The Casebooks in China

As we all know, there’s no case law in China, People’s court trail a case simply by its statutes, part of them are made by Renda(Congress), others are made by government. This kind of pattern could be seen in many countries, like France, Germany, and other country had not rule by Britain. Law in these countries are also called ‘government’s law’, contrast to ‘judge’s law’ in Britain and the US.

Even the importance of cases in China could not match the importance of statutes, cases are still matter in the process of studying law. Cases have been selected and piece them into books, most famous casebook in China is People’s Court Casebooks, which made by People’s Supreme Court. There are two editions of this series, one serie is published by its own press, named People’s Court Press, which publish four books each year, each book contain  criminal law, civil law, administrative law, intellectual property, and busniess law. Until 2010, seventy books had been published. The other edition is published by Fazhi(means rule by law in Chinese) Press, this edition is published monthly, and the cases in these two edition are totally different.

Although one could not quote these cases in court, some professors, like Feng Xiang(冯象), who got a J.D. in Yale and a Ph.D. in Harvard, also have Mei Ruao(a judge in Tokyo Trail after World War II) chair in Tsinghua Law School, recommended law school student should read two books, one of them is People’s Court Casebooks, for it provide the best way to understand law in China.

Before I came to law school, I set a goal for myself, which is read all these casebooks before I get a master degree, but unfortunately, even I still have more than a year, it already seems a mission impossible for me.


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