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Chinese Law Research Guide: Home

Resources for researching Chinese law.


This guide includes links to many of the best websites for finding information about the laws and legal system of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It also includes links to websites covering China's business, political & legal culture.

Use this guide to find information on:

The TWO BEST online resources available to Hastings students are:

  • Westlaw China - Click "I Agree" on the User Agreement for UC Hastings access. 
  • LawInfoChina - The page should open with IP access.  When logged in, it should say "UC Hastings" near the top of the page.

These two subscription databases provide excellent access to Chinese laws and regulations. Each includes the Chinese language version of the law and useful English translations. Using these two subscription sources and several free Chinese law websites, you can have reasonable confidence that you have located the most relevant laws and regulations available on a specific topic.

In researching Chinese law keep in mind that China has a unified legal system.  Judges are seen as those who apply the law, with no power to create (or destroy) legal rules. China does not officially recognize cases or judicial precedents as a source of law. Former judgments can not be cited directly in the later judgments.  Cases judged by higher courts may have de facto authority over lower courts. 

China also has a unified court system.  There is no jury system like the US. Judges play an active role in questioning all witnesses. Both the trial courts and the appellate courts try factual issues.

Court procedures are governed by two main guiding principles:

Subject Guide

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Research Help

If you have any questions on your research stop by the Reference Desk and ask a Librarian, or e-mail Vincent Moyer , Int'l & Foreign Law Librarian and make an appointment to discuss your research.