Domestic Law Reforms in Post-Mao China

By Pitman B. Potter | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3 The Significance of the Opinion of the Supreme People's Court for Civil Law in China

William C. Jones

As with any society, civil law in China provides a basis for articulating principles and rules for regulating civil and economic relationships. The General Principles of Civil Law, enacted belatedly in 1986, summarized and reformed what previously had been a loosely integrated set of regulations and informal norms for Chinese social and economic life. The General Principles were incomplete, however. In an example of judicial law making, the Supreme People's Court's Opinion concerning the General Principles of Civil Law served to expand on this earlier effort.

When the General Provisions of Civil Law was enacted, Wang Hanbin, chairman of the committee that supposedly drafted it, admitted that it was not complete. He stated that it was supplemented by other statutes, mentioning the Patent Law, the Trademark Law, the Marriage Law, the Succession Law, the Economic Contracts Law, and the Foreign Economic Contracts Law, and he indicated there would be others. He also admitted that there would be gaps, but did not indicate how these would be filled. 1 It has seemed to me, as I have stated previously, that the implication was that they would be filled by references to general principles of civil law, chiefly by means of treatises--Chinese and foreign--although there would probably also be special statutes that would be enacted subsequently. 2 To a certain extent this is what has happened. The totality of civil law remains something of a jumble, however, since the statutes do not seem to have been drafted with much reference to each other, and consequently do not mesh.

The Chinese are very conscious of this, and have, it is said, made some efforts to prepare revisions of these statutes to eliminate the contradictions. 3 This could be taken as affirming a belief that there should be a complete, integrated civil code in fact, if not in name. That has not happened yet, however. The result is

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Domestic Law Reforms in Post-Mao China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 316

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?