Rule of Law, the Chinese Communist Party Basic Line, and Judicial Reform
Larry Catá Backer (白柯)
Paper prepared for International Conference on the “Rule of Law and Judicial Reform” held in Beijing on 11th and 12th December 2015, sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and organized by the CASS Institute of Law
Abstract: There has been much debate about rule of law with respect to its definition and application. It is impossible, however, to appreciate the context in which rule of law acquires its meaning without a careful attention to the political system within which it necessarily operates. This paper considers the specific context in which the concept of socialist rule of law has arisen in China. To that end it is necessary to place the rule of law within the normative framework of the political order of the Chinese state. To that end this paper first considers the emergence of the current understanding of the rule of law as an integral part of the objective of socialist modernization and the development of socialist democracy, culture and society. Once contextualized within this basic line of the Chinese Communist Party, the application of the rule of law within the efforts to reform the judicial function may be better evaluated. The paper begins with an analysis of the evolution of the rule of law concept as an integral part of the CCP Basic Line. To that end it considers rule of law and judicial reform through the lens of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress. It then considers the means chosen to implement rule of law within the judicial structures of China both within the CCP itself and in the state organs, including the Judicial department of the state. The paper ends with an evaluation of the current state and offers thoughts on how to build from that foundation.
CHINESE 法治 党的路线和司法改革 rule of law