International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN Qin Huasun, on behalf of the government of the People's Republic of China, signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which became effective on March 23, 1976, had 140 signatories by the end of 1997. Item 3d under Article 14 stipulates: To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it.

The signing of this convention was a declaration to the world that China had established and was implementing a legal aid system and would undertake legal aid obligations while accepting the supervisions by international organizations.