Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Peking U. Law Faculty establishes Soft Law Center

On Dec. 8, 2005, Peking University's Faculty of Law formally launched its Center for Research in Soft Law (软法研究中心), with Luo Haocai (罗豪才) (Peking Univ. Faculty of Law) as honorary director, Jiang Ming'an (姜明安) (Peking Univ. Faculty of Law) as director, and Song Gongde (宋功德) (National Institute of Administration) as executive director.

The text of Luo's speech at the founding ceremony, where he lays out some of the problems in the field and the goals of the center, can be found here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/2005/12/peking_u_law_fa.html

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Some helpful explanation for Soft Law from Wikipedia.

SOFT LAW:

The term "soft law" refers to quasi-legal instruments which do not have any binding force, or whose binding force is somewhat "weaker" than the binding force of traditional law, often referred to as "hard law", in this context. The term "soft law" initially appeared in the area of international law, but than it has been transferred to other branches of law.

In the context of international law, the term "soft law" usually refers to agreements reached between parties (usually states) which do not amount to international law in the strictest sense. Soft law consists of non-treaty obligations which are therefore non-enforceable. The term "soft law" in the international law context also includes certain types of resolutions of international organizations (e.g. resolutions of the UN General Assembly).

The term "soft law" is also often used to describe various kinds of quasi-legal instruments of the European Communities: "codes of conduct", "guidelines", "communications" etc. In the area of law of the european communities, soft law instruments are often used to signalize, in what way will the European Commission use its competencies, how shall the Commission perform its tasks within the area of its discretion.

Posted by: Lucy | Dec 30, 2005 12:12:09 AM

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