The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of New South Wales











Monitoring Confucian Justice, Transition from the Maoist Era, Trends in Legal Reform, Court System Reform, Obstacles to the Rule of Law,  Developments in Trade Law and Corporate Governance, International Legal System, Legal Issues in Hong Kong SAR


Last updated: 17 June 2012



Comments are invited on anything contained in the listed documents and suggestions for additional linked documents are encouraged.


Email to: Policy@accci.com.au


Confucian Justice

Confucius on Justice and Human Rights


Joseph Chan, “Making Sense of Confucian Justice”, Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophy, Vol. 3 (2001).  The author examines three Confucian principles on the distribution of resources and concludes that these may also be interpreted as principles of justice, with impartiality binding them together.  Available online at: http://them.polylog.org/3/fcj-en.htm. 


Joseph Chan, “Human Rights and Confucian Virtues”, Harvard Asia Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Summer 2000).  Chan agrees that Confucianism is in need of transformation in order to accommodate human rights, but he argues that Confucianism has much to contribute to modern discourse on human rights and to the ongoing process of the development of human rights norms by its focus on mutual caring and love.  Available online at: http://www.asiaquarterly.com/content/view/79/40/.


From the Maoist Era


Transition from the Maoist Era


Philip C.C. Huang, “Centralised Minimalism: Semiformal Governance by Quasi Officials and Dispute Resolution in China”, Modern China, Vol. 34, No. 1 (2008), pp. 9-35.  Informal procedures for governance, which formed an important part of dispute resolution from imperial China through the Republic and the Maoist period, have persisted today.  Available for online purchase at: http://mcx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/1/9.


Stanley B. Lubman, Bird in a Cage: Legal Reform in China After Mao, Stanford University Press, 1999.  The book describes the cultural and institutional context in which legal reforms after Mao took place, and then examines dispute resolution by extrajudicial mediation and the courts.  The coverage is comprehensive with 472 pages.  Details are available at: http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=385.


Chih-yu Shih and Zhiyu Shi, Collective Democracy: Political and Legal Reform in China, The Chinese University Press, 1999.  This book does not discuss the transition from the Maoist era as such, but provides a firm foundation for recent political and legal reforms by describing the class nature of socialist law and how nascent visions of the rule of law emerged.  Details available at: http://www.chineseupress.com/english/e_front_page.html  Preview available at: http://books.google.com.au.



Legal Reform



General Trends in Legal Reform in China


EU-Asia Centre, “China and the Rule of Law,” Eurasia Review, 9 February 2015.  Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/09022015-china-rule-law-oped/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29.


Xinhua, “China Issues Legal Interpretation of Housing Expropriation Rights” People’s Daily 10 April 2012.  China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a statement ensuring that homeowners’ legitimate rights will be protected in land expropriation and housing demolition practices.  Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/7782795.html


Zhou Yinan, “Human Rights Added to Draft Law”, The Washington Post, 9 March 2012.  A draft amendment to the nation's criminal procedural law, which came under fire for permitting detention without informing family in some cases, has added the principle of protecting human rights to its general provisions.  Available at:

http://chinawatch.washingtonpost.com/2012/03/human-rights-added-to-draft-law.php.  A statement on the new amendment by People’s Daily is available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/7755910.html.


Sharon LaFraniere, “China Acts to Give Defendants Greater Rights”, The New York Times, 8 March 2012. China moved to enhance the rights of suspects and defendants in criminal cases, recommending that its handpicked national legislature adopt a series of Western-style safeguards in the most sweeping revisions to its criminal procedure code in 15 years.  Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/world/asia/china-acts-to-give-defendants-greater-rights.html


Loren B. Homer, “Registration of Chinese Protestant House Churches Under China’s 2005 Regulation on Religious Affairs: Resolving the Implementation Impasse” , Journal of Church and State, Vol. 52, No. 1 (July 2010), pp. 50-73.  According to the author, the new regulations appeare to offer hope to millions of Chinese believers that they wold soon be able to legalise their activities and worship in unregistered “house” churches and avoid the criminal prosecution and harassment that they experienced for many decades.  Available at: http://jcs.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/1/50.extract.


Qi Ming, “Analysis of Chinese Internet Law”, Chinese Law & Government, Vol. 43, No. 5 (September/October 2010), pp. 5-11.  This article offers information on the Internet law and its impact in the traditional legal system of China.  Available for purchase at: http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?ACR=clg.  Note that a number of supporting documents and regulations are printed in this copy of the journal.


Roderick O’Brien, “Two Commentators in the Slow Progress towards a Law on Religions”, China: An International Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2 (September 2010), pp. 374-385.  The author examines reasons for the China’s difficulty in preparing and passing comprehensive laws relating to religion.  Available by subscription at: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/china/v008/8.2.o-brien.pdf.


Tianjian Shi and Diqing Lou, “Subjective Evaluation of Changes in Civil Liberties and Political Rights in China”, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 19, No. 63 (January 2010), pp. 175-199.  The authors’ analysis of survey data and a content analysis of the People’s Daily revealed that an absolute majority of people believe that both civil liberty and political freedom in China have improved significantly since 1979.  Downloads may be ordered at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a918908682


Jiang Shigong, “Written and Unwritten Constitutions: A New Approach to the Study of Constitutional Government in China”, Modern China, Vol. 36 No. 1 (January 2010), pp. 12-46.  The author suggests that both a written constitution and an unwritten constitution comprise basic features of any constitutional system and illustrates this with four sources of China’s unwritten constitution.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://mcx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/1/12.


Daniele Stockmann and Mary Gallagher “Mass Media Mobilisation as a Means of Legal Reform in China”, prepared for delivery at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois (August-September). Available online at: http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/0/9/2/7/pages209272/p209272-1.php.


Liming Wang, “Rural Land Ownership Reform in China’s Property Law”, Frontiers of Law in China, Vol. 1, No. 3 (September 2006), pp. 311-328.  While the article appeared in print before the “Property Rights Law of the People's Republic of China” was enacted in March 2007, it is nevertheless useful in expressing the need for such a law and in anticipating its main provisions.  Downloads of the article may be purchased at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/g207r8770327x444/ and a translation in English of the law may be obtained at: http://www.lehmanlaw.com/resource-centre/laws-and-regulations/general/property-rights-law-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china.html.


Donald C. Clarke, “Introduction: The Chinese Legal System since 1995: Steady Development and Striking Continuities”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp 555-566.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.


Philip C.C. Huang, “Whither Chinese Law?” Modern China, Vol. 33, No. 3, (April 2007), pp. 163-194. The author examines the history of Chinese legal practices during the past century in order to determine the components that might be considered Chinese legal modernity.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://mcx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/2/163.


Jerome A. Cohen, “China’s Legal Reform at the Crossroads”, dated March 2006 by the Council on Foreign Relations.  Abbreviated text is available at: http://www.cfr.org/publication/10063/chinas_legal_reform_at_the_crossroads.html


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Legal Reforms in China: Problems and Prospects”, 18 April 2005.  A summary of the proceedings of the conference is available in two parts:  Panel I - Conducting Administration in Accordance with Law (yifa xingzheng): Efforts to Regulate Governments and Challenges Ahead; Panel II - Administering Justice for People (sifa weimin): China's Judicial Reform Efforts and their Limitations.  http://www.carnegieendowment.org/events/?fa=eventDetail&id=764.


Michael C.H. Jones, “Rule of Law and Culture”, Speech for the Organising Committee of Year 2002 Australia-China Festival, 6 December 2002.  Available at:  http://www.accci.com.au/jones5.htm.


J.J. Spigelman AC, “Convergence and the Judicial Role: Recent Developments in China”, address to the China Education Centre, University of Sydney, 11 July 2002.  Text and supporting documents are available at: http://www.accci.com.au/spigelman.htm.


Court System Reforms


Court System Reforms


Benjamin L. Liebman, “China’s Courts: Restricted Reform”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 620-638.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944


Shen Kui, “Commentary on ‘China’s Courts: Restricted Reform”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 639-643.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.


Xin He, “The Recent Decline in Economic Caseloads in Chinese Courts: Exploration of a Surprising Puzzle”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 190 (July 2007), pp. 352-374.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1209436.


Philip C.C. Huang, “Court Mediation in China, Past and Present”, Modern China, Vol. 32, No. 3 (July 2006), pp. 275-314.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://mcx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/32/3/275.


Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Science, “China’s Judicial System and Its Reform”, IDE Asian Law Series No. 2, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organisation, March 2001.  Available online at: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Als/02.html.



Obstacles to Rule of Law


Obstacles to Rule of Law in China


Ethan Michelson, “Justice from Above or Below? Popular Strategies for Resolving Grievances in Rural China” The China Quarterly, Vol. 193 (March 2008) pp. 43-64.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1809132.


Murray Scot Tanner and Eric Green, “Principals and Secret Agents: Central versus Local Control Over Policing and Obstacles to ‘Rule of Law’ in China”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 644-670.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.


Jamie P. Horsley, “The Rule of Law in China: Incremental Progress”, published online by the Commonwealth Institute, March 2006.   Available at: http://www.comw.org/cmp/fulltext/0603horsley.pdf.


Jean-Pierre Cabestan, “The Political and Practical Obstacles to the Reform of the Judiciary and the Establishment of a Rule of Law in China, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Vol. 10, No. 1 (April 2005). Available at: http://jcps.sfsu.edu/past%20issues/JCPS2005a/4%20Rule%20of%20Law_Cabestan.pdf.


Karla Hoff and Joseph Stiglitz, “After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies”, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Massachusetts, 28 August 2000.  Available online at http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/0/6/5/3/6/p65368_index.html.



Trade Law


Trade Law and the World Trade Organisation
(including international commercial law)


Minyou Yu, “WTO Dispute Settlement”, Frontiers of Law in China, Vol. 4. No. 4 (December 2009), pp. 489-646.  The author discusses China’s performance as a WTO member and proposals on its improvements.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/xn18621745n7/?p=f3ae61f6ee114dc8adc1f126526b3cd7&pi=0.


Gordon Y.M. Chan, “Administrative Monopoly and the Anti-Monopoly Law: An Examination of the Debate in China”, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 18, Issue 59 (March 2009), pp. 263-383.  Administrative monopoly is the abusive use of administrative power by government agencies to engage in monopolistic activities.  Available for online purchase at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g908174333.


Scott Wilson, “Law Guanxi: MNCs, State Actors, and Legal Reform in China”, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 17, Issue 54 (February 2008), pp. 25-51.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g787843833.


Vai Io Lo, “Legal Reform in China: Legislation on Business Entities”, UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2007.  Online version available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/erahca/29/.


Pitman B. Porter, “China and the International Legal System: Challenges of Participation”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 699-715.  This includes an analysis of China’s compliance with the WTO trade regime, as well as China’s international human rights diplomacy.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.


Julia Ya Qin, “Trade, Investment and Beyond: The Impact of WTO Accession on China’s Legal System”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 720-741.  http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.


Huang Dongli, “Commentary on ‘Trade, Investment and Beyond’”, The China Quarterly, No. 191 (September 2007), pp. 742-744.  Available for online purchase at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?iid=1346944.



Corporate Governance


Corporate Governance Issues


Zhang Yang, “Courts Feel Trials of Global Economy,” China Daily, 17 June 2013.  Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/17/content_16628333.htm.


Michael N.T. Tan, “Has the QFII Scheme Strengthened Corporate Governance in China”? China: An International Journal, Vol, 7, No. 2 (September 2009). Pp. 353-36p.  The author examines the extent to which the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme strengthened corporate governance in the Chinese listed entities.  Downloads may be ordered at: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/china/summary/v007/7.2.tan.html.


Phillip Stalley, “Can Trade Green China?  Participation in the Global Economy and the Environmental Performance of Chinese Firms”, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 18, Issue 61 (September 2009), pp. 567-590.  Available for online purchase at:  http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g913868771.


Chao Xi, Corporate Governance and Legal Reform in China, Published by Wildy Simmonds and Hill Publishing, 2009.  Available through online booksellers.


Jian Chen, Corporate Governance in China, RoutledgeCurzon, 2005.  A preview of the book is available from Google Books: http://books.google.com.au.


James V. Feinerman, “New Hope for Corporate Governance in China?” The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 590-612.  Online purchase is available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=6694791D1E3C34AF195209F582867B7F.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=1346972.


Tang Xin, “Commentary on ‘New Hope for Corporate Governance in China?’”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September 2007), pp. 613-619.  Online purchase is available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1346980.


Centre for Financial Market Integrity, “China Corporate Governance Survey”, 2007.  Available online at: http://www.iasplus.com/china/0704cfainstitutereport.pdf


Heidrick and Struggles with the School of Management at Fudan University, “Benchmarking Corporate Governance in China”, undated, but most probably 2006 or 2007.  Available in pdf at: http://www.heidrick.com/NR/rdonlyres/3994B2C3-9527-4DB7-B49E-A697DAE9D952/0/HS_Fudan_CorpGov.pdf.


Qiao Liu, “Corporate Governance in China: Current practices, Economic Effects and Institutional Determinante”, CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 53, No. 2 (2006), pp. 415-453.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://cesifo.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/52/2/415.



International Legal System


China and the International Legal System


Vladimir-Duro Degan, “The Value of the Manila Declaration on International Dispute Settlement in a Case in Which the Philippines Is a Party”, Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 11, No. 1 (13 February 2012). The article discusses the dispute arising when the Chinese Embassy delivered a protest to the Philippine government after Manila had invited foreign companies to bid for the right to explore for oil and gas in 15 areas, of which 2 were objected to by Chinese officials as not being part of the territorial seas of the Philippines within the 12-mile zone measured from its baselines.  It is available at: http://chinesejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/1/5.full.


Wang Zonglai and Hu Bin, “China’s Reform and Opening Up and International Law, Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 2, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 193-203.  The paper reviews both the benefits China has gained from its engaging with and using international law and the contribution made by China to international law in a wide range of areas covering international commerce and trade, environment protection, climate change, combating transnational crimes, human rights, disarmament, etc.  Downloads may be purchased at: http://chinesejil.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/9/1/193.


Pitman B. Potter, “China and the International Legal System:  Challenges of Participation”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September) pp. 699-715.  Online purchase available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1347036.


James Li Zhaojie, “Commentary on ‘China and the International Legal System: Challenges of Participation”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 191 (September), pp. 716-719.  Online purchase available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1347044.


Background information on globalisation and international law is available in section 5 of the Chamber’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s Public Inquiry into Australia’s Anti-dumping and Countervailing System is available at: http://www.accci.com.au/Antidumping.pdf.


Legal Issues in Hong Kong SAR

Legal Issues in Hong Kong SAR


James Keith, “Hong Kong in the Balance”, Brookings Northeast Asia Commentary, Number 25, June 2012.  Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2012/06/15-hong-kong-keith.

Andrew Higgins, “Hong Kong’s Next Leader, Leung Chin-Ying, Vows to Protect Freedoms, Seeks to Defuse Anger”, The Washington Post, 25 March 2012.  Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hong-kong-selects-new-leader-after-tumultuous-contest/2012/03/25/gIQA10c9YS_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines.


Andrew Higgins, “Hong Kong Turns on Its Tycoons”, The Washington Post, 22 March 2012.  Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/hong-kong-turns-on-its-tycoons/2012/03/19/gIQAHQ9DTS_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines.


Albert H. Y. Chen, “The Rule of Law under ‘One Country, Two Systems’: The Case of Hong Kong 1997-2010”, National Taiwan University Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 2011), pp. 269-300.  The author examines basic questions about the way in which the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR is interpreted and administered both in Hong Kong and in the PRC.  http://www.law.ntu.edu.tw/ntulawreview/articles/6-1/09-Article-Albert%20H.%20Y.%20Chen_p269-299.pdf.



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