On the Development Stages and Model Characteristics of the Rule of Law in China

On the Development Stages and Model Characteristics of the Rule of Law in China


出版:Trajectory.Inc / Journal of Zhejiang University (Humanities and Social Scienc
作者:Feng Yujun




Since the Reform and Opening-up,China has made significant progress in various fields of the rule of law. This article will provide a significant sample within the international comparative legal studies by reviewing the remarkable development of democracy and legal system,elaborating on the achievements and difficulties of legal reforms,and summarizing the experiences and lessons acquired from the legal development.Based on the analysis of the reform route,principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the practice under its leadership during the new period,the following four key factors contribute to the progress of China's legal reform:first, the correct political obj ective of improving socialist democracy and legal system;second,the demand of social development and the driving force from the economic system reform �X the determining factor;third, the globalization of economic and public affairs �X the external challenge;fourth,people's growing awareness of democracy and the rule of law �X the internal driver.Observing the ideology and strategic decision-making changes of the ruling party,the 38-year history of China's legal reform and the rule of law development since the Reform and Opening-up can be divided into three phases:Phase ��:1978�X1996, symbolized by developing the?Constitution?(1982),?General Principles of Civil Law,??Criminal Law,??Criminal Procedure Law,?this phase started a new voyage of China's socialist legal system construction. The legalization and institutionalization of social governance has made primary progress through developing a series of important laws and promoting several rounds of democratic and legal reforms,rebuilding the social management order, protecting fundamental human rights and democracy,setting up the strategic obj ectives of establishing a socialist market oriented economic and legal system.Phase ��:1997�X2011,symbolized by building a socialist country under the rule of law as the fundamental strategy of governing.As China j oined the WTO,unprecedented importance was attached to the rule of law,and in-depth legal reforms started with globalization. Legal values became important elements of the national spirit and image.The authority of law has been increasingly maintained and respected by the ruling party and state organs.Principles of the rule of law(such as protection of human rights,restrictions on public power,procedural fairness, etc.)were integrated into the legal system and law enforcement �X the second leap from legal system construction to the rule of law construction has been achieved. Phase ��:from 2012 to the present.The Party's 18th Congress has made a comprehensive strategic plan to enhance the rule of law,the Third Plenary Session of 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party(CCP)has established the overall obj ectives of further comprehensive reforms as ?improving and developing the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, promoting modernization of the national governance system and governing ability,?by taking the wisdom of the Party and the people,the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CCP progressively established the strategic objectives of?constructing socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and building a socialist country under the rule of law,?proposed scientific and systematic fundamental principles,work layouts, and key tasks of comprehensive improvements of the rule of law,which was the third maj or breakthrough and it opened up a new chapter in the contemporary history of the construction of a socialist country under the rule of law. Reviewing the historical stages and landmark achievements of China's legal system reform, the following eight aspects of model characteristics,positive and negative experiences of China's rule of law construction,can be summed up:First, from the perspective of the leadership system, the rule of law in China is the consultative rule of law based on the division of responsibilities among different institutions and departments and overall planning and cooperation among different regions under the leadership of the CCP.It eventually arrives at a consensus and common approach to achieve the development obj ectives set up by the People's Congress System,the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference System, grassroots democratic institutions and the extensive internal discussion among the various departments,regions,social groups,and people under the leadership of the CCP. Second,from the perspective of implementation,the rule of law in China is top-down power-led.Benefited by this system,various reform measures are less influenced by traditional values,diverse social forces,complex interests,and therefore obj ectives can be achieved timely.Third,according to the perspective of cultural background,the rule of law in China is a hybrid in that the Chinese traditional legal culture was integrated with the Soviet and Western legal cu


Law School, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872

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