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Lawyers must not use media to win

By Lin Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-29 09:52

Lawyers must not use media to win

What is the role of a lawyer? The law says a lawyer shall "maintain the legal rights and interests of a client, help enforce the law, and maintain social fairness and justice". Therefore, a lawyer is obliged to analyze facts and interpret related legal matters to his/her client.

But in practice, a lawyer often takes measures -like interacting with the media to save a client from negative publicity - which are not part of his/her professional duties. For instance, in a high-profile gang rape case in Beijing, lawyers of the suspects as well as the victim have used new media to publish unconfirmed details of the case.

The gang rape case has drawn widespread attention because one of the five defendants, surnamed Li, is the son of famous singers. Li, 17, was detained in February on suspicion of raping a woman in a Beijing hotel room along with four accomplices, three of whom are also minors.

Many lawyers seek the moral high ground for their clients, for which they use the media. A lawyer cannot be prevented for publishing details of a case if he/she observes the law. Besides, debates among lawyers help us determine the truth. Everyone is entitled to have his/her own view of a case. But we should take all the evidence into consideration before determining the truth.

In Li's case, however, what his lawyer has done is debatable. Have his comments helped the cause of the defendant?

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