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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.

摘要: 有关法治的含义及其实施的讨论不胜枚举。而对于法治概念的理解是无法离开对其所实施环境下的政治体制进行仔细研究。本文认为法治观念已在中国萌生,因而有必要将法治置于中国的政治秩序体制之中。首先,本文将探讨正在形成的法治观认为法治已经融入到推动社会主义现代化,发展社会主义民主,社会以及文化的进程中。只有将其置于中国共产党的基本路线,原则下,才能真正通过司法改革来实施法治。本文将分析法治观念的形成与党的基本路线是相融合的。十八届四中全会关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定为此提供了极佳的范本。其次,本文将讨论中国通过共产党和国家司法系统共同推行法治。本文最终将对当下改革进行评述并给出建议。


ENGLISH Rule of Law, the Chinese Communist Party

CHINESE 法治 党的路线和司法改革 rule of law