Chinese lawyers for dissidents have themselves faced mistreatment. One never knows to what extent these attacks represent high Party policy or local abuse. But now the Supreme People's Procurator (comparable to the U.S.Attorney General unburdened by state sovereignty) has issued regulations supporting defense lawyers advocacy roles. Among the notable provisions are:
Article 6:People's procuratorates shall lawfully ensure lawyers' rights to read the case file. From the day on which the case is transferred for review for prosecution, the people's procuratorates shall fully allow defense attorneys to consult, copy or reproduce the case file materials for that case; upon the people's procuratorate's permission, agents ad litem may also consult, copy or reproduce the case file materials for that case. People's procuratorates shall promptly accept and arrange for lawyers to read case files, where there is no way to make prompt arrangements, they shall explain this to the lawyer and arrange for him to read the case file within 3 days. People's procuratorates shall follow relevant provisions of transparency in procuratorate affairs to improve online platforms for lawyers services and the like, and allot necessary equipment such as instant cameras, photocopying, and media burning, to provide as much facilitation to lawyers reading the case file as possible. Lawyers' consultinh , copying and reproduction of case file materials shall be conducted in special venues established by the people's procuratorate. When necessary, the people's procuratorate may appoint staff to assist at these venues.
Article 7:People's procuratorates shall lawfully ensure lawyers' rights to apply for the gathering or collection of evidence.Where a lawyer collects evidence showing that the criminal suspect was not at the scene of the crime [alibi evidence], has not reached the age of criminal responsibility, or is a mentally ill person not bearing criminally responsibility in accordance with law, and informs the people's procuratorate, the relevant case-handling department of the people’s procuratorate shall promptly conduct a review of the matter.
Where after a case is transferred to be reviewed for arrest or reviewed for prosecution, a laywer makes an application in accordance with Criminal Procedure Law article 39 for the people's procuratorate to collect evidentiary materials gathered by the investigation department that have not yet been handed over, and which show the criminal suspect's innocence or that the crime was minor, the people's procuratorate shall promptly conduct a review and decide whether to collect it. Where upon review it is found that the lawyer is applying to collect evidence that has not been gathered or that has no connection to the case, and a decision is made to not collect, the people's procuratorate shall explain the reason to the lawyer. After the people's procuratorate makes a decision to collect, and the investigating organ transfers the relevent evidentiary materials, the people's procuratorate shall inform the lawyer within 3 days.***