The main objective of this course is to introduce you to the study of Chinese law as a developing legal system in an authoritarian political system. After the creation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, law occupied an uncertain position in China's new socialist system, but since 1978, primarily in order to initiate and carry out economic reforms, there has been very rapid legal development. What these commitments might mean is one of the key issues explored in this course, in which we shall examine core aspects of the Chinese legal system. We begin by looking at the relationship between law and politics and the place of the legal system in the larger political system. We then look at constitutional law, administrative law, contemporary Chinese legal institutions, criminal justice and civil procedure and dispute resolution processes, and several areas of Chinese law from historical and comparative perspectives.
The course will be organized in a seminar format. During each class, the instructor will lecture on one particular topic, and students will be encouraged to participate in discussion.
This course will be assessed by a final 24 hour take-home exam.
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