Table of Contents in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia
- Chinese Legal System in Asia
- Legal Research in China: a Guide for Lawyers
- Where to Start
- General Information about China and their Legal Tradition
- Sources of the Chinese Law
- The Chinese Government System
- Legislative Branch
- Executive Branch
- Judiciary Branch
- Participants in the Administration of Justice
- Civil Law Procedure
- Criminal Law Procedure
- Alternative Dispute Resolution in China
- Private Law
- Public Law
- Asia Legal Systems
- Further Resources
Chinese Legal System in Asia
The legal system of China is mixed (Civil law/Customary). It is based on civil law, influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems. The Chinese legislature branch retains power to interpret statutes. The criminal procedure legislation of China was revised in early 2012.
Legal Research in China: a Guide for Lawyers
In a globalized world, lawyers outside China may come into contact with Chinese law, Chinese lawyers or Chinese clients, and the last would be better served when their lawyers have an understanding of the essential characteristics and aspects of the Chinese legal system. Likewise, in researching Chinese law, it is important for non-Chinese lawyers not to limit their inquiry to their country sources. In addition, instead of looking for precedents, in China lawyers browse first the provisions of the corresponding legislation for an appropriate legal principle applied to the case or Chinese law problem.
Any serious legal issue involving China must require consultation with a lawyer trained and licensed in China. International materials and resources, like this Encyclopedia, however, may provide some familiarity with the basic concepts of the Chinese law, a solid starting point and new perspectives and solutions that are not apparent, sometimes, from within a non-Chinese legal tradition. Their study may help the non-Chinese lawyer to determine the general nature of a problem, and can facilitate a better understanding with the Chinese colleague who may be called in to assist.
Where to Start
General Information about China and their Legal Tradition
China and their People
Historical Background of China
Offering a summary of the legal education, including law schools , in China.
Development of Chinese Law
Report on the development of the law in China.
Structures of Chinese Law
It offers a description of the structures of the law in China.
Sources of the Chinese Law
Summary of the sources of Law in China.
More about the history of the Chinese law here.
Enacted Law in China
Read more about the legislation in China.
The Chinese Constitution
Learn more about the Constitution of China.
China Codes and Statutes
China Statutory Decrees
Outline of the China Statutory Decrees.
Scope of the Regulations enacted in China.
Observation about the By-Laws in existence in China.
Learn more about the customary law of China.
Case Law as a Source of Law
Analysis of the Case Law in China.
Precedents in China
Evaluation of the role of Precedents in the Chinese legal system.
Doctrine in China
Review of the legal Doctrine in China.
International sources of law
See more about the international sources of law in China and Asia, including International Treaties.
The Chinese Government System
Study of the Government system in existence in China.
Chinese Constitutional Structure
Overview of the Constitutional Structure in China.
Read more about the history of the Government System of the country.
General Characteristics of the Constitution
Human Rights in China
Scope of the Civil and Human rights in the country.
The legislative branch proposes laws. Find a description of the Legislative Power in China here.
Structure of the Chinese Legislative Branch
Observation of the structure of the legislative power in China.
Functions and Powers
See more about the role of the legislative power in China here.
Read how the Chinese legislative procedures work here.
Supervision of the Executive
Learn how the legislative branch supervises the executive branch.
The executive power proposes laws. Read more.
Head of State in China
The head of state of China is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of China.
Head of Government in China
The head of government in China is the Prime Minister of China, the political leader of the government of China.
Chinese Council of Ministers
See information about the Cabinet Ministers of China here.
Chinese Local Governments
Local Organizations of Central Administration
The central administration consists of a number of ministries and other organizations, including local ones. Various departments, offices and divisions are established in each ministry in China. See the definition of centralization here.
Outlook of the cities, towns, villages and other communities, including municipal courts (when applicable), and their legal authority in China.
The judiciary power interprets and applies laws. Find here a review of the Judicial System in China.
Main Features of the Judiciary
Read the most important characteristics of the Judiciary system in China here.
China Judicial Structure
Report of the Court Organization and Jurisdiction in China.
The Courts in China may be divided into:
Description of the functioning of high courts in China.
Summary of the roles of courts of lesser rank.
Information about rules that influence sentencing in China.
Participants in the Administration of Justice
Survey about the players in the Administration of Justice in China and other countries.
Information about the impartial administration of justice, the independence and status of the judiciary and other issues related to Judges in China.
The role of those government officials who represent, in China, legal authorities (often prosecuting criminal actions in China and Asia).
The practice of law
More about the practice of law in China and Asia.
The legal professions
Practitioners (Lawyers and others)
Learn about the legal role of practitioners, specially lawyers.
Notary-Public in China
Overview about Public Notaries practising in China.
Court reporter – Clerks
Civil Law Procedure
Outlook of the main features of the Chinese civil process, including:
Pretrial Proceedings in China
Information about what pretrial proceedings consist of.
The Trial in China
Review of the judicial examinations in civil or criminal actions in China.
Overview of the steps of litigation in China, the litigator’s role and the types of civil litigation in the country here.
The Effect of the Judgment
Overview of effects and recognition of a valid judgment delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in China.
Legal Remedies in China
Appeals – Judicial Review
Description of the Appeals process and the Judicial Review process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions in China.
Criminal Law Procedure
The Investigation of Crime
Scope of the investigation of crimes:
The Prosecution of Crime
Criminal Trials in China
Laws and rules of the administration of justice when a person has been accused of a crime.
Appeals – Judicial Review
When a party files an appeal, asking to review the case:
Alternative Dispute Resolution in China
Method of resolving disputes out-of-court (ADR).
Family Law in China
Guide to Marriage Law, Succession Law and other Family Law topics in China.
Contract Law in China
Tort Law in China
Regulating claims by civil wrongs that result in an injury or harm.
Property Law in China
Copyright and Industrial Property
Business Law in China
Besides commercial law and the law of corporations and other entities, this guide provides comprehensive information about:
- Business Law in General in China.
- Law Governing Conduct of Business.
- Laws on Foreign Capital and Investment in China, including incentives.
- Regulation of companies, corporations and other business organizations in China.
- Private International Conflict of Laws in China and Asia.
Criminal Law in China
Penal law involves prosecution for a crime in China and Asia. Find out more.
Family Law in China
Family legal issues including:
- Divorce and separation
- Child protection, custody, support and access
- Property Division
Report of the branches of the Administrative law, including Environmental law.
Overview of the labor law and social security in China.
Asia Legal Systems
- The Constitutional Systems and Traditions of Asia.
- Asian history and cultural development.
- Reception of transplanted legal systems in China and Asia.
- English Glossary and Dictionary of Selected Legal Terms of China
History of the Chinese Legal System
The Chinese legal tradition has been shaped by many different influences, domestic as well as foreign. More than one different legal system has coexisted in China at various points in the long country history. The Portal of Chinese law provides introductory entries about the background and history of the law of the country.
China Law Portal
The China Law Portal provides an introductory overview of the history of legal development in China, major legal concepts, the structure of Chinese government, the Chinese judicial and court system, and peculiar characteristic of the response of the Chinese legal system to development in China.
The China Portal presents the main areas of its legal system and the wider aspects of how law is made and reformed. The entries of the China Law Portal include consideration of the primary features of the Chinese legal system, including the Chinese legal history, Chinese judicial structure and operation, the Chinese Constitution and the legislative and administrative structure and process. The contents of the China Portal also include discussion of Chinese legal actors (including Chinese lawyers), legal education, judges and other participants in the Chinese legal landscape.
The Portal introduces legal professionals, students and the general reader to terms and concepts necessary for understanding the Chinese legal system, the jurisdiction, organization and authority of courts in China, and the Chinese judicial interpretation and decision-making. The substantive areas of law such as public law, torts and product liability, property (including intellectual property rights and copyright infringements), and family law are also covered. The Portal also treats the law governing the main business legal topics: contracts, business regulation, companies and taxation. It also examines the civil, criminal and administrative processes, the procedural rights, main court opinions and the various modes of alternative dispute resolution available in China.
Useful to the reader of the Encyclopedia as a reference, the Portal provides a table of cases, indices provides even greater detail, a glossary of selected legal terms and many entries provide bibliographies for further reading.
Comparative Law and Legal Systems in Asia
One of the goals of the comparative law is to wrap up the similarities and differences among countries, including China. the different legal traditions in Asia and could be able thereby better to understand the Chinese law. to the reception of legal systems in China and other countries of Asia, with special reference to the reception of foreign law (specially English law and Islamic law) by these countries.
The Asian Encyclopedia of Law provides a survey of the legal systems of almost all the Asian jurisdictions. Being the Encyclopedia a work in progress, the length of the entries may vary considerably. Each country section includes a description of their major subject areas of law, notes on the main compilations (or official codifications), a detailed listing of legislation covering specific topics and resources for enacted laws and judicial decisions (including references to further online sources).
Conclusion about the Legal System of China
A good comprehension of the Chinese legal system requires knowledge and skill in a number of disciplines. The Chinese system itself is the result of developments in law, economy, politics, sociological change and the theories which feed all these bodies of knowledge. The law or China may be relevant in a foreign jurisdiction court proceeding involving international transactions. The Knowledge of the Chinese traditions and its legal institutions allows a good understanding of the Chinese law, its institutions and processes and sets the Chinese law and system in a social context.
This guide introduces some of the main procedural and substantive Chinese principles, with a more detailed treatment of resources in the major subject areas of the Chinese law, with access to primary materials.
The general reader and students may learn some basic legal concepts and principles of the Chinese law, to explain how the Chinese legal system operates, and to provide a sense of how the systems within China have evolved historically in China from its origins.
A globally focused guide like this site, including the legal concepts and principles of Asia, cannot
avoid taking many culture-specific elements into account.
About the Author
Salvador Trinxet Llorca is a law writer, professor and lawyer specialized in comparative and international law.
- Legal Systems
- Comparative Law Contents
- Hindu Law in General
- Chinese Law in General
- Common Law Systems
- Code Law Systems
- Socialist Legal Systems
- English Law System
- English Common Law
- International Customary Law
- Islamic Law
- Legal pluralism
- Rule of law
- Adversarial System
- Inquisitorial Legal System
- Legal Pluralism
- Legal Positivism
References and Further Reading
- The Legal System of the People’s Republic of China in a Nutshell
- Chinese Law and Legal Theory
- Basic Concepts of Chinese Law
- Chinese Law
- Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa, Werner Menski
- Asian legal systems: law, society, and pluralism in East Asia, Poh-Ling Tan
- Philanthropy and law in Asia: a comparative study of the nonprofit legal systems in ten Asia Pacific societies, Thomas Silk
- Law and legal institutions of Asia: traditions, adaptations and innovations, E Ann Black; Gary F Bell
- Law, capitalism and power in Asia: the rule of law and legal institutions, Kanishka Jayasuriya
- Asia-Pacific legal development, Douglas M Johnston and Gerry A Ferguson
- Modern legal systems cyclopedia, Kenneth R Redden and William Emerson Brock
- Constitutionalism in Asia: Asian views of the American influence, Lawrence Ward Beer
- The judicialization of politics in Asia, Bjo?rn Dressel
- East Asian Law: Universal Norms and Local Cultures
- Law, Capitalism and Power in Asia: The Rule of Law and Legal Institutions
- Doing Business in Asia (updated regularly)
- Copyright Law and the Information Society in Asia
- Insolvency Law in East Asia
- Intellectual Property Law in Asia
- A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific
- Arbitration Law in China
- China Law and Practice (updated regularly)
- China Laws for Foreign Business (updated regularly)
- Chinese Intellectual Property Law and Practice
- China Law Deskbook (2nd ed.)
- China Law Series Various titles on many different subjects, such as contracts, constitutional law, banking law, and criminal law.
- China’s Takeover Law: Regulation and Reform
- Chinese Contract Law: Theory and Practice
- Civil Procedure: China (updated regularly)
- Commercial Laws of the World: China (updated regularly)
- Constitutional Law: China (updated regularly)
- Contracts: China (updated regularly)
- Criminal Law: China (updated regularly)
- Doing Business in China (4th ed.)
- Environmental Law: China (updated regularly)
- Intellectual Property: China (updated regularly)
- Intellectual Trade Regulation in China: Law and Policy
- The PRC Property Series (updated regularly)
- Social Security Law: China
- Tax Laws of the World : China (updated regularly)
- Tort Law : China (updated regularly)
- Transport Law : China (updated regularly)
- Asia-Pacific Development Journal
- Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
- China: An International Journal
- China Journal = Chung-kuo yen chiu (1995-2003)
- Columbia Journal of Asian Law