Duty counsel can provide legal support for undefended criminal cases, Deputy Minister of Justice Xiong Xuanguo said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office on Feb 8.
Xiong said that the service ensures that those accused of crimes can enjoy full access to legal aid from duty counsel which is an important guarantee of human rights.
The Ministry of Justice, the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security carried out a pilot criminal trial project including full-coverage lawyer defense, appointment of legal aid duty counsel, and lawyer mediation, according to Xiong.
Since the pilot program was carried out in October 2017, the volume of legal representation for the accused in criminal defense cases has considerately increased, and has doubled in some pilot projects in Beijing and Zhejiang province.
Lawyers taking part in mediation work have the skills necessary to resolve social disputes, thus reducing the number of cases heard in court.
Lawyer mediation services are currently available in court lawyer mediation work rooms, the lawyer mediation center of the lawyer association, and similar facilities at public legal service centers.