In the News

Stanley Lubman in the news:

The Tianjin explosions: a signal for reform

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 7, 2015

The massive explosions in Tianjin should challenge the state to take useful steps to improve legality, which would also enhance the legal environment needed for the promised economic reforms. Failure to do so will mean more loss of life and further erosion of government credibility. China can’t afford more Tianjin fireballs.

Lessons from Tianjin

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2015

Because the disaster occurred in one of China’s largest cities, with a population of 15 million, it should provoke a necessary deeper consideration of subpar worker safety conditions throughout Chinese industry.

After crackdown on rights lawyers, China’s legal reform path uncertain

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2015

China’s current nationwide crackdown on “rights defense” (weiquan) lawyers is the strongest assault to date on a small number of pioneers who have struggled to advance the rule of law.… The crackdown increases uncertainty about the future of law reform in China as long as Xi Jinping leads the party-state.

Dirty Dealing: China and international money laundering

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2015

In the midst of turmoil in the Chinese stock markets, one serious problem that may appear is increased currency outflows created by current and potential investors who would rather move their assets to foreign countries viewed as safer havens. Money laundering should be under close surveillance.

China asserts more control over foreign and domestic NGOs

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2015

Now, not only are human-rights groups being targeted, but a wide range of other organizations hoping to integrate needed social services into Chinese society could be affected. It is not possible at this time to predict how vigorously and selectively the Law will be applied in practice, but the message of increased repression is clear.

Chinese security laws elevate the party and stifle dissent. Mao would approve.

Stanley Lubman quoted in The New York Times, May 29, 2015

“The ideology is far thinner and holds the attention of the populace far less powerfully than before,” said Stanley Lubman. … “As a result, the Chinese Communist Party needs more institutional support than before, and may need even more. This helps to explain the attention that law has recently been receiving since Xi came to power.”

China’s exodus of judges

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2015

The exodus of judges is a reminder of how urgent and complicated judicial reform is for China. The quality and quantity of the country’s judges has increased dramatically since the 1980s, but a surprising number of them are choosing to leave their positions in Chinese courts due to a combination of heavy caseloads, low professional standards, bad pay and government interference – as well as the growing threat of violence at the hands of angry petitioners.

Detained female activists illustrate contradiction in Chinese law reforms

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2015

A month ago, Chinese authorities detained at least 10female activists who were planning to mark International Women’s Day with peaceful demonstrations. Such a contradiction – between harsh, extralegal treatment of political dissent and a vigorous effort to improve the credibility of the courts –increasingly has come to define China’s legal climate under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

A potentially powerful new weapon in China’s war on pollution

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2015

A key tool for sidestepping weak government enforcement—if it is allowed to function as intended—is the country’s recently amended Environmental Protection Law, which makes is easier for environmental nonprofit groups to bring public-interest lawsuits against polluters.

Questions loom over China’s legal reform drive

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2015

What remains unclear is whether Chinese leaders intend to make meaningful changes within that framework to raise the quality of Chinese justice, or are merely paying lip-service to justice as they continue the old patterns of authoritarian control.

A shot at solving China’s angry worker problem

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2015

Labor unrest is on the rise in China and likely to increase as the leadership grapples with a dangerous combination of an economic slowdown and the lack of effective institutions to cope with worker unrest. A new set of regulations put forward by one province offers a potential solution while at the same time illustrating the difficulty the Communist Party faces in effectively addressing workers’ grievances.

In sharp words from Xi, ominous implications for China’s legal reforms

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2015

The most recent message is chillingly clear: The grasp of the Party will not be loosened, and as a result, changes needed for deep reform of China’s legal system will remain out of reach.

Why scrapping quotas in China’s criminal justice system won’t be easy

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2015

It remains to be seen whether the work of judicial reform can increase the relative independence of the courts by reducing the influence of local government and party organizations over them without being regarded as a threat to party dominance.

A new ray of hope in China’s fight against pollution: lawsuits

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2015

If the authorities use the new legislation to genuinely punish polluters and officials who conspire with them in the battle for China’s environment, citizens may be encouraged to support the use of law and courts to combat not only pollution, but other social ills as well.

What it will take for China’s anticorruption drive to succeed

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2014

If China’s leadership is genuine about wanting to clean up the party, it should explore the possibility of moving the power to investigate and adjudicate cases of corruption from the party’s internal disciplinary body to the same prosecutors who handle criminal wrongdoing by non-party members, or to a new government agency.

China’s corruption fight inseparable from economic reform

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2014

The campaign is intended to increase discipline within the party as well as to target corruption. Recent media reports suggest, however, that the anticorruption campaign is hampered by both bureaucratic resistance and the limited effectiveness in general of political campaigns in today’s China.

As China cracks down on dissidents, it also promises legal reform

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2014

There is no doubt that legal reform in China will be carried out under the control and leadership of the Communist Party—while the repressive crackdown on speech and conduct threatening party rule continues.

Key points in China’s flood of legal reform rhetoric

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2014

Both reports strongly reaffirmed the party’s control over law and legal institutions while alluding to pilot programs and reform plans intended to translate the leadership’s vague commitment to “governing the country according to law” into practice.

To stamp out pollution and corruption, China could start with legal reform

Stanley Lubman writes for Wall Street Journal Online, October 8, 2014

The campaigns against pollution and corruption should be clearly linked whenever possible to the current emphasis on raising the influence of the judicial system. The reverse holds true as well: improving legal enforcement would add weight and credibility to the drives against corruption and pollution.

Why Maoist show trials in China aren’t going away any time soon

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time, September 10, 2014

The importance to the leadership of both the campaign against corruption and the crackdown on dissent strongly suggests that whatever measures are planned to carry out legal reform, the use of public confessions and “open trials” like that of Bo Xilai’s are likely to continue.