Chinese Law Past and Present - Potential of a legacy? Norms and Law on the Exercise of Power by the Executive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


At first glance, the reforms that China has undertaken since 1978 of administrative law and connected institutions do not seem to have many links to the pre-modern Chinese legal system or institutions, or the normative culture that these built on (the Confucianised legal system/Confucian-Legalist cultural tradition). At second glance, however, a comparison of elements of the late twentieth-century reforms of administrative law, and of administrative law and governance of pre-modern China, suggests a number of common features. In the paper, some of these features of the pre-modern legal and normative cultures and their possible role in current processes of reforms of administrative law in China are explored, and the possible potential that parts of the Chinese history of administrative law and supervisory institutions hold for the implementation of the Rule of Law in contemporary China is discussed. In an assessment of convergences between administrative law and underlying value systems related to prevention of abuse of executive power in China and in Europe (as a part of the West), elements of administrative law in China that are directed towards the protection of rights and interests of legal and natural persons and access to remedies, are compared with views on ‘Justice in Administration’ formulated by the Council of Europe. In the final part, some suggestions are made on comparable and divergent elements in the Rule of Law in the exercise of administrative powers in China and Europe, and on common ground for a dialogue between China and Europe for China’s course towards Rule of Law in the public administration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2004 Symposium on Culture, Law and Order
EditorsEric Sautede
Place of PublicationMacau
PublisherMacau Ricci Institute
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventMacau Ricci Institute 2004 Symposium on Culture, Law and Order - , Macao
Duration: 24 Nov 2004 → …


ConferenceMacau Ricci Institute 2004 Symposium on Culture, Law and Order
Period24/11/2004 → …

Cite this