Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Friday, May 19, 2006

University of Washington's Chinese law research guide

Since I just mentioned the guide to Chinese law research published by Kara Phillips (my former student at the University of Washington School of Law), let me mention another fine product of that institution, Chinese Law Research at the University of Washington, prepared and newly updated as of January 2006 by their able comparative law librarian and my former colleague, Bill McCloy. Without prejudice to the many guides to Chinese law research now available - and here I must mention Wei Luo's long-standing Internet Chinese Legal Research Center as well as his and Joan Liu's Complete Research Guide to the Laws of the People's Republic of China - Bill's opus strikes me as indispensable for anyone starting out to research any Chinese law topic. Those who have been in the field for a while may be surprised by what's become available since they wrote their law school note.

I've compiled a list of all the guides and meta-guides I know of that's available here. Please send me the URL of any others you know of.

May 19, 2006 in Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

China Law Reporter resurrected; new bibliography and guide to web-based resources for Chinese law

I'm pleased to announce the resurrection (of a sort) of the China Law Reporter, published by the China Committee of the ABA's Section on International Law. This incarnation of the China Law Reporter takes the form of a bimonthly electronic newsletter, although the editors hope to make it a monthly. The first issue (May 2006) is available here.

The China Committee has also put on its web site a guide entitled Web-Based Research Guides on PRC Legal & Business Resources, compiled by Kara Phillips of the Seattle University Law Library. This guide includes a partial bibliography of English-language literature on Chinese law.

May 16, 2006 in Publications, Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Web site for Chinese legal history studies in Japan

Xiexhi1_1I was searching for on-line images of the xiezhi (獬豸), the mythical Chinese beast that identified the guilty in criminal proceedings by butting them, when I ran across this interesting web site maintained by Terada Hiroaki (寺田浩明) of Kyoto University Law School for the dissemination of information relating to Chinese legal history studies in Japan. Among other things, it includes a link to an electronic on-line edition of the Du Li Cun Yi (读例存疑), Xue Yunsheng's famous annotation of the Qing Code and substatutes.

Speaking of the xiezhi, it's interesting to note that this is pretty much the extent of the use of magic in the history of Chinese criminal procedure - and it's solely mythical. So far as is known, Chinese criminal procedure has never had any use for magical procedures such as the dunking of witches or other forms of trial by ordeal.

April 24, 2006 in Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 3, 2006

Bibliographies of Western-language works on Chinese law

For the last few years, Knut B. Pissler of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private
Law and Private International Law in Hamburg has compiled an annual bibliography of Western-language works on Chinese law. These bibliographies have been published in the Zeitschrift fuer
Chinesisches Recht/Journal of Chinese Law published by the German-Chinese Lawyers Association.

Knut is currently working on the 2005 edition; a draft of that is attached here, along with several previous ones. If you have published something that ought to be included and isn't, Knut welcomes your e-mail to him here.

April 3, 2006 in Publications, Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Bilingual (English-Chinese) teaching materials on US copyright law available

George Conk, an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, and Prof. Wang Qian of the East China University of Politics and Law recently co-taught a mini-course on US intellectual property law to graduate students at the East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai. Having developed a set of bilingual course materials, they have generously made them available on the Social Science Research Network here:

March 7, 2006 in Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Authoritative web sources for Chinese law

A few days ago I posted an alert about an inaccurate version of the Securities Law that was available on the web. This prompted a very helpful email from Simon Zhang that I thought was too good to be buried in a comment to the above posting (that nobody would see). With his permission (and with thanks), I post here a slightly edited version of his email.

When I post URLs for Chinese laws (in the strict sense, i.e., those promulgated by NPC and NPCSC), I use the NPC's official website: All laws and other documents issued by the NPC and the NPCSC are accessible from that webpage. The "法律文件" page contains a "folder tree" by category. If it's difficult to determine under which specific sub-category a piece of law is put, you can also use 按年度检索.

There is indeed one advantage of this NPC website: for many laws, at the bottom of the text page, you can find links to other legislative history materials which were published in the NPCSC Gazette.

In addition, there is also a page where you can see selectively published NPCSC members' comments on law drafting sessions. Such material is not included in the NPCSC Gazette.

For the NPC home page, click here.

January 16, 2006 in Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

LexisNexis launches Chinese law database

This is not exactly news, since it was announced last January, but I only recently learned that LexisNexis (hereinafter "Lexis") has launched a Chinese law service called LexisNexis China Online ( According to the press release announcing the launch, much of the content will come from Lexis's acquisition of, a tax and financial information provider, and from licensing agreements with the State Information Center (the party behind the website) and Beijing University's (for its English-language content on

Although the "launch" was announced last January, that does not seem to mean the service was actually available; a further press release in July announced that the service had just been "unveiled".

If anyone has actually used this service, please let us know what you think. This post is open for comments.

Web references:

September 11, 2005 in News - Miscellaneous, Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Website on information technology and e-commerce law in China

Jörg Hladjk has asked me to post the following announcement:

There is a new website ( that provides comprehensive links to Chinese law on information technology and e-commerce in China. The information on the website and all its links are in English. It has six different categories.

In addition to English versions of the relevant legislation in this area, it has links to articles on several topics such as like internet control and e-commerce. It also has links to the CNNIC's latest statistical reports on Internet development in China.

The website is maintained by Jörg Hladjk, a German PhD student at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt specialising in IT and e-commerce law.

July 28, 2005 in Publications, Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Research guides to Chinese law

I recently had occasion to make a list of research guides for Chinese law that are available on the web. This list is not a list of research resources -- that's what the research guides do. This is a meta-list of the research guides. But since there are now several, it's a good place to start (or to tell your RA to start). The list is posted here. I'll be putting it up on the left sidebar to this blog when I have the time to format it properly.

July 14, 2005 in Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (2)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New book: Wei Luo, Chinese Law and Legal Research

The indefatigable Wei Luo of the Washington University School of Law Library has just published a new book, Chinese Law and Legal Research. Wei writes:

Although Chinese law as a general topic has been explored quite extensively, I have to devote 1/3 of my book to discuss Chinese government structure, legal system, and sources of law to help would-be researchers get oriented in how to approach Chinese legal research and what information to be expected. Several flow charts were created to illustrate Chinese legal system. I also discuss Chinese legal publishing industries and how the Chinese government information is disseminated.

Here's the bibliographical information on the book:

New York: W. S. Hein, 2005, 380 pages, bibliographies, index, and illustrations, $85. Ordering information can be found at; orders can be e-mailed to, or call 800-828-7571.

June 15, 2005 in Publications, Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Chinese Court Websites

A very handy list of Chinese court websites and other court-related on-line resources can be found at the China Court Network's website here. It includes links to an English-language court website and the websites of several provincial, intermediate-level, and basic-level courts.

June 11, 2005 in Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 3, 2005

Newsletters (2): China Law Digest

Another newsletter worth knowing about is the monthly China Law Digest. According to its website, it is "published by the Constitutional Democracy Forum and edited each month by Xiaoping Chen and translated by a group of research assistants at the Harvard Law School."

June 3, 2005 in Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Newsletters (1): CECC

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has issued the first installment of a newsletter entitled "China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update". This is the successor to "China Rule of Law Developments", an informal email newsletter that is now being retired. The CECC has assembled a very capable staff to monitor legal developments in China, and assuming the new version is more or less like the old, I recommend it as a high-quality publication that reports on interesting developments in the Chinese law scene (within the scope of its topic) without any obvious ideological axe to grind.

I am excerpting below an email I received on this subject:

The CECC newsletter contains an expanded selection of news summaries and analysis from the CECC Web site, as well as information on CECC activities, links to roundtable and hearing transcripts, statements from CECC members, and other materials. . . .

For those interested primarily in legal developments, note that there is a link near the top of the news updates section of the newsletter that will sort the human rights and rule of law stories (of course, there is considerable overlap).  Please also note that the sorting feature, as well as some links in the news summaries to material hosted on the CECC Web site, may not function properly for users in China, as the CECC Web site is currently being blocked there.

. . . To sign up for the email list, visit the CECC Web site at and click on "Subscribe/Unsubscribe to Commission Email List" and enter your email address.

June 2, 2005 in Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

China Committee, ABA Section on International Law

Readers may wish to check out the recently-updated website of the China Committee of the ABA Section on International Law.

There are a number of China-related programs at the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago (Aug. 5 to Aug. 9). You can find them on the agenda; a description is appended below.

Real Estate Investment in China: Risks and Opportunities
In light of overheated economy in P.R. China, it is necessary to address the issue of real estate investment. Central government has ordered provincial leaders in China to adopt measures to reduce the price of residential property price. Is this a signal of risks to invest in real estate market in China? The major cities in China, such as Shanghai, Beijing are embracing many opportunities. There are many factors to push the real estate price up. These factors include but are not limited to an increase in city population, Olympic Games, World Exhibition, booming economy, etc. This program will address current transactional, structuring and compliance issues regarding real estate investing, lending, leasing and transfer activities in the People's Republic of China and relevant rules, including emphasis on tax, regulatory and due diligence issues presented by investments in PRC real property by non-PRC persons.

CLE: Rising Affluence and Post-WTO Reforms: Converging Trends Boost Franchising in China
In November of 2004, a two-day conference and exhibition on franchising in China was held in three major cities: Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Over 20,000 visitors attended. Seven categories of franchising businesses were represented, with the preferred industries for investment being food & beverage (34%) and laundry services (30%). More than 50% of the vi! sitors said they wanted to invest in a unit franchise store. Of those, 72% planed to invest US$60,000 or more in a franchise. At the same time that business trends were attracting increasing interest in the possibility of investing through franchising, China adopted key legal reforms aimed at integrating what had been a hodge-podge of various regimes relating to franchising activities. Some of the reforms are controversial, some predictable. This program intends to describe the new regulatory environment and its implications, as well as to glean first-hand experiences from companies engaged in franchising as a means to expand their business in China.

Committee Program: Managing the Crossfire of Multi-Dimensional Governmental Involvement in Foreign Investments in China
Foreign investment in China is subject to a multi-dimensional approval system . With the assortment of authorities involved, bureaucratic oversight and jurisdictional disputes are pervasive.

Establishment of a new company that involves investments above a certain “floor” is subject to the examination and approval of the central government. If the total investment were under this “floor”, the approval of the government at the provincial or municipal level would be sufficient. However, at all levels, a single project will usually involve the approval of more than one governmental agency. To begin a foreign investment project, the National Development and Reform Commission or its local counterparts are involved; with regard to the joint venture contract and articles of association of a ”Foreign Investor Enterprise”, the Ministry of Commerce or its local counterparts must approve. For foreign exchange issues, the approval of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange or its local counterpart is required. For land use, approval by the State Land Administration Bureau or its local counterpart is necessary. If a Chinese partner ! that will contribute its tangible assets into a joint venture is a State-owned enterprise, then the State-Owned Assets Administrative Commission will review the appraisal of those assets. The State Administration of Taxation along with the State Council will determine the tax treatment of the transaction. For approval of the scope of the business, parties must go to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

To complicate matters, local governments that want to attract foreign investment, may indicate that they can fully approve a project; when they cannot .

This program will address how to manage in the cross fire of all these regulatory agencies, from four perspectives:

  • New regime for foreign investment approval by the NDRC and MOFCOM;
  • Special issues involved when acquiring Chinese State-owned enterprises;
  • Merger control rules for foreign investment;
  • Other regulatory processes in asset and equity acquisitions.

June 1, 2005 in Research Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)