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In China, criminal defense has long been considered a particularly difficult practice, as lawyers must overcome a myriad of institutional hurdles before obtaining discovery, conducting investigations, or summoning witnesses to court. Lawyers' access to their clients is too often restricted and too long delayed; it is not uncommon for one's first contact with his or her client to occur in the courtroom, just prior to trial. Faced with these obstacles, many attorneys perceive the role of the defense in the criminal process as structurally inferior to that of prosecutors, and feel that there is little good that they can accomplish for their clients. It is therefore not surprising that many attorneys are unwilling to take on criminal defendants' cases and that an exceptionally high percentage of criminal defendants go unrepresented by counsel at trial.

This page contains IBJ's English language materials for legal aid lawyers in China. For Chinese language materials, please go to

China Criminal Defense Manual

Table of Contents


Other Materials

Legal Training Resource Center

eLearning Courses for Chinese lawyers