China’s Incremental Revolution: Litigation As Political Force.

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Interesting post on the Transnational Law Blog on a Christian Science Monitor article. The post is Another Reason to Have Faith in China’s Maturing Legal System [link no longer exists] and the CSM article is How one man in China strengthens the rule of law: Hao Jinsong, a Beijing lawyer, defies authorities with small lawsuits.

They are on how a Chinese lawyer used China’s court system to accomplish democratic change that almost certainly could not have been accomplished any other way. Great example of how law can create incremental change.

As we argued in a previous post entitled, A Reason to Have Faith in China’s Legal System, small lawsuits vindicating the rights of the average Chinese citizen will engender within the citizenry a general interest and trust in the legal system, which will perpetuate a rule of law system. Our previous article concerned a small legal aid station in Xi’an that represented migrant construction workers, and this current article concerns public interest lawsuits, which reminds me of the work that made Ralph Nader famous.

In the present article, the China lawyer, Hao Jinsong, argues that the law will grow weaker if people don’t use legal recourse to defend themselves because they think it’s useless but, he says, “When … people use the law as naturally as they use chopsticks, China will be close to democracy.”

Both the post and the article are well worth a read.

3 responses to “China’s Incremental Revolution: Litigation As Political Force.”

  1. I am interested in your website and what you have to say. Law and the development of a working legal system is crucial here in China. I just wanted to make you aware that using red type could easily be seen as a major faux pas because police used to publicly write the names of the executed in red so there is a really bad social connotation to that which could easily or even likely offend.

  2. @Bonny – Funny that, people kept giving me bank statements, gas, water, and electricity bills etc. all with red type the entire time I was in China – should I have been offended?

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