CBA / ACLA Criminal Justice Reform and Advocacy Project

In March 2003, the CBA received a 2 M$ funding commitment from CIDA to support a CBA project proposal submitted at the request of the ACLA and designed to support the ACLA in its efforts to strengthen its own capacity, and that of its members, to respond to the legal reforms introduced in the 1996 amendments to China’s Criminal Procedure Law. The three year project includes technical assistance to the ACLA to develop its Criminal Law Committees, professional skills training for criminal lawyers, capacity building to support advocacy for reforms to the criminal laws within the bar, and the promotion of greater public awareness of the role of lawyers in the legal system and the criminal justice system in particular.


The outcomes for the project include:

  • Strengthened capacity of the ACLA and its Criminal Law Committees.
  • Strengthened representation and advocacy by criminal lawyers throughout the criminal justice process including investigation of crimes, gathering of evidence and representation at trial.
  • More proactive participation/advocacy by ACLA and its Criminal Law Committees in criminal law reform.
  • Increased understanding and recognition among the public, especially the poor and other special needs groups, of change and new roles of ACLA and legal professionals in China’s legal system.


A Contribution Agreement was signed with CIDA in July 2004 for a two-year project, "Capacity Building for Access to Justice". The program continued many of the activities of the former project and was extended to June 30, 2008.