The Bar Council Chairman was among a delegation of European law chiefs who advised Chinese authorities on best practice for providing criminal legal aid.

Alistair MacDonald QC was part of a group invited by the Chinese Ministry of Justice to provide insights into legal aid as part of the China-EU Access to Justice Programme to improve the effectiveness of legal aid service delivery, particularly to vulnerable and remote groups.

Legal aid was established in China in 1996 by the Criminal Procedure Law and in 2003 regulations took effect that made it the government’s duty to provide legal aid.

The project was a collaboration with the National Legal Aid Centre, in Beijing, and provincial legal aid centres in the central Chinese provinces of Henan and Shanxi.