Sinica backgrounder: The uses and misuses of the law in 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.
- Rachel Stern’s publications / Berkeley Law School, particularly From Dispute to Decision: Suing Polluters in China, On the Frontlines: Making Decisions in Chinese Civil Environmental Lawsuits, and Politics at the Boundary: Mixed Signals and the Chinese State
- Magnifying Repression: Uncertainty, Self-Censorship and Control Parables in China by Rachel Stern and Jonathan Hassid / Research Gate
- Publications on China’s law and policy reform process / Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center
- A Crack of Daylight Enters Chinese Court Proceedings / Foreign Policy
- Is China Committed to Rule of Law? / Council on Foreign Relations
- China with legal characteristics / The Economist
- What China means by ‘Rule of Law’ / The New York Times
- How China’s Top Court is Encouraging More Lawsuits Against Polluters / Natural Resources Defense Council
- China court rules in favour of first public interest environmental lawsuit / China Dialogue
- The Chinese Bar Exam and the “Turn Against Law” / Chinese Law and Politics Blog