Continuity and change: Some reflections on the new Chinese civil code

Continuity and change: Some reflections on the new Chinese civil code

Queen Mary University, School of Law, 7 April 2021, 17:00 – 18:30 BST, 8 April 2021 01:00 – 02:30 CST. Find your local time here.

The first-ever Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China provides legal protection over a wide spectrum of rights and interests ranging from general provisions, property rights, contracts, marriage and family, to inheritance, tort and personality rights. Despite it immense significance in such a vast socialist-transitioning country, little is known about its content and contour. This seminar aims to address the relevant factors affecting the introduction of the Chinese Civil Code. In addition, by focusing on a selected topics covered in the Civil Code, it unveils the interesting dynamics between continuity and change in this law-making exercise in China. Finally, it identifies the future trend how this Civil Code would fabricate the state-society relations in China from a private law perspective.


Professor Lei Chen is Chair in Chinese Law at Durham Law School, and Co-Director of the Centre for Chinese Law and Policy. Prior to joining Durham, he was Associate Dean responsible for research and internationalization (2015-2020) at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong (CityU HK). He holds the following visiting positions: Wenlan Chair of Comparative Law at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan; Eastern Scholar Chair at East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai; and Global Law Professor at Faculty of Law and Center for Global Governance, KU Leuven. In his professional practice, Lei Chen is a seasoned international arbitrator listed in HKIAC, AIAC, BAC, CIETAC, SCIA, KCAB, DIAC, SHIAC, CAA, THIA, and ADNNRC (domain name). He has been frequently engaged as a Chinese law expert witness, by leading international law firms, in international commercial litigation and arbitration matters (commercial and investment treaty arbitrations).

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