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Sinica backgrounder: The uses and misuses of the law in China

or the October 20 episode of the Sinica Podcast, get up to speed on China's legal system, from its role in the news media to the country's bar exam to environmental litigation.
11 months ago
Jeremy Goldkorn
Seal of the Supreme Court of China /

Critics of China’s legal system often dismiss it as rule by law rather than rule of law. While a lack of a true separation of powers in the nation means the law is rarely used to constrain the government, there is a growing space for it to help resolve conflicts between citizens and companies, and prevent environmental pollution by state and corporate actors. The government is also attempting to ensure a uniform understanding of the law and raise the standards of its practice.

The Sinica Podcast of October 20 is an interview with Rachel Stern, an assistant professor of law and political science at the University of California, Berkeley. The conversation includes an evaluation of the Chinese bar exam, an examination of the state of environmental litigation, and a review of how legal uncertainties affect activists and the news media. Below is a reading list of relevant articles and papers.

By Jeremy Goldkorn
Jeremy Goldkorn is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast and currently edits SupChina and its daily newsletter.
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