Vortrag: Legal advocacy as liberal resistance: the experience of China’s human rights lawyers

23.04.2018 | 18:00

Eva Pils (London)


China’s human rights lawyers, a relatively small group of legal professionals who emerged in the post-Mao era, insist that the Party-State follow the law in all cases, including those deemed ‘sensitive’ by the authorities. Throughout their existence, they have faced a repressive system that treats their advocacy as criminal acts of disobedience and subversion. In the Xi Jinping era, the contrast between their liberal outlook and a system in authoritarian (or neo-totalitarian) regression has become sharper, and rights defenders are now increasingly treated as enemies. As they are pushed to engage in legal resistance, the lawyers draw on, and test the boundaries of, the right of resistance as a human right.

Eva Pils is Reader in Transnational Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, where she teaches human rights, public law, and law and society in China. She studied law, philosophy and sinology in Heidelberg, London and Beijing and holds a PhD in law from University College London. Her scholarship focuses on human rights, authoritarianism, and law in China. She has written on these topics in both academic publications and the popular press. She is author of China's human rights lawyers: advocacy and resistance (Routledge, 2014) and of Human rights in China: a social practice in the shadows of authoritarianism (Polity, forthcoming, 2017). Before joining King’s, Eva was an associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law. She is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the US-Asia Law Institute of New York University Law School, an external member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Centre for Social Innovation Studies, an external fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and a legal action committee member of the Global Legal Action Network. In April 2017, she was a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

Zeit & Ort

23.04.2018 | 18:00

Neubau "Holzlaube", 2.2051