This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Chinese Law Research" guide.
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Chinese Law Research  

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

A Brief Introduction...

The People's Republic of China (China) was formally created on October 1, 1949, when Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of a new government.  From 1966 until the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, China experienced a turbulent era of political, social, and economic terror, which has been categorized as the Cultural Revolution.  Modern Chinese legal system's development did not begin until after the Cultural Revolution when Deng Xiaoping emerged as China's new leader. By 1978, under the leadership of Xiaoping, China had launched a series of ecnomic reforms that put them on the path to modernization.  In 1982, China promulgated its current Constitution, which rejected the extremist policies of the Cultural Revolution and placed a new emphasis on the authroity of law.  While the Constitution recognizes the Communist Party of China (CPC) to provide leadership for the nation, and the CPC indeed exercises significant political control over the people of China, Article 2 of the Constitution gives all power in China to the people through the National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at various levels. 

For an in depth look at China's population statistics, geographical information, culture, history, economy, and legal system, among other things, see Country Profile: China, Library of Congress (August 2006). 

    Research Guides

    If you are not familiar with the Chinese legal system, how to research Chinese law, or how to find sources of Chinese law, a research guide is a useful tool to assist you with your research.  While this guide is meant to be a helpful starting point for beginning your research, additional guides may also be of assistance as they may focus on slightly different aspects of researching Chinese law.  While I have provided several excellent research guides below, you may also search for research guides by using the Cornell University Law Library's Legal Research Engine.



    The purpose of this research guide is to provide a resource to aid the researcher in gaining a better understanding of the Chinese legal system as well as to provide the researcher with a starting point in learning how to research Chinese law.  While this research guide is not exhaustive, it is meant to provide the researcher with access to other research guides, books, journals, and Internet resources that are much more in depth and will help the researcher gain a full understanding of the Chinese legal system and researching Chinese law.  This research guide will also provide basic information for researching and understanding specific areas of Chinese law. 


    China's Official Government Website is the official website of the Government of the People's Republic of China.  The official government website is a gateway to all Chinese government information and services, and presently provides authoritative and up-to-date information on the Chinese government and its programs, initiatives, and services, as well as facts about China. You can browse by topics such as "China Today," "Official Publications," and "Laws and Regulations." Or you can access "Services for Non-Residents" to find out about China investment and travel tips.


    Structure of the Chinese Legal System


    Current Awareness: China Daily Online

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    Current Awareness: Global Legal Monitor

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    Current Awareness: China Law Blog

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