Need an expert? Canadians charged with spying in China

Posted on Friday, June 19, 2020


Members of the media may directly contact the following expert:

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained in China, have been formally charged with spying by Chinese prosecutors. What’s the potential impact of those charges? Is it likely to raise tensions between the two countries?

Errol Mendes (English only)
Full Professor, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section

“For almost all Chinese criminal trials which would include the charge of espionage, the conviction rate is around 99% due to the fact that judiciary is not really independent of the Communist Party. Also, it means that their detention has just been prolonged perhaps for years.”

Professor Mendes had a 15-year research relationship with Beijing University that included studying the role that international law and human rights plays in relationships between China and the rest of the world, including Canada.

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