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Professor Sun Xianzhong: promoting the Progress in China through the Civil Law

Recently, Professor Sun Xianzhong, a research fellow at CASS Law Institute and a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), has put forward a new bill on the General Principles of the Civil Law at this year’s session of the NPC. It is the fifth bill on the General Principles of the Civil Law put forward by Professor Sun in four years. “The General Principles of Civil Law, as the first part of the Chinese Civil Code, plays the leading role in the Civil Code. The current General Principles of Civil Law was adopted in 1986. Most of its civil-rights related content has already been replaced by the relevant provisions of the Property Law, Contract Law, Intellectual Property Law and other laws.” Professor Sun pointed out. In an investigation at people’s courts, he found out that, of the 156 articles in the current General Principles of Civil Law, only about a dozen can still be applied by courts. The Law has now actually become an “empty shell”. Since the civil law touches upon every aspect of the life of very individual and organization, the compilation of the Civil Code is a basic project in the construction of the state law system in China. In the compilation of the Code, China should abide by the principles of equality, fairness, good faith and public order and moral: “the General Principles of Chinese Civil Law must deal with issues that are common to all countries in the world, as well as those that are unique to China. The Civil Code will enable the rights concept to enter into the daily life of every individual citizen, thus promoting the gradual advancement of Chinese society.” On March 8, the Fourth Draft of the General Principles of the Civil Law was published. Professor Sun pointed out that: “Compared with the Third Draft, the newly published Fourth Draft embodies many new changes.” Recently, he has always been carrying this draft with him when attends the NPC session so that he can write down on it his opinions on the revision of the draft whenever they come up. But his focus of attention will soon change: “The General Principles of the Civil Law is only the first step of the compilation of the Civil Code. Our task at the next stage is to integrate various other laws into the Civil Code. After the adoption of the General Principles of the Civil Law, we must to start the revision of the Property Law, the Contract Law, the Marriage Law, and the Family Law. This second step will be as arduous as the first one.”

主办:中国社会科学院法学研究所、国际法研究所
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