During the past two years, whenever the Supreme People's Court was drafting regulations or legal explanations, He Baojian, director of a Zhejiang-based law firm, was in Beijing without fail.
A large number of lawyers are now being involved in lawmaking and He Baojian is just one of them, said Li Fan, deputy director of the research office under the SPC.
Li said it has become common practice for the SPC to consult with lawyers when drafting regulations and legal explanations.
"As a growing, vital force in the judicial circle, the opinions of practicing lawyers are very important to us," he said.
The country resumed its lawyer system in 1979. Now, more than two decades later, it has more than 110,000 practicing lawyers and 9,000 law firms - and the numbers are increasing.
Li's office is responsible for drafting regulations for the SPC. According to Chinese law, the SPC is authorized to make regulations and legal explanations to facilitate law enforcement.
During the process of law-making, parties including government departments, law professors and experts in related fields, are consulted, Li said.
Suggested changes to a draft can be quite significant, and some are made based on the interests of relevant departments, he said.
But lawyers, above all, stand for the public interest, so their suggestions are usually more objective, pragmatic and just, Li said.
In addition to the SPC, the top legislature, the National People's Congress, also has more frequent contact with lawyers.
Before being tabled to the NPC or its Standing Committee, many drafts, such as contract and criminal laws, have been revised in line with lawyers' suggestions.
(eastday.com December 26, 2002)