commission’s Web site at www.cecc.gov.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to the CECC via e-mail to Judy.email@example.com or via
fax at (202) 226-3804, attention: Judy Wright, Director of
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) is currently seeking a Programme Officer at RWI’s Field Office in Beijing for an initial time period of twelve months starting in January 2009, at the earliest.
The mission of the Institute is to promote universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law by means of research, academic education, dissemination and institutional development.