Author: Wang Liming

This article reviews the historical development of Chinese civil law since reform and opening up of China and argues that the primary achievement of civil law legislation over the last four decades has been the formation of a comprehensive civil legal system. Today’s civil law system in China not only satisfies the institutional requirements for building a market economy but also constructs a legal rights system and establishes fundamental civil law principles, such as individual autonomy, equal protection, good faith, and fairness. In the 40 years since reform and opening up, there have been significant innovations with regard to the specific systems, systemic structures, and fundamental principles of Chinese civil law. This article summarizes the experiences of China’s civil law legislation since reform and opening up and looks ahead to how the anticipated “civil law codification” suitable for the modern era will develop a modern legal code based on China’s domestic circumstances.

In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Towards a Chinese Civil Code
In: The China Environment Yearbook, Volume 1 (2005)