Close contact with society and a profound understanding of the profession help lawyers develop the advantages of being good at supervision and expressing public opinion, and give them an important role in assisting legislative and supervisory work of the National People's Congress (NPC), said Gao Zicheng, a deputy to the 14th NPC and president of the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA).
Gao Zicheng (R1), a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and president of the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA), introduces the essence of the first session of the 14th NPC at the China Legal Aid Foundation on March 25, 2023. [Photo/npc.gov.cn]
"Lawyers are playing an increasingly important role in the process of building the rule of law in China. I will keep in mind the new expectations and aspirations of the people for fairness and justice and fulfill my duties wholeheartedly," said Gao, who has been a practicing lawyer for 35 years.
Gao Zicheng, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and president of the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA), delivers a speech at a meeting of the Beijing delegation during the first session of the 14th NPC. [Photo by Xue Ruijie]
During this year's NPC annual session in March, Gao submitted more than 20 suggestions, focusing on legislation to ensure the healthy development of the digital economy, the improvement of the elderly care service system, stimulating the vitality of private enterprises, promoting the sound growth of the platform economy and improving the supervision of trademark agencies.
In daily work, Gao has actively performed his duties to provide useful and effective opinions and suggestions.
Gao proposed and established a public welfare legal service team to help promote the implementation of the rules on handling of public complaints upon receipt in Beijing. With lawyers from the team classifying public appeals and concerns, and assisting law enforcement agencies in pre-litigation governance and post-litigation resolution in a timely manner, the move reflects a people-centered philosophy and has been regarded as a vivid practice of whole-process people's democracy, he said.
To diversify the dispute resolution mechanism, Gao proposed a procedure of "guided arbitration" between case mediation and hearing, which guides plaintiffs and defendants who fail to reach settlement in the mediation stage to resolve disputes through an arbitration institution, which can alleviate pressure on the courts.
In a proposal submitted to this year's annual session, the NPC deputy called for financial institutions to vigorously support private enterprises, and to adjust lending standards and mechanisms to ensure that State-owned and private enterprises enjoy the same loan and repayment conditions.
Gao said that the digital economy is a new driving force for high-quality development. Great efforts are necessary to accelerate the coordination and connection between Chinese laws and international rules, protect intellectual property rights, ensure data security, protect personal privacy, and provide sound legal protection for the healthy development of the platform economy, Gao suggested.
He noted that it is urgent to enhance the foreign-related legal service capacity of lawyer agencies in China, to cater to the development of the country’s high-level opening-up. He suggested that universities, legal service institutions, foreign-related institutions and bar associations increase efforts to cultivate and train more lawyers with moral integrity and professional talent. More practitioners familiar with Chinese laws, proficient in international rules, and with an international perspective will help enhance the competitiveness of Chinese lawyers in the international legal service market, he said.