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Moritz College of Law

International & Comparative Law

International & Comparative Law

As China has risen to a world power, how has its legal system evolved?

Dan Chow"China's current legal system has been in existence only since 1978 when it was resuscitated after being abolished during the Cultural Revolution. China's legal system was revived, in part, to support China's economic reforms that also began in 1978.

China's leaders believed a viable legal system was necessary to create confidence for those foreign investors interested in doing business in China and for China’s foreign trading partners. China's legal system and its legal profession have made substantial progress since 1978. However, the rule of law, at least in the sense in which the term is used in the U.S., cannot be said to truly exist in China.

The crux of the rule of law is law is the supreme authority and that no person or entity is above the law. In China, the Communist Party is the supreme authority and may stand above the law. In addition, laws and court judgments are not enforced in a predictable or regular fashion. This means that contract and property rights (including intellectual property) may not receive the same level of protection as such rights receive in advanced legal systems. It is important for those who deal with China to keep these important distinctions in mind."

Daniel C.K. Chow
Joseph S. Platt-Porter Wright Morris & Arthur Professor of Law


Cinnamon  CarlarneCinnamon Carlarne
Associate Professor of Law

Sanford N. Caust-EllenbogenSanford N. Caust-Ellenbogen
Associate Professor of Law

Daniel C.K. ChowDaniel C.K. Chow
Joseph S. Platt-Porter Wright Morris & Arthur Professor of Law

Amy J. CohenAmy J. Cohen
Associate Professor of Law

Ellen E. DeasonEllen E. Deason
Joanne Wharton Murphy/Classes of 1965 and 1973 Professor in Law

Edward B. FoleyEdward B. Foley
Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Professor for the Administration of Justice and the Rule of Law

Stephanie  HofferStephanie Hoffer
Associate Professor of Law

Stanley K. Laughlin Jr.Stanley K. Laughlin Jr.
Professor Emeritus of Law; Adjunct Professor of Anthropology

John B. QuigleyJohn B. Quigley
President's Club Professor Emeritus of Law

Guy A. RubGuy A. Rub
Assistant Professor of Law

Peter P. SwirePeter P. Swire
C. William O'Neill Professor in Law and Judicial Administration