VIII. Legal Publicity, Legal Education and Legal Research
(1) Legal Publicity
——Starting the implementation of Seventh Five-Year Plan for the dissemination of the knowledge of the law. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council retransmitted the Seventh Five-Year Plan of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Ministry of Justice on the Dissemination of the Knowledge of the Law for Publicity and Education among Citizens (2016-2020). All provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities made arrangements for the implementation of the Seventh Five-Year Plan. More than 50 departments and industries printed and distributed copies of the plan among their employers. A lecture group was formed for the purpose. It was composed of 43 lecturers selected from among the core members of the middle-aged and young people in law and leading cadres of the central political-legal organs.
——The Organization Department and Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly printed and distributed the Opinions on Improving the System for the Study and Use of the Law by Government Functionaries in March. It put forward six major measures of improving the study system of the central groups of Party committees for the study of law, and improving the system for the regular study of the law, strengthening training for promoting the rule of law, persisting in making policy decisions according to law, performing duties strictly according to law and improving the assessment and evaluation mechanism. The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice and the National Office of the Dissemination of the Knowledge of the Law issued the Programme for the Rule of Law Education among Young People and Children. It proposed the overall targets for the rule of law education among young people and children: disseminating the knowledge of the rule of law, fostering the consciousness of abiding by the law, standardizing the behaviors and habits, developing the sense of the rule of law, putting the idea of the rule of law into action and establishing belief in the rule of law. It was required that necessary knowledge of the law shall be included in the scope of assessment for school studies in the different stages of the students, and properly added in the entrance examinations for senior middle schools and schools of higher learning, and the attainments in the rule of law shall be regarded as an important part of the overall attainments of the students.
——Organizing publicity activities to mark the National Constitution Day. The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Justice and the National Office of the Dissemination of the Knowledge of Law jointly distributed the Circular on Organizing Concentrated Publicity Activities for the December 4 National Constitution Day in 2016 in November, made arrangements for a series of publicity activities on the Constitution and internal party regulations. Its theme was “Make Large Efforts to Develop the Spirit of the Rule of Law and Promote the ‘Four Comprehensives Strategy through Coordination’”. The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the General Office of the NPC Standing Committee and the Ministry of Justice jointly held a symposium to mark the December 4 National Constitution Day in December. The Ministry of Justice, the National Office of the Dissemination of the Knowledge of Law and CCTV presented a special programme for the occasion on giving awards to persons selected for outstanding merits in promoting the rule of law in 2016 under the theme of “the Spirit of the Constitution and the Power of the Rule of Law”. The Ministry of Justice, the National Internet Information Office and the National Office of the Dissemination of the Knowledge of Law and the CCTV jointly organized the thirteenth carton micro-film show on the rule of law and the Tenth National Legal Knowledge Competition of 100 websites and WeChat public number under the theme of “Studying the knowledge of the Law and Foster the Belief in the Rule of Law”. Local publicity departments also organized publicity and education activities with special characteristics.
——Establishing the media public interest system for the dissemination of the knowledge of law. The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, the Central Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Justice, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Television and Film and the National Office of Dissemination of the Knowledge of the Law jointly distributed the Plan for Strengthening the Work of Public Interest Publicity to the Dissemination of the Knowledge of the Law by the News Media and Internet. Anhui and other provinces also issued normative documents on the public interest dissemination of the knowledge of the law, and established a joint meeting system on the public interest dissemination of the knowledge of the law, the system of the list of the names of the principal media organizations for law dissemination, the public interest record system and public interest law knowledge dissemination assessment mechanism. New media and new technologies were widely used in the dissemination of the knowledge of the law. There were about 800,000 subscribers for the WeChat public number for the dissemination of the knowledge of law in China, and the total number of fans for Microblog, Wechat and clients for the popularization of law exceeded six million. With the Microblog, WeChat and mobile client playing the leading role, it integrated the new media for the national popularization of the law and other new forms of news report and information to form the new media matrix for national law popularization.
——Continuing to organize the activities of “Double-Hundred” (one hundred lectures by one hundred jurists). While the “Double-Hundred” activities were carried out for leading government officials at all levels in 2016, more lectures on the rule of law were organized for teachers and students in schools of higher learning. The organizing committee invited noted specialists and scholars in law to give collectively prepared lectures on the topics of “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important thoughts on the rule of law”, “the Legal Guarantee for the Implementation of the Five Concepts for Development”, “Put the Economic and Social Development on the Track of the Rule of Law”, “Promote the Exercise of Administration by Law to Accelerate the Construction of the Law-based Government”, “Uphold the Overall State Security Concept to Safeguard the State Security according to Law”, and “Use the Rule of Law Thinking and the Rule of Law Approaches to Promote the Construction of Ecological Civilization. The lecturers gave a total of 2,893 lectures for a total audience of more than 1,180,000 person times.
——Continuing to carry out the activities of young volunteers in popularizing legal culture at the grassroots. The local law societies at all levels carried out publicity activities for law popularization with peculiar characteristics and obvious results under distinctive themes. Their publicity activities were extended from schools, government offices, enterprises and rural areas to military camps, hubs of communications, shopping centres and markets. The audiences included grassroots cadres, peasants, urban residents, students and employers, servicemen, disabled persons, permanent alien residents. They organized more than 212,000 activities, released more than 30 million pamphlets, provided more than 110,000 legal services, and more than 55million people benefited from the activities and services in 1,876 counties and cities.
——Intensively carrying out activities of promoting the rule of law at different levels and in diversified forms. The local regions deepened their activities of creating law-based cities and law-based counties (and districts) to create systems for promoting regional law-based governance of society. They deepened the law-based governance of the basic-level organizations and made large efforts to create democratic and law-based villages (communities), and promoted democracy and the rule of law at the basic level. All departments and industries deepened the law-based governance, and carried out activities of creating “demonstration units for exercising administration by law”, “demonstration windows for civilized law enforcement”, “honest and law-abiding businesses” and “running demonstration schools according to law”. They exercised administrative power, handled matters and managed affairs according to law.
——Trans-departmental training of legal personnel. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate held the fourth informal discussion with five law professors selected from universities to take up temporary posts in the procuratorate in May. The Ministry of Education popularized the mechanism for training legal personnel through cooperation between law schools and judicial organs throughout the country, introduced from the Northwest China University of Political Science and Law throughout the country. The Supreme People’s Court accepted 50 trainees in law from law schools and scientific institutions in October. Law schools and legal departments exchanged the lists of teachers selected from law schools and judicial workers selected from judicial organs in December. A total of 223 specialists from judicial organs and 219 teachers from law schools were selected from each side in December. The selected teachers would work as judges or procurators while the selected judicial personnel would teach in law schools. The China Applied Law Research Institute of the Supreme People’s Court started the enrolment of law school graduates for post-doctoral studies.
——Educational reform for masters of law. The Ninth Master of Law Educational Forum was held in Beijing in January. The theme of the forum was “Innovation of the Mechanism for the Training of Legal Personnel and Development of the Education for Graduate Students for Academic Degrees of Law”. The National Work Conference on the Assessment of the Second Batch of Cases from the Teaching Case Bank for Masters of Law under the Education Guidance Committee for Postgraduates of Different Academic Degrees in Law was held in Beijing in June. It collected a total of 118 teaching cases, and entered 44 of them in the bank. A training class of practice teaching for masters of law was opened in July. The Law School of the China Ren Min University issued the plan for the reform of the system for the training of masters (2016-2019), and adopted the measures of optimizing the proportion and direction for enrolment, strengthening the construction of the course and examination question bank, and improving the scholarship system and practice and job security. The Southwest China University of Political Science and Law established the China Arbitration College to train high-quality applied personnel from among masters of law by offering arbitral courses
——Theme study for legal education and more academic seminars. The Third National Legal Education High-end Forum and the Asian-Pacific Law School Dean Forum were held in Beijing in May. The topics for discussion included English legal education, legal profession in change and law schools. The 2016 Annual Meetings of the Guidance Commission for Legal Education in Schools of Higher Learning under the Ministry of Education, the Legal Education Research Society of the China Law Society and the Forum on New Development Concept and the Legal Education Reform were held in July. Participants had intensive discussions on the construction of the legal profession community, the development of the rule of law in the western regions and construction of moot courts. The Seventh Strait Forum of Deans of Law Schools was held in October. More than 100 specialists and scholars, including nearly 100 presidents of 60 universities and deans of law schools, were present. They had discussions on the issues concerning the construction of legal course and personnel training. The Fifth China-Australia Meeting of Deans of Law Schools was held in the Law School of the University of Western Australia in October. Fourteen Chinese deans of law schools and more than 30 deans of law schools of Australia had discussions on the “latest development of the legal education and policies of legal education in China and Australia”, “the impact of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement on legal education”, “how to promote the interdisciplinary teaching and studies in the legal education”, and the “the development the legal profession and legal education”. The Northwest China University of Political Science and Law set up the anti-terrorism law school, and the first class of anti-terrorism-oriented doctor candidates passed the oral defence of their theses. The Training Base for International Judicial Exchange and Cooperation of the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization of the Shanghai College of Political Science and Law was completed to become an important platform for training judicial and law enforce personnel, training graduate students in the legal profession and promoting international judicial exchanges and cooperation.
(3) Legal Research
——Promoting the theoretical research on the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics. The China Law Society, decided on 12 major special topics on the interpretation of the spirit of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China on the basis of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan, the spirit of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC and the lectures given by one hundred jurists. The Dong Biwu Legal Thought Research Society of the China Law Society held an academic seminar under the theme of “Carry Forward Dong Biwu’s spirit of the rule of law to promote the new innovation and development of the socialist rule of law theory with Chinese characteristics”. The Rule of Law Research Base of the China Law Society decided on the research on anti-terrorism, research on the South China Sea policy and law, research on the ASEAN law, research on the development of the rule of law and judicial reform, research on public law and research on the assessment of the rule of law. Organized and compiled by the China Law Society, the book Promote the Innovation and Development of the Socialist Rule of Law Theory with Chinese Characteristics was published.
——Research on legislative consultation and legislative theory. The China Law Society held 37 consultation meetings to discuss the drafts of the General Principles of the Civil Law, the Charity Law, the Environmental Protection Law, and 27 other laws, eight administrative regulations and two important departmental rules in 2016. The Local Legislative Assessment Academic Symposium of the Chongqing “2011 Plan” Cooperative Innovation Centre was held in March. It discussed the issues of the rule, efficiency and technique of the local legislation. The 11th China Jurists’ Forum was held in August. Its theme was “Compilation of the Civil Code: Theory, System and Practice”. A legislation seminar on the compilation of the Marriage and Family part and the Tort Liability Law part of the China Civil Code was held in October. The Legislation Science Research Society of the China Law Society held an academic annual meeting in November. Its theme was “Theory and Practice of the Socialist Legislation with Chinese Characteristics”. A high-end forum on the issues of civil and commercial legislation and the part of the Contract Law in the compilation of the Chinese Civil Code was held in December.
——Research on the socialist judicial theory with Chinese characteristics. The China Law Society organized specialists and scholars to take part in the drafting and argumentation of the Opinions on the Reform of the Criminal Procedure System with Adjudication as the centre and made the third party evaluation of the four reforms of the judicial system, including the reform of the system of filing cases for registration in 2016. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate published its 2016 topics for procuratorial theoretical research in July. It decided on 122 procuratorial judicial theory topics. The Supreme People’s Court published its 28 major topics for judicial research for 2016 in November. China’s first theoretical forum on the construction of the new-type judicial think tank was held in Shanghai in December. The country’s first provincial judicial think tank society was established at the same time.
——Legal research on the Issue of the South China Sea. The China Law Society organized specialists and scholars to offer opinions and suggestions on the South China Sea arbitration case and issued the “Statement on the Unilateral South China Sea Arbitration Case Filed by the Republic of the Philippines”. It supported and guided the Maritime Law Society to unite with the related universities in forming the phalanx for “the study of the Law of the Sea”, and invited noted specialists in the field of the international law and the Law of the Sea to make major studies on the South China Sea issue and publish their articles in the media. The First High-End Forum on the Law of the Sea was held in March. The Wuhan University and the Leiden University of the Netherlands held the Symposium on the South China Sea Case and the International Rule of Law in June. A Seminar on the South China Sea Case attended by legal experts was held in Beijing in July. An Academic Seminar on the Impact on and Response to the South China Sea Case was held in the Nanjing University in July. The Second High-end Forum on the Law of the Sea was held in Dalian in December.
——Plentiful achievements in the legal research made by all departments of legal sciences. The study of the constitutional law centered on the issues of the relations between the Constitution and the departmental laws, the Constitution and the formulation of new laws and the revision, annulment and interpretation of the laws, and the constitutional basis for making laws in the major fields. Jurisprudence focused on the issues of the law-based governance of the country and system construction in the background of globalization. Administrative Law focused the discussions on the legal issue of failure to exercise administration by law, market regulation and the Administrative Law, procuration and supervision over the administrative violation of the law, and the new problems of the law-based government. Civil Law focused its studies on the theory and practice of the compilation of the Civil Code. Intellectual Property Law focused its study on the relations between intellectual property rights and the Civil Code, construction of the intellectual property courts, and the Internet and intellectual property rights. Economic law centered on the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan, the five major development concepts, the reform of the supply-side structural reform and other hot issues of the economic and social development. Commercial jurisprudence strengthened its studies on the issues of the construction of the specific legal system for the commercial law and the internationalization of the financial rule of law. Criminal procedure law focused the study on the theme of “promoting the reform of the criminal procedure system with adjudication as the centre”. Social law centered on themes of “the new normal of the economy, sharing of development and social law”. Criminal law centered on the “relations between the criminal law and the administrative law in the reform of the criminal law”, “the judicial application to the crime of terrorism”and “the judicial application to the crime of information networks” International economic law centered on the “international economic law and the governance of the global economy”、Chinese legal history centered on the “transformation of the legal system and political civilization”. Foreign legal history centered on “drawing on the experience of foreign countries in the compilation of the Civil Code”.