How was the vast ancient Chinese empire brought together and effectively ruled? What are the historical origins of the resilience of contemporary China's political system? In The Constitution of Ancient China, Su Li, China's most influential legal theorist, examines the ways in which a series of fundamental institutions, rather than a supreme legal code upholding the laws of the land, evolved and coalesced into an effective constitution. Arguing that a constitution is an institutional response to a set of issues particular to a specific society, Su Li demonstrates how China unified a vast territory, diverse cultures, and elites from different backgrounds into a whole. He delves into such areas as uniform weights and measurements, the standardization of Chinese characters, and the building of the Great Wall. The book includes commentaries by four leading Chinese scholars in law, philosophy, and intellectual history--Wang Hui, Liu Han, Wu Fei, and Zhao Xiaoli—who share Su Li's ambition to explain the resilience of ancient China's political system but who contend that he overstates functionalist dimensions while downplaying the symbolic. Exploring why China has endured as one political entity for over two thousand years, The Constitution of Ancient China will be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the institutional legacy of the Chinese empire.
Building the Rule of Law in China explores the idea that China needs a more globalized and diversified vision for the science of law, presenting the need to think differently from the two major western mainstream legal cultures, the Anglo-American and the continental systems. Other globalized, universalized, and diversified models and experiences in the rule of law from diverse civilizations have much to offer China. Through learning from the strengths exhibited by systems in countries with a very developed and well-organized rule of law, and absorbing essential aspects from different countries, China might be well positioned to promote the development of the rule of law in a robust and comprehensive manner. This book explores the topic from several perspectives, giving the reader an up-to-date resource on the ever-evolving vision for the science of law in China. Explores the situation of rule of law in China as it currently stands Presents a case that China must look beyond the two western systems of law for a more globalized vision Gives analysis on the contemporary situation, and insight into the near future Presents a particular perspective on the rule of law in China by a scholar closely involved with its actual development Translates into English, providing a new and valuable perspective to an English speaking readership
This book on China's constitution and its tradition of constitutionalism is one of the first in the English language, and as such provides a much needed overview of China's constitutional history and present arrangements. The nine chapters are divided into three parts. The first part (Chapters 1 & 2) deals with China's constitutional history, its indigenous and Confucian antecedents, as well as the turbulent century which led up to the 1982 Constitution and the new order which this ushered in. The second chapter deals with the distinctive features of its current constitution. The second part (Chapters 3-6) introduces the institutional structure defined in the current constitution - the relationship between the Centre and the Regions, the role of the party and the role of the People's Congress, the meaning of the socialist rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary. The third part (Chapters 7-9) discusses the major developments in human rights and their deficiencies - the protection offered to life, liberty, property and equality, and at the same time the currently dormant areas of political and religious freedom. The book concludes with a chapter looking forward to the future of the People's Congress and Chinese constitutionalism. In sum, the book offers a readable account of the salient features of Chinese constitutional developments in all major areas.
This book is a grand review of the centurial development of rule of law in China. It covers the most important issues in this area and presents “political constitution,” a new interpretative framework that allows the Chinese experience of rule of law to be more fully and correctly expressed. It is especially useful to scholars involved in the study of modern China. The main chapters of this book include: The Constituent Movement in the Late Qing Dynasty; The Xinhai (1911) Revolution; Constitution-making at the Beginning of the Republic of China; The Great Revolution in the 1920s; The Rise of the Party State and its Transition; The Founding of 1949 New China and its Early Constitutional Development; and The Dualist System of Rule of Law in the Reforming Times.
One of the most pressing issues in contemporary China is the massive rural land takings that have taken place at a scale unprecedented in human history. Expropriation of land has dispossessed and displaced millions for several decades, despite the protection of property rights in the Chinese constitution. Combining meticulous doctrinal analysis with in-depth historical investigation, Chun Peng tracks the origin and evolution of China's rural land takings law over the twentieth century and demonstrates an enduring tradition of land takings for state-led social transformation, under which the takings law is designed to be power-confirming. With changed socio-political circumstances and a new rights-respecting constitutional agenda, a rebalance of the law is now underway, but only within existing parameters. Peng provides a piercing analysis of how land has been used by the largest developing country in the world to develop itself, at what costs and where the future might be.
Using a comparative approach, this book analyses the history of China's private property protection at the constitutional level since 1949.
How can we make sense of human rights in China's authoritarian Party-State system? Eva Pils offers a nuanced account of this contentious area, examining human rights as a set of social practices. Drawing on a wide range of resources including years of interaction with Chinese human rights defenders, Pils discusses what gives rise to systematic human rights violations, what institutional avenues of protection are available, and how social practices of human rights defence have evolved. Three central areas are addressed: liberty and integrity of the person; freedom of thought and expression; and inequality and socio-economic rights. Pils argues that the Party-State system is inherently opposed to human rights principles in all these areas, and that – contributing to a global trend – it is becoming more repressive. Yet, despite authoritarianism's lengthening shadows, China’s human rights movement has so far proved resourceful and resilient. The trajectories discussed here will continue to shape the struggle for human rights in China and beyond its borders.
A comparative, systematic and critical analysis of constitutional courts and constitutional review in Asia.
Chinese politics are at a crossroads as President Xi Jinping amasses personal power and tests the constraints of collective leadership. In the years since he became general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, Xi Jinping has surprised many people in China and around the world with his bold anti-corruption campaign and his aggressive consolidation of power. Given these new developments, we must rethink how we analyze Chinese politics—an urgent task as China now has more influence on the global economy and regional security than at any other time in modern history. Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era examines how the structure and dynamics of party leadership have evolved since the late 1990s and argues that "inner-party democracy"—the concept of collective leadership that emphasizes deal making based on accepted rules and norms—may pave the way for greater transformation within China's political system. Xi's legacy will largely depend on whether he encourages or obstructs this trend of political institutionalization in the governance of the world's most populous and increasingly pluralistic country. Cheng Li also addresses the recruitment and composition of the political elite, a central concern in Chinese politics. China analysts will benefit from the meticulously detailed biographical information of the 376 members of the 18th Central Committee, including tables and charts detailing their family background, education, occupation, career patterns, and mentor-patron ties.
China’s legal system is vast and complex, and robust scholarship on the subject is difficult to obtain. Inside China’s Legal System provides readers with a comprehensive look at the system including how it works in practice, theoretical and historical underpinnings, and how it might evolve. The first section of the book explains the Communist Party’s utilitarian approach to law: rule by law. The second section discusses Confucian and Legalist views on morality, law and punishment, and the influence such traditional Chinese thinking has on contemporary Chinese law. The third section focuses on the roles of key players (including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and legal academics) in the Chinese legal system. The fourth section offers Chinese legal case studies in civil, criminal, administrative, and international law. The book concludes with a comparison of China’s fundamental governing and legal principles with those of the United States, in such areas as checks and balances, separation of powers, and due process. Uses extensive legal materials and historical documents generally unavailable to Western based academics Gives insider knowledge, including first-hand experience teaching law, and close involvement with judges, attorneys, and law professors in China Analyses legal issues from historical and cultural perspectives holistically
A comprehensive, structured, and up-to-date introduction to the law governing the dissemination of information in a computer-mediated world in China, Internet Law in China stresses the practical applications of the law that are encountered by all individuals and organizations in Chinese cyberspace, but always in the light of theoretical underpinnings. Among the overarching topics treated in the Chinese context are the following: intellectual property protection in cyberspace; privacy of communication and data privacy; electronic contract forming and electronic signature; personal, domestic and international jurisdiction; and free expression in cyberspace. This book is particularly valuable to legal, business, and communication professionals, academics, and students concerned with the regulation of the Internet and related activities in China. It is the first book to focus solely on Chinese Internet law. The first book to systematically explore the legal doctrines and principles that apply to the Internet and related activities in China Broad coverage: from Internet speech to proprietary interests, privacy issues, electronic contracts, and jurisdiction Original comparative analysis of China’s Internet regulation practice in the global context
As China continues to transform itself, many assume that the nation will eventually move beyond communism and adopt a Western-style democracy. But could China develop a unique form of government based on its own distinct traditions? Jiang Qing--China's most original, provocative, and controversial Confucian political thinker--says yes. In this book, he sets out a vision for a Confucian constitutional order that offers a compelling alternative to both the status quo in China and to a Western-style liberal democracy. A Confucian Constitutional Order is the most detailed and systematic work on Confucian constitutionalism to date. Jiang argues against the democratic view that the consent of the people is the main source of political legitimacy. Instead, he presents a comprehensive way to achieve humane authority based on three sources of political legitimacy, and he derives and defends a proposal for a tricameral legislature that would best represent the Confucian political ideal. He also puts forward proposals for an institution that would curb the power of parliamentarians and for a symbolic monarch who would embody the historical and transgenerational identity of the state. In the latter section of the book, four leading liberal and socialist Chinese critics--Joseph Chan, Chenyang Li, Wang Shaoguang, and Bai Tongdong--critically evaluate Jiang's theories and Jiang gives detailed responses to their views. A Confucian Constitutional Order provides a new standard for evaluating political progress in China and enriches the dialogue of possibilities available to this rapidly evolving nation. This book will fascinate students and scholars of Chinese politics, and is essential reading for anyone concerned about China's political future.
This book is primarily about how a former British colony, now a part of China, established its own final court (to replace the Privy Council), and how that court under a new constitutional order developed the law in Hong Kong in its first thirteen years, under the leadership of its first Chief Justice, Andrew Li. In doing so we look broadly at the question of whether the court has acted justly and delivered justice to the litigants. The first part of the book provides a broader context to view at these issues. So there are chapters describing the context of China and autonomy, followed by a chapter on the Macau Court. But these chapters only serve to provide a kind of foil from which to see and understand the Hong Kong Court.
Although the adoption of market reforms has been a key factor leading to China’s recent economic growth, China continues to be governed by a communist party and has a socialist-influenced legal system. Vietnam, starting later, also with a socialist-influenced legal system, has followed a similar reform path, and other countries too are now looking towards China and Vietnam as models for development. This book provides a comprehensive, comparative assessment of legal developments in China and Vietnam, examining similarities and differences, and raising important questions such as: Is there a distinctive Chinese model, and/or a more general East Asian Model? If so, can it be flexibly applied to social and economic conditions in different countries? If it cannot be applied to a culturally and politically similar country like Vietnam, is the model transportable elsewhere in the world? Combining ‘micro’ or interpretive methods with ‘macro’ or structural traditions, the book provides a nuanced account of legal reforms in China and Vietnam, highlighting the factors likely to promote, change or resist the spread of the Chinese model.
This book fills the gap in the understanding of approaches to constitutional law in the Mainland, and to allow comparison with the practices in Hong Kong and internationally.
This book offers a unique insight into the role of human rights lawyers in Chinese law and politics. In her extensive account, Eva Pils shows how these practitioners are important as legal advocates for victims of injustice and how bureaucratic systems of control operate to subdue and marginalise them. The book also discusses how human rights lawyers and the social forces they work for and with challenge the system. In conditions where organised political opposition is prohibited, rights lawyers have begun to articulate and coordinate demands for legal and political change. Drawing on hundreds of anonymised conversations, the book analyses in detail human rights lawyers’ legal advocacy in the face of severe institutional limitations and their experiences of repression at the hands of the police and state security apparatus, along with the intellectual, political and moral resources lawyers draw upon to survive and resist. Key concerns include the interaction between the lawyers and their bureaucratic, professional and social environments and the forms and long term political impact of resistance. In addressing these issues, Pils offers a rare evaluative perspective on China’s legal and political system, and proposes new ways to assess domestic advocacy’s relationship with international human rights and rule of law promotion. This book will be of great interest and use to students and scholars of law, Chinese studies, socio-legal studies, political studies, international relations, and sociology. It is also of direct value to people working in the fields of human rights advocacy, law, politics, international relations, and journalism.
A new text providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of administrative law in Hong Kong. It includes original commentary on judicial review, administrative tribunals, the Ombudsman, Commissions of Inquiry, the Legislative Council Redress System, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, the Audit Commission, subsidiary legislation and more. Drawing on law, policy and practice, it offers detailed analysis while maintaining accessibility, charting developments as Hong Kong continues to evolve as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Administrative Law in Hong Kong is essential reading for practitioners, academics and students with an interest in public law, governance and administration.
It has long been contended that the Indian Constitution of 1950, a document in English created by elite consensus, has had little influence on India’s greater population. Drawing upon the previously unexplored records of the Supreme Court of India, A People’s Constitution upends this narrative and shows how the Constitution actually transformed the daily lives of citizens in profound and lasting ways. This remarkable legal process was led by individuals on the margins of society, and Rohit De looks at how drinkers, smugglers, petty vendors, butchers, and prostitutes—all despised minorities—shaped the constitutional culture. The Constitution came alive in the popular imagination so much that ordinary people attributed meaning to its existence, took recourse to it, and argued with it. Focusing on the use of constitutional remedies by citizens against new state regulations seeking to reshape the society and economy, De illustrates how laws and policies were frequently undone or renegotiated from below using the state’s own procedures. De examines four important cases that set legal precedents: a Parsi journalist’s contestation of new alcohol prohibition laws, Marwari petty traders’ challenge to the system of commodity control, Muslim butchers’ petition against cow protection laws, and sex workers’ battle to protect their right to practice prostitution. Exploring how the Indian Constitution of 1950 enfranchised the largest population in the world, A People’s Constitution considers the ways that ordinary citizens produced, through litigation, alternative ethical models of citizenship.

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