1st Edition

Domestic Law Reforms in Post-Mao China

By Pitman B. Potter, Stanley Lubman Copyright 1994

    This volume explores various aspects of the law in transition in post-Mao China. Stanley Lubman's introduction places each of the substantive chapters in the larger context of Chinese legal studies. Edward Epstein analyses the transplanting of European and Anglo-American legal ideologies into China, and the dilemmas this poses for the rule of law and legitimation in the reform period. Murray Scot Tanner analyses reforms in the legislative process, focusing particularly on the separation of the Communist Party from day-to-day legislative affairs and more pluralistic tendencies in the legislative process. William C. Jones, by addressing the opinion of the Surpreme People's Court regarding implementation of the general principles of civil law, raises compelling questions about legal interpretation in China in the context of social reform. James Feinerman analyses developments in Chinese contract law, raising the question as to whether in China it can form a basis for predictability and certainty in commercial transactions that are integral to the economic reforms. Judy Polumbaum studies developing efforts to enact a press law, reflecting the uses to which law has been put in pursuit of the political issue of press reform. Finally, Pitman Potter analyses the emerging concept of judicial review in the context of the Administrative Litigation Law of the PRC, an important aspect of political reform in China. By addressing these issues, the authors aim to reveal the various aspects of the developing autonomy that is embodied in China's legal reforms.

    Contributors, Preface and Acknowledgments, Introduction, Part I: Conceptual and Institutional Foundations, 1. Law and Legitimation in Post-Mao China, 2. Organizations and Politics in China’s Post-Mao Law-Making System, Part II: Economic and Civil Law , 3. The Significance of the Opinion of the Supreme People’s Court for Civil Law in China, Appendix A: Opinion (for Trial Use) of the Supreme People’s Court on Questions Concerning the Implementation of the General Principles of Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, Appendix B: Fourth Draft Civil Code (June 1982) of the People’s Republic of China, Appendix C: General Provisions of Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China Enacted by the National People’s Congress on 12 April 1986, 4. Legal Institution, Administrative Device, or Foreign Import: The Roles of Contract in the People’s Republic of China, Part III: Public Law Relations, 5. To Protect or Restrict? Points of Contention in China’s Draft Press Law, 6. The Administrative Litigation Law of the PRC: Judicial Review and Bureaucratic Reform, Index


    Judy Polumbaum is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Iowa City. She teaches writing and international communication. A graduate of McGill University, she earned a master of science degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University. Her research interests include Chinese press philosophy and practice, and freedom of expression. Stanley B. Lubman specializes in Chinese law as a practicing lawyer and scholar. He is head of the China Group in the law firm of Allen & Overy and frequently travels from his San Francisco base among his firm’s offices in Europe (the firm’s head office is in London), Hong Kong, and Beijing. Since 1972, he has been advising clients in the United States, Europe, and Asia on Chinese matters. Mr. Lubman concurrently teaches and writes about Chinese law and legal problems of trade and investment in China. Most recently he has been visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg. He has previously taught at the law schools of Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and the University of California- Berkeley.