The Constitution of China: A Contextual Analysis (Constitutional Systems of the World)

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9781841137407: The Constitution of China: A Contextual Analysis (Constitutional Systems of the World)
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This book on China's constitution and its tradition of constitutionalism is one of the first in the English language, and as such provides a much needed overview of China's constitutional history and present arrangements. The nine chapters are divided into three parts. The first part (Chapters 1 & 2) deals with China's constitutional history, its indigenous and Confucian antecedents, as well as the turbulent century which led up to the 1982 Constitution and the new order which this ushered in. The second chapter deals with the distinctive features of its current constitution. The second part (Chapters 3-6) introduces the institutional structure defined in the current constitution - the relationship between the Centre and the Regions, the role of the party and the role of the People's Congress, the meaning of the socialist rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary. The third part (Chapters 7-9) discusses the major developments in human rights and their deficiencies - the protection offered to life, liberty, property and equality, and at the same time the currently dormant areas of political and religious freedom. The book concludes with a chapter looking forward to the future of the People's Congress and Chinese constitutionalism. In sum, the book offers a readable account of the salient features of Chinese constitutional developments in all major areas.

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Review:

[An] intriguing and insightful volume [that is] highly recommended. -- S. K. Ma * CHOICE (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries) * ...a clear, concise, and accurate account of China's constitution. ...a good and brave book. It cannot have been an easy book to commission, and those at Hart Publishing deserve credit for its production... Anyone interested in China should read it - but the book merits a readership beyond these specialists. All of those interested in constitutions will find the book of considerable value, even if they would not normally read a volume on China. The challenges and debates that are found in the Chinese constitution have much to teach us about our own constitutional order, and about the significance of constitutions more generally. -- N. W. Barber * Law Quarterly Review, Volume 129 *

Synopsis:

This book offers a critical perspective for the evaluation of the nature and role of the constitution and of constitutional reform in China. China now represents a highly unusual combination of socio-historical circumstances in which a socialist legal system, headed by a communist party, is with apparent success abandoning many key features of the socialist tradition in the pursuit of a market economy and private rights in property. A particularly interesting feature of the Chinese case is that the constitutional basis for China's apparently highly-successful programme of economic reform is one developed for the Soviet Union some seventy years ago.It is thus an early case of a socialist legal transplant, and one that has outlived its progenitor by many decades. Even amongst socialist systems the Chinese case is especially interesting. China has remained fairly true to the original template: not only did the People's Republic of China ('PRC') in its 1982 Constitution retain the Stalinist model (albeit with an essentially Presidential constitutional form), it did so with a strong emphasis on ideology and a continuing commitment to communist party leadership.

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