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The Rule of Law Partnership

In 1997, the College of Law and the Maxwell School of Syracuse University established a "rule of law" partnership with the China National School of Administration (CNSA), and the Administrative Law Research Group, an initiative of the Legislative Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). The Partnership has three goals:

  • to assist China to develop and implement a system of administrative laws that will reduce the arbitrary use of power by the government and protect the legitimate rights of citizens;
  • to examine senior government officials how the American experience in administrative law may provide insights for China; and
  • to develop teaching materials to educate Chinese government officials that are responsible for implementing the new laws and procedures.

China has embarked upon a significant transformation to adopt a body of administrative law to guide the performance of government. To date, administrative law in China defines the powers and responsibilities of agencies. Relatively little has been done to prescribe processes for citizen participation or for the resolution of disputes between government and citizens.

In the late 1980’s the Administrative Law Research Group, comprised of scholars, judges, and government officials, was established to promote the rule of law in China. The group has been instrumental in the development of several landmark laws in China including the Administrative Litigation Law, the State Compensation Law, and the Administrative Penalty Law. A common ingredient of these laws is citizen access to a legal means of appeal or redress against the government for alleged wrongdoing.

The Rule of Law Partnership has established an annual cycle of activities to guide its work. Each year, the partners focus on a specific component of Chinese administrative law that has been identified as a priority. The topical areas the Partnership has investigated over the past four years have included:

  • The history of the United States Administrative Procedure Act
  • Models of state administrative law and practice in the United States
  • Judicial review and public hearings
  • Administrative enforcement law

The topic for 2001-2002 is "freedom of information and open government," another important legal initiative designed to improve government transparency and promote public access to information.

Related Links

English Links

Beijing University Center for Legal Information

Chinese Links

News of the National People's Congress (人大常委会新闻)

Laws and Legislations Database (法律法规库) 

Link to Collections of Chinese Laws (中国法律资源网)