Lawyers’ ethics: who would you save first in a fire — your mum or girlfriend?

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Chinese judicial ethics exam asks wannabe lawyers to decide


Aspiring lawyers in China are being forced to choose between their mothers and girlfriends in order to be admitted to practise law.

According to the BBC’s China Blog, the following question appears in this year’s national judicial examination, the test administered to China’s lawyers-to-be:

If forced to choose, would you save your mother or your girlfriend from a burning building?

With the exams now completed, the Chinese Ministry of Justice has posted the “correct” answer: your mother.

It says that it would be a “crime of non-action” to opt for romantic love over duty to the woman who gave birth to you.

But what if you have a boyfriend? The Chinese Ministry of Justice is apparently silent on this point. At least diversity problems aren’t limited to the legal profession of England and Wales…