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Course Descriptions

As of 12/14/2017 5:42:50 AM

Const'l Theory & Prac in China

Constitutional Theory and Practice in Transitional China

This course aims to provide a historical and institutional understanding of Chinese constitutional law. China's formal engagement with constitutionalism began with the late 19th century constitutional reform, when the late Qing Dynasty attempted to introduce a parliamentary system, along with a modern legal system and local autonomy, to improve the governance of the old regime. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, China has been a republic in various forms, including those of the presidential system, the parliamentary system, a five-power constitutional system, the communist soviet system, and the congressional system under the China's Communist Party. How to assess these different systems? Do they share some commonalities that make them "Chinese"? How efficient are the various political and legal institutions in the history and under the current circumstances? Have there been any constitutional moments in China?

This course will examine the development of constitutional law in China, giving attention to both (1) the constitutional law's historical legacy and path dependence, and (2) the theory, ideology and engineering of the constitution in Mainland China since 1949. With respect to China's current constitution, we will study its horizontal and vertical divisions of powers and the basic rights it provides, including the relationship between China and Hong Kong and Macau SARS.