Lecture Prof. ZHANG Haizheng (BFSU): “Recent Developments of Chinese Civil Law”
May 31, 2017, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
China’s national legislature passed and promulgated the General Provisions of Civil Law on 15th March 2017. It will be the opening chapter of the Chinese civil code which is planned to be enacted in 2020. My presentation will emphasize on the remarkable features and significant changes of the Chinese new civil law legislation. First, it has innovation in basic principles. As a private law, the new civil law not only focuses on the protection of private rights basically including property rights and personal rights over the body and personality, but also pays attention to the protection of environment and effective use of natural resources. Second, it re-categorizes the types of legal person in a separate chapter and puts the relevant business organizations like partnership and sole proprietorship into the chapter of non-legal person organizations. In relation to the civil capacities of a natural person, the age is changed. Third, it enlarges the protection scope of private rights. Under the current internet environment, many people suffer the infringement of privacy and personal information. The new law attaches importance to the protection of personal information, data, and internet virtual property. Fourth, the new law extends the existing statutory limitation period of legal action to a longer period which would favour the injured party in tort or contract in bringing legal action. Fifth, the new civil law provides equal protection to all the civil entities. Since the infringement of land and relevant property rights in rural areas happen in some occasions, the new law confers the collective organizations in rural areas legal person status and the property owned by these collective organizations are protected.