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This subject has two main dimensions. The first is a general introduction to the Chinese legal system focusing on its development, structure and institutions. This provides an essential underpinning to any foreign lawyer who seeks to engage with China in relation to a specific issue. The second dimension of the course is to focus more specifically on the major spheres in which foreign lawyers interact with the Chinese legal system in relation to commercial transactions, including both corporate and employment law.
The subject teachers aim to shed light on contemporary Chinese law, both on paper and in practice, by discussing examples and case studies that reveal the system in action, and its potential future trajectories.
Principal topics include:
- 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)
- Law and economic reform
- Regulation of fundamental economic and civil relationships including property and contract
- The Chinese legal system and foreign investment environment
- Investment forms and company law
- The Chinese legal response to the social impact of economic reform; the example of employment regulation
- Dispute resolution.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will have an advanced understanding of, and be able to critically analyse:
- Fundamental aspects of the Chinese legal system, including the distinct nature of Chinese law-making, judicial processes and governmental operation
- The interaction between law and the economic reform process in China
- Practical commercial dispute resolution
- The interaction and different dynamics between policy and commercial laws in China
- The role of lawyers and the importance of enabling foreign lawyers to function effectively as legal advisors in a cross-border context
- Practical case studies relating to business, employment and investment in China.
A student who has successfully completed this subject should also have developed and demonstrated expert skills, including:
- Cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems and concepts in a cross-jurisdictional context and from a comparative law perspective
- Cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to apply that knowledge in the context of commercial transactions in China
- Technical skills to design, evaluate and analyse complex legal structures and issues, as well as communication skills to advise legal and non-legal audiences on such structures and issues.
- Cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts in relation to commercial transactions in China at an abstract level, and the ability to translate those abstract ideas and concepts to practical problems
Last updated: 10 November 2023