A Glimpse into Chinese Law-Making

At China Real Time Report, law professor Stanley Lubman describes a recent Sino-American legal exchange presentation given in San Francisco. The talks covered issues such as appropriate levels of financial compensation and the drafting of Chinese anti-monopoly legislation, as well as the influence and relevance of foreign examples.

The most that Westerners hear about Chinese law usually pertains to human rights violations, examples of arbitrary official conduct and a weak judiciary. While these problems remain critical, they tend to overshadow an equally important, though less headline-ready, topic: How laws are drafted in China and what that means for the country’ progress toward greater legality ….

Building a legal system is replete with deliberation over technicalities in any nation, but the enterprise is especially difficult in a huge country under authoritarian single-party rule, with traditions inconsistent with the rule of law, and which is undergoing dramatic social change. The presentation mentioned here illustrated the quiet work of legislative drafters who are producing a body of rules that could eventually constitute the framework for an effective legal system, one which could more effectively define and protect the assertion and vindication of the rights of Chinese business enterprises and Chinese citizens.

The topic of compensation is a raw one, as recent episodes have highlighted the financial dangers of helping an injured stranger, and financial advantages of killing rather than merely injuring one.

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