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The recent spectacular ‘rise of China’ as an economic and regional power has been accompanied by both major legal change and increased foreign investment. China now exerts significant global influence and is subject itself to the profound influences of globalisation. The ways in which the Chinese legal system functions are of critical importance to an increasing range of actors both within and outside China. The divergence between law and practice highlights the challenges faced in entrenching the rule of law as a core tool of governance. Taught by a world-recognised expert in Chinese law, this subject offers insights into Chinese law and its reform in the country that will have the most influence on the path of the ‘Asian century’. It focuses on contemporary issues in economic and civil law reform. It provides insights into how the economic regulatory framework is given effect in practice by examining the powers and functioning of Chinese legal institutions from the centre to the region; dispute resolution both formal and informal, criminal law and human rights issues as they impact on commercial relationships.
Principal topics will include:
- Law and economic reform
- Regulation of fundamental economic and civil relationships including property and contract
- Historical context of the current law and practice
- Constitutional issues
- Institutions of the Chinese legal system (courts, legislatures, government agencies, central and local governments and lawyers)
- Dispute resolution—formal and informal
- Criminal law and human rights issues
- Undertaking research in Chinese law.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should:
- Be familiar with the nature of the Chinese legal system, including the distinct nature of Chinese law-making, judicial processes and governmental operation
- Understand the interaction between law and the economic reform process in China, including its impact on foreign investment
- Be able to conduct research on Chinese legal questions in a manner which reflects awareness of the specific context of Chinese law
- Be able to analyse critically claims about the operation of the Chinese legal system.
Last updated: 6 December 2019