Slaying of Beijing Judge Prompts Horror in China’s Embattled Legal Community


Te-Ping Chen reports: The case of a Beijing judge gunned down late last week — the latest in a slew of physical attacks against the profession — has triggered horror and introspection among China’s legal community, which is already facing problems of morale.

According to the Supreme People’s Court’s verified Weibo account, Ma Caiyun, 38, was shot and killed on Friday by two attackers. One of the attackers, the court said, was an individual whose post-divorce property settlement case had previously been heard by Ms. Ma. The duo killed themselves after the attack on Ms. Ma, the court said.

According to the Beijing police, the perpetrators also attacked several others, including a man married to one of the attackers’ ex-wives. The man died in the assault, police said, adding that the gun used in the attack was homemade.

China’s judges have faced violent assaults before, including physical beatings, knifings and more. Last September, a 43-year-old man involved in a Hubei labor dispute, unhappy with the verdict, stabbed four judges.

[Read the full story here, at China Real Time Report – WSJ]

On social media, numerous judges and lawyers mourned and shared news of Ms. Ma’s death. While such postings were at first the subject of assiduous deletions by censors, on Sunday, the country’s highest court publicly confirmed her death.

One Shenzhen-based lawyer, Mei Chunlai, posting on WeChat about Ms. Ma’s case, mourned the judge’s death and noted that it coincided with an exodus of judges leaving the profession. “With large numbers of talented judges leaving their posts, if there’s no one left to persevere for social justice, it will affect not only the regime’s stability, but also the legal rights and benefits of everyone,” he wrote.

Other professions in China have similarly come under physical attack, including doctors, who have faced assaults from dissatisfied patients and their family members seeking retribution.

“In China, of the three most respected professions in the West, two have already been ruined,” another lawyer wrote in a post that circulated on WeChat. “In a normal society…(read more)

Source: China Real Time Report – WSJ

–Te-Ping Chen. Follow her on Twitter @tepingchen.

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