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Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Top ten, oops, nine constitutional events in 2009

The Procuratorial Daily (检察日报) has published a list of the top ten "constitutional events" (十大影响性宪法事例) of 2009. This doesn't exactly mean "cases", and it doesn't exactly mean "constitutional"; they mean something more like "top ten events that implicated constitutional-type issues".

Interestingly, however, the on-line article has only nine events. The third is numbered but left blank. What event made it on the list and then caught the attention of the censors and had to be deleted because it was too sensitive? The forced nationalization of coal mines in Shanxi, that's what. Fortunately, the original text is still available in the PDF version of the article that's available at the PD's web site (I'm linking to a copy I downloaded just in case it disappears from the PD's web site).

Just to save you some time, here's the text that was too sensitive to print:

3. 山西煤矿整合事件

自2008 年9月,山西省政府根据《关于加快推进煤矿企业兼并重组的实施意见》和《关于进一步加快推进煤矿企业兼并重组整合有关问题的通知》推行“煤矿兼并重组”以来,2000多座煤矿被挂上了“国字号”的牌子。这场被誉为“国进民退”的改革,成为近30年来山西煤炭领域最大的一场变革。这意味着,这些煤老板如果不接受被兼并,他们的煤矿将会被强制关闭。煤老板们认为应该维权,他们联合律师、学者高举物权法和宪法,准备诉诸法律。


清华大学教授林来梵:政府强制国有企业兼并小煤矿,是否构成了征收? 如果不构成征收,是否违反公民合法的私有财产不受侵犯的精神?为何不通过加强对小煤矿的管理解决现实问题,兼并是否违反了比例原则(即行政手段所造成的损害与产出的社会利益成比例原则)? 非公有制经济是社会主义市场经济的重要组成部分,一方面我们要鼓励和促进非公有制经济发展#另一方面国家也有必要让国有经济在关系到国计民生和国家安全的领域中处于主导作用#问题是这里的边界何在? 仍然没有明确的分界。

There are some other interesting events in this top ten list about which I'll blog later.

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"Interestingly, however, the on-line article has only nine events."

When they say ten, it is really ten with Chinese characteristics. China is in a very unique situation and requires Chinese invented math. And this is just an example why numbers with Chinese characteristics are required. Just like open internet.

Posted by: Bill | Jan 16, 2010 2:37:54 PM

Don, I'd be grateful if you could just list the nine events in English. it will be interesting for us students of comparative constitutionalism.


Posted by: Tom Ginsburg | Jan 17, 2010 4:53:43 AM

Done. See post of Sunday, Jan. 17.

Posted by: Don Clarke | Jan 17, 2010 11:43:09 AM

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