Professor Sida Liu spoke on CBC News about the legal challenges that two Canadians detained in China could face, as Canada pushes for their release. The Canadians are currently in Chinese custody for allegedly retaliating the arrest of a top Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou, in British Columbia. Professor Liu explains how, legally speaking, there is no evidence that the two cases are legally connected. The detention of the two Canadians must be considered a case of its own, rather than in conjunction with the Chinese executive’s arrest. However, as a case involving Chinese national security, it is a very serious matter and contains exceptions to ordinary procedural law. Most of the time limits within Chinese procedural law, such as notifying a suspect’s family members within 24 hours of arrest, do not apply. Even their right to attorney is restricted, and must be approved by the investigating agency.
Watch the full interview here.
Professor Liu is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Law at the University of Toronto and a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He received his L.L.B. degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He joined the University of Toronto faculty in 2016, after teaching sociology and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the sociology of law, organizations and professions, globalization, and social theory. He has conducted multiple empirical projects on these topics, including empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession, and published on socio-legal theory and general social theory. His new project will build on his extensive research experience in China on the topic of globalization and the legal profession.
Professor Liu is the author of three books in Chinese and English, most recently, Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work. He has also published many articles in leading law and social science journals, such as the American Journal of Sociology.