Research on Chinese Law
In light of the current position of China in the world today, a deeper appreciation of Chinese civil law is essential. The Centre of Expertise systematically researches Chinese civil law and strives to convey relevant information to a broader audience, thereby overcoming any existing linguistic or cultural barriers.
The current research being conducted by the Centre focuses on the legal framework regulating the private and business relationships of people and companies in China, one of the world’s most dynamic environments. The transformation of China from a socialist to a market-oriented economy, its integration into the global flow of capital and goods, the increasing prosperity of millions of people, and the tension between an openness and an isolation vis-à-vis the rest of the world pose great challenges for the Chinese state and society. The Centre of Expertise documents how Chinese private law is evolving under the influence of these challenges, in part by adopting concepts known from the continental European legal tradition, in part by adapting these concepts to China’s own needs and increasingly by exploring new directions.
Main Fields of Research
In order to re-establish a legal foundation after the legal nihilism of the Cultural Revolution, the People's Republic of China first set out to regulate individual areas of law through the adoption of individual legislative acts, such as the General Principles of Civil Law (1986), the Contract Law (1999) and the Property Law (2007). Several attempts at a comprehensive civil law codification initially failed. The current codification project, based on the legislation and practical experience of recent decades, is expected to result in the adoption of a comprehensive civil code in 2020.
Under the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the People's Republic of China is breaking new ground in the enforcement of rights. On the one hand, with the introduction of a social credit system the Chinese government wishes to create an incentive for citizens to abide by legal regulations. On the other hand, the Chinese legislature is turning to collective enforcement mechanisms for civil law claims and thus to a topic that has also been central in international discussions for a number of years.
Since the entry into force of the General Part of the Civil Code in 2017, Chinese law has divided private law entities into profit-oriented and non-profit organisations. This very modern classification of private law entities raises a number of research questions that are being pursued by the Centre of Expertise on China.