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China Information and Sources:
China Law and Justice

 
China Law Administration and Associations

China Law Education and Research

International Sources: China Law and Justice

China's landmark property law takes effect
Oct. 1, 2007 - China's landmark Property Law that provides equal protection to both state and private properties was put into effect on Monday. The law approved by the national legislature in March after repeated revisions and unprecedented eight readings is seen as a significant step in the country's efforts to further economic reforms and boost social harmony. The 247-article law stipulates that no units or individuals may infringe upon the property of the state, the collective and the individual. "The law will inspire people's enthusiasm to create wealth and is helpful for them to fully enjoy the fruit of reform and opening-up," said Xu Xianming, president of the China University of Political Science and Law.
(Click the title for full story.)

"Stay-behind children" need education and guidance
September 23 – The number of juvenile dilingquents have leapt by 13% every year since 2000, many of them being stay-behind children, the children of migrant workers. "More and more juvenile delinquents in China are involved in violent acts or mafia activities, besides, quite a large number of them have used intelligent methods when committing offences, " said Shao Wenhong, the director of the research laboratory of the Supreme People’s Court.Currently there are 150 million migrant workers nationwide, who leave 29.9 million children back home. Without proper guardianship and family education, it is easy for stay-behind children to be misguided by bad information from the society. (Chinanews, Nanchang)

Anti-monopoly Law Adopted
Aug. 30, 2007 - The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Thursday adopted the anti-monopoly law to ensure fair competition and regulate market order. The law, which began to be drafted 13 years ago, will come into effect on Aug. 1, 2008. The law requires foreign purchases of Chinese companies to go through national security checks.

China's first anti-monopoly law to be voted Aug.24, 2007 BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's first anti-monopoly law, which requires foreign purchases of Chinese companies to go through national security checks, is expected to be put to a vote later this month after being 13 years of deliberation.

China: McDonald's Sued Over Receipt

July 27, 2007 - A lawyer has sued McDonald's in China because receipts it gave out were mostly in English, a state-run newspaper reported Friday. The Beijing Youth Daily said the lawyer, identified as Shan, argued that the use of English instead of Chinese was a violation of his rights.

"McDonald's offers food service in China, but it does not use Chinese, which ... violates the consumers' right to know," the newspaper quoted Shan as saying.

It said Shan decided to take action after eating at two of the company's restaurants in Beijing earlier this year.

Spokespeople for McDonald's were not available after repeated calls to their offices in Beijing on Friday.

The Youth Daily said Shan wants an apology and compensation of 1 yuan, about 13 U.S. cents. It did not give details on any court case.

The newspaper quoted a McDonald's official as saying the receipts were changed earlier this month, and that all its menus and advertisements were in Chinese.

Ex-chief of China's drug watchdog executed
July 10, 2007 - Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), was executed on Tuesday morning with the approval of the Supreme People's Court. Zheng, 63, was sentenced to death on May 29 by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court after being found guilty of taking 6.49 million yuan (about 850,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes and dereliction of duty. (Click title of this news for full report.)

  • China's courts recruit more staff for death penalty reviews
    BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's courts will hire 1,900 more staff for open court trials for second instance death sentence cases, according to a source with the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

     "Over the past year, the SPC has been recruiting personnel for local courts where case numbers are high," the unnamed SPC official told an inspection team of the National People's Congress, the parliament, in a working report.

    According to China's Criminal Procedural Law, since July 2006, open court sessions are obligatory when a second instance case is defended by a people's procuratorate.  Previously, most appeal cases -- even death penalty cases -- were not been heard in open court because of a lack of qualified personnel. A local court source confirmed that understaffing often made it impossible to try death penalty cases in open court sessions.

    Since 2005, Chinese media have exposed several errors of judgement in death sentence cases and have criticized courts for alack of caution.  If second instance trials are not heard openly, the public do not feel convinced -- the process is not transparent, the rights and interests of the accused are not fully protected, and judicial errors could occur," said the source, adding that the second line of defence is vital in correcting mistakes in original verdicts and preventing injustices.

    Last year, about 25,000 new staff were added to Chinese courts to beef up local courts.

    Statistics show that last year 889,042 people were convicted by courts at all levels across the country, and 153,724 people received sentences longer than five years, including life imprisonment and death penalty.  Figures from the Beijing No. 1 and No. 2 intermediate people's courts indicate that in the first five months of 2007 the number of death sentences dropped 10 percent from last year.

    China ex-drug chief appeals death sentence
    June 12, 2007 - China's former food and drug safety chief, facing execution for corruption amid a series of health scandals, has appealed against the death penalty, media said on Tuesday. Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, was convicted in May on charges of taking bribes and dereliction of duty. It was an harsh sentence, reflecting the weight China is giving to the issues of corruption and food safety as they grapple with a series of safety breaches involving toxins in food and other products.
  • Former head of China's drug watchdog sentenced to death
    People's Daily, May 29, 2007 - Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), was sentenced to death by a Beijing court Tuesday morning. Zheng, 63, was convicted of taking bribes and dereliction of duty, according to the first instance hearing of the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. (Click for full report.)
  • Yahoo sued over kowtowing to China, Vnunet.com April 20, 2007
  • Canadian gets life term in China Toronto Star, April 20, 2007
  • Chinese writer sues US movie giant over copyright
    Xinhua News, April 11, 2007 - A local court on Wednesday heard the lawsuit by a Chinese science fiction writer for alleged infringement of his copyright by US movie giant 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. The court open at 8:30 a.m. on the second day after the US government filed two WTO cases against China over intellectual property rights and access to the Chinese publication market. The writer, a 43-year-old Li Jianmin, said 20th Century Fox while producing the movie The Day After Tomorrow copied the creative conception and the major plots of two plays he completed in 2001 and 2002. Li lodged the lawsuit at the the Intermediate People's Court of Dongying, east China's Shandong Province in March last year. The court accepted the suit last April.
  • China Approves Property Law, Strengthening Its Middle Class, New York Times, Mar. 16, 2007
  • China toughens crackdown on corrpution
    Xinhua, Jan. 9, 2007 - Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday pledged a more severe and systematic crackdown on corruption in a key-note speech delivered at a national anti-graft conference. Hu, who is also the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), made the call at the Seventh Plenary Session of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), a three-day meeting that started on Monday. Acknowledging the progress the commission had made in the past year, Hu said the Party still faced an "arduous fight against corruption". (Click for full report)
     
  • Chinese prosecutors probe 9,582 commercial bribery cases in 2006
    Xinhua, Feb. 21, 2007 - Chinese prosecutors probed 9,582 commercial bribery cases involving public servants in 2006 Xinhua has learnt from the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP). As much as 1.5 billion yuan (192 million U.S. dollars) were involved in these cases, the SPP said. (Click for full report)Yahoo China wins lawsuit
    Dec. 21, 2006 - Yahoo China has won a lawsuit it brought against a local search engine operator over unfair competition, Yahoo China's owner, Alibaba.com, said on Thursday. Beijing's Second Intermediate Court ruled that Beijing Sanjiwuxian Internet Technology, operator of the Qihoo search engine, must stop competing unfairly and compensate Yahoo China for damages and legal costs, Alibaba said in a statement. Beijing Sanjiwuxian was also required to make a public announcement clarifying "incorrect allegations," the statement said, without specifying the size of any possible damages. (Click for full report)


    Chinese Paliement National People's Congress (NPC)
     
  • Brother of China's Last Emperor Loses Lawsuit for Image Rights
    Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2006 - The 88-year-old younger brother of China's last emperor Aisin Giorro Pu Yi (1906-1967) has lost a lawsuit in which he claimed copyright of the emperor's image. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, in its final verdict, ruled that from the last emperor to an ordinary citizen of new China, Aisin Giorro Pu Yi's life was closely connected with China's history. As he was a public figure, the exhibitors had not infringed upon his image right in holding photo exhibitions of Pu Yi's life and political activities. Pu Yi's brother Jin Youzhi, with the original name of Aisin Giorro Pu Ren, found in November last year that photos of Pu Yi were displayed at an exhibition for six years in the Forbidden City, the imperial residence in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. (Click for full story)
     
  • Weapons smugglers could face death penalty
    Xinhua Nov. 16, 2006 - China's Supreme People's Court on Thursday announced that anyone found smuggling more than ten artillery shells across the country's borders would receive the death penalty or life imprisonment. According to a judicial interpretation of the criminal law on smuggling cases issued by the court, people who smuggle between five and ten conventional less-than-60-millimeter shells or grenades across the border, or no more than five more-than-60-millimeter conventional shells will face over seven years in prison and a fine or confiscation of property. People who smuggle more than one unconventional shell in or out of the country, or more conventional artillery shells or grenades than the numbers detailed above will be adjudged to be committing smuggling offences of "an extraordinarily serious nature" and shall be given life imprisonment or death penalty in line with Article 151 of the Criminal Law. People who smuggle less than five less-than-60-millimeter conventional shells will face a prison sentence of between three and seven years and a fine.
     
  • Top Legislature Passes New Laws
    Xinhua News, Apr. 30, 2006 - New laws relating to farm products quality and safety, passports and many other important documents were adopted at the five-day 21st session of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress which concluded Saturday in Beijing.  The law on the quality and safety of farm products will take effect on November 1 and the passport legislation on January 1, 2007. (Click for full report)
     
  • International Brands Unite to Fight Counterfeits in China Xinnhua News May 4, 2006 - 19 international brand-name firms have launches a joint year-long campaign to monitor counterfeit goods in China, to help the government protect intellectual property rights. (Click for full report)
     
  • Vuitton Wins Fake Handbag Case in Beijing
    China Daily, April 18, 2006 -  A department store in Beijing which was selling fake handbags supposedly produced by designer Louis Vuitton has been ordered to pay the Frenchman 150,000 yuan (US$18,500) by a city court. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Chaowai Men's Department Store had infringed the world-famous Vuitton trademark. (Click for full report)
     
  • Former minister sentenced to life imprisonment
    Xinhua News, Dec. 27, 2005 -- Tian Fengshan, former Chinese Minister of Land and Resources, was sentenced to life imprisonment and deprived of political rights for life on Tuesday for accepting bribes worth 4.36 million yuan (538,270 U.S. dollars.) (Click for full report)
     
  • China issues new regulation on food safety
        BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) -- China's cabinet publicized a special regulation on the supervision of food safety on Friday amid serious criticism from home and abroad of the quality of food products made in China.

        The regulation issued by the State Council is aimed at intensifying the control over producers and distributors dealing with food products. The main points are:

        -- Inspection and quarantine authorities, as well as commercial and drug supervisors, should establish positive and negative records for Chinese food exporters and submit the records to the media regularly.

        -- Local governments at county level and above are mainly responsible for the supervision of food product safety.

        -- Exporters of food products who provide fake quality certificates or evade quality and quarantine inspections will be fined three times the product's value.

        China has faced a barrage of international criticism over the state of its food industry in the first six months of the year following a series of scandals.

        The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced at the end of March that pet food imported from China had caused the deaths of cats and dogs. Later, in May, Chinese toothpaste was found to contain diethylene glycol in Central America and the United States.

        Japan, Singapore, Australia and other countries sent back millions of toothpaste tubes and Canada halted imports from China.

        The FDA also refused seafood products from China in June, saying that it would not resume imports until Chinese exporters provided necessary safety certificates.

        The regulation has also set out rules on the supervision of imported food products.

        -- China's imported food products should meet both the national compulsory standards and criteria in the contracts signed by Chinese importers and foreign exporters.

        -- Chinese importers should make detailed records of domestic distributions for imported food products and the records should be kept for at least two years.

        -- Inspection and quarantine authorities should establish a blacklist for foreign exporters and to seriously punish domestic importers who introduced unqualified food products.

 


National People's Congress - China's Top Law Maker

A civil case hearing at China Supreme People's Court, Beijing

 

China Law & Justice Pictures


As a deterrent, two jewellery shop robbers are shown to the public in Luonan County, Shaanxi Province.

 


Pictures: Public humiliation of criminals in Henan


Pictures: Female Drug Dealers Last 12 Hours Before Execution


Pictures: A campaign of cutting down crimes - in a "Chinese Way"?

What Official Sources Say

  • China, EU found first joint law school - The CESL is an important step in China-EU cooperation and in China's progress to rule of law, Li said. He called on China and the European Union to operate the CESL as an important platform to learn from each other and cultivate professionals acquainted with both Chinese and EU law.

    Barroso said the CESL would help to increase mutual understanding and cement the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

    Meeting with Barroso before the ceremony, Li called for strengthening of dialogue and cooperation between China and the EU.

    The CESL is a part of the China University of Political Science and Law. Jointly operated by 16 Chinese and European universities, the CESL aims to cultivate a new generation of comprehensively trained law professionals proficient in international legal procedure. (Oct. 24, 2008 Xinhua)

Picture Report


A foreign prisoner (detained in a prison in Shanghai) using old newspapers made a model of the Bird’s Nest (China National Stadium for 2008 Summer Olympics). The prisoner used old newspapers to curl into more than 8,000 long sticks and 10,000 short sticks and made the model, it took him 28 days to complete.

Facts and Figures

  • Total number of lawyers in China 118,000 - about 0.8 per 10 thousand population (source: Ministry of Justice 2007)
  • Total number of law firms: 11,000, 70% of them are partnership firms.
  • Total number of judges: 190, 961 (2004)
  • Total number of laws and regulations: 1979-1983: 4119 issued; 1996-2000: 37775 issued
    2001-2004: 94288, issued
  • Total number of verdicts made: 1,179,388 (1981); 5,625,310 (2004)

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Laws Regarding General Business

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  • Detailed Rules For The Implementation Of The Law Of The People's Republic Of China On Sino-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures
  • Rules for the Implementation of the Income Tax Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning Chinese-Foreign Joint Ventures
  • The Income Tax Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning Foreign Enterprises
  • Interim Provisions of the State Council of the People's Republic of China for the Control of Resident Representative Offices of Foreign Enterprises
  • The Law of the People's Republic of China on Enterprises Operated Exclusively with Foreign Capital
  • Notice of the General Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Handling of Registration Matters by Resident Representative Offices of Foreign Enterprises
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News about China Lawyers

Number of Lawyers Rapidly Rising in China

The number of lawyers in China has jumped to the present 110,000 from a mere 200 two decades ago, a seminar has been told. Addressing a seminar on international cooperation in the modern tertiary industry, Jia Wuguang, general secretary of the All-China Lawyers Association, said a sharp rise in the number of lawyers shows the rapid expansion of the country's legal services.

There are now nearly 10,000 law offices in China, he said. They include lawyers specializing in the securities, finance and real estate sectors. There is a great market potential for lawyers as the economy becomes knowledge-based and emerging sectors become mainstream, added the general secretary.

He explained the knowledge-based economy and emerging sectors will need more professional legal services than the traditional economy did.

Moreover, he described legal services as an important part of the sound investment environment essential for overseas investors.

China has been steadily opening its legal services market to the outside world since early 2001 and 104 foreign law firms and 28 Hong Kong law offices have set up branches on the Chinese mainland. (July 8, 2002)

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Report: China Remains Top Executioner

Executions jumped by a third in Iran and quadrupled in Saudi Arabia last year, causing the total number of executions around the world to rise yet again in 2007, a human rights group reported, adding that China remained far in front as the world's top executioner.

The Rome-based Hands Off Cain, which campaigns to stop the death penalty, said that while countries were increasingly renouncing the death penalty, more people were put to death in 2007 than in either of the previous two years.

In all, the number of executions increased last year to at least 5,851, compared with 5,635 in 2006 and 5,494 in 2005, the group said in its annual report.

The gradual trend of abolishing capital punishment continued, with 49 countries retaining the death penalty, compared with 51 in 2006 and 54 in 2005. Only 26 countries that have capital punishment on their books actually used it in 2007, down from 28 in 2006, the report said.

China alone accounted for at least 5,000 executions, the rights group estimated, based on reports by the media and other human rights groups. The exact number of executions in China remains a state secret. This was the same estimate the group gave for China last year.

However, Hands Off Cain said there were indications of a reduction in the number of death sentences in China.

Citing reports by magistrates, researchers and rights groups, the group said death sentences issued by Chinese courts may have dropped by up to 30% in 2007. China's own Supreme People's Court has said it rejected 15 percent of all death sentences reviewed in the first half of this year.

In Iran, at least 355 people were put to death last year, compared with 215 in 2006, the group said, adding that the figure may be even higher because Tehran does not publish official statistics.

Saudi Arabia carried out 166 executions, compared with 39 a year earlier, the report said. Hands Off Cain said both Iran and Saudi Arabia executed minors, in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Pakistan also continued an upward trend, executing at least 134 people.

The US remained the only country in the Americas that carried out death sentences in 2007 - putting 42 people to death, 11 less than in 2006 and the lowest number in 13 years.

China's first anti-monopoly law takes effect

BEIJING, Aug. 1 2008 (Xinhua) -- China's first anti-monopoly law took effect on Friday, viewed as a milestone of the country's efforts in promoting a fair competition market and cracking down on monopoly activities.

The law, which was proposed 14 years ago and finally received official approval last year from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, aimed to build a uniform, open, transparent market, and to encourage fair competition, experts said.

Sheng Jiemin, a Peking University law professor, told Xinhua it had introduced some advanced concepts from America's anti-monopoly law, which strikes at dominating enterprises' monopolistic activities and puts safeguarding consumer rights as priority.

 "It is different from other economic laws," Sheng explained. "Punishment usually comes after a long and thorough investigation and research under the anti-monopoly law."

The State Council, China's Cabinet, said it had established an Anti-monopoly Committee earlier this week. It will research and map out relevant laws, investigate and monitor enterprises and companies, assess the competition situation in the market and cooperate with other government bodies to enforce the law.

Despite this significant improvement in the country's economic reform and legal system, experts felt the government still had a lot to do to perfect the law and enhance its efficiency. "There is possibility for crossing and overlay of the functions between the three law enforcement bodies," Sheng said. "It is hoped that an unified institution comes out in the coming years, which will be better in accordance with the country's situation."

"The country currently has no better measures to solve the monopoly problem in some crucial centrally-administrated and state-owned large enterprise and industrials," said Zhang Yansheng, the NDRC's International Economic Research Institute director.

Any activities that harm consumer rights were discouraged, Zhang added.

Three government organs, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Commerce, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), will enforce the law and carry out its implementation in a coordinated fashion.

The SAIC said earlier it had established an independent bureau, which was in charge of investigating and punishing unfair competition, commercial bribery, smuggling and other cases that broke relevant economic laws.

In addition, the country's top economic regulator, the NDRC, finished a draft of the anti-price monopoly law regulation earlier this week, which was a component of the anti-monopoly law.

According to the draft, monopolizing enterprises that intended to control prices, dump their products at extremely low prices and sold products at various prices between different consumers at random, would face punishment.

"The anti-price monopoly law regulation will determine the government's actions in cracking down on price monopoly via a legal basis," said Li Lei of the NDRC's price supervision department.

 The anti-monopoly law was not expected to shake the country's "4S" automobile marketing mode, which features a combination of "sales, spare parts, service, and survey," market analysts said.

 "Since no single automobile enterprise dominates the domestic market, there is no monopoly in this sector," said a Ministry of Commerce official who declined to be named. "The only problem is excessive competition."

 

 


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