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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 BEST online resource available to Hastings students is LawInfoChina:  

  • LawInfoChina - This link should open with IP access on and off campus.  When logged in, it should say "UC Hastings" near the top of the page.  LawInfoChina is a subscription database providing excellent access to Chinese laws and regulations. It includes the Chinese language version of the law and useful English translations. By using this subscription resource and comparing the available free Chinese law websites, you can have reasonable confidence that you've 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:

  • Art. 182 of the Civil Procedure Law: "The judgments and rulings of a people's court of second instance shall be final." (amended 12/24/2021; effective 1/1/2022)
  • Art. 244 of the Criminal Procedure Law: "A sentence or ruling of a people's court of second instance, or a sentence or ruling of the Supreme People's Court, shall be final." (amended 10/26/2018; effective 10/26/2018)

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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.