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Fu Hualing is a Warren Chan Professor of Human Rights and Responsibilities at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include constitutional law and human rights, with a special focus on legal institutions.

The Power to Detain in a Dual State Structure

After four decades of legal reform, what kind of progress have the Chinese authorities made in controlling the power to detain, reducing its arbitrariness, and making the repressive arm of the state legally accountable? Has the fear of police power, in particular the proverbial panic of a knock at the door in the middle of the night, been reduced or increased? This essay argues that there are both changes and continuities, as the power to detain is largely defined and shaped by China’s regime type.

What Future Is There for Human Rights Lawyering in China?

In the aftermath of the latest wave of repression, Chinese human rights lawyers have started to reflect on their past successes and failures. They also began to express anxiety, frustration, and confusion about their work. Ultimately all the soul searching boils down to one question: is there a future for human rights lawyering in China as we know it? To answer this question, this essay analyses the practices of human rights lawyering, and examines the circumstances in which socio-legal mobilisation may fail or succeed.

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