Human Rignts Lawyers' Database

Cheng Hai (程海)

Last Updated:


Work Location



Date of Birth



Current Status

In practice



Cheng obtained a Master’s degree in economics from Nankai University in 1984. Before becoming a lawyer in 2001, Cheng had been a peasant, worker, teacher and investment counselor. He had also established his own company and worked at Reform of the Economic System office at the provincial level, which is the reason why Cheng is familiar with enterprises operation management and its related law. Cheng started practicing in Beijing in 2003 and is now working at Wu Tian Law Firm. He is a member of the All China Lawyers Association and was a member of the Constitution and Human Rights Professional Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association before the abolishment of the committee.

With his hukou still in Hefei of Anhui Province, Cheng represented residents not with Beijing hukou in quite a number of discrimination cases. He was also the defense counsel of Falun Gong practitioners in different places like Beijing, Shijiazhuang and Hefei. Cheng sent a letter to NPC Beijing in 2006 to suggest changes of the unreasonable restriction in Beijing on non-Beijing hukou voters who wish to apply for Voter’s Certifications. Together with 69 other Chinese scholars and legal professionals, Cheng cosigned an open letter to call on the abolishment of Laogai (Reform through Labor). Cheng once said “working for public interests is lawyers’ job and lawyers should shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding justice for the society.” Therefore, he often engages in cases involving multicultural public interests without charging a cent. After the Lhasa violence on 14 March, 2008, Cheng acted for Tibetans and was arrested in the incident. In 2009, Cheng was beaten by seven public securities when he was providing legal service for a Falun Gong practitioner who was detained for "leading in assembling a crowd to engage in promiscuous activities or repeatedly participates in such activities", injuring his hands and ribs.

Lawyer Cheng also actively promoting rights of lawyers. In 2008, he participated in the open letter that demanded Beijing Lawyers Association for direct election and lower half of the membership fee. The letter finally was cosigned by 35 lawyers and successfully led to the first direct election of the Association in 2009. He initiated the demand for the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China to monitor and correct the non-action of local court towards civil and administrative cases in 2009. He issued the "Open letter of Chinese Lawyers" jointly with other 95 legal professionals in the same year. The letter was to condemn and prosecute for the criminal liability of Chongqing polices beating Beijing Lawyers Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu and their abuse of power. 

He was then threatened to revoke his license and did once being revoked in 2009. He is working in Beijing Anhui Law Firm. In addition, he was excluded from the ballot paper when he was tried to run as a candidate of the election of Beijing Lawyers Association even he had gained enough signatures to enter the election. 



Free agent for public interest litigation, Hukou discrimination, Falun Gong practitioners and Laogai case, economic and new economic crime, construction and real estate, company law, finance and securities, legal consultant 


Cases Handled

2012    Ni Yulan Case

2009    Applied for administrative reconsdieration concerning the annual assessment and refusal to register the change of partnership of Chongwen District Bureau of Justice

2009    Applied for administrative reconsideration and litigation concerning Beijing Lawyers Association representative election 

2009    Guo Quan's subversion of state power case

2008    Litigation against Haikou Public Security Bureau for violating rights to meet with lawyers of detainee Lin (The first litigation on rights to meet with lawyers)

2008    Yang Jia "assault police officers in Shanghai" case; later sue the Shanghai Bureau of Justice for the violation of rights to meet with lawyers and lien on letters

2006    Chen Guangcheng case

2005    Litigation against China Netcom Corporation for discrimination and violation of rights fair consumption