1. Why publish the China Law Digest?

China’s current legal and judicial problems have become central strategic issues that will greatly influence the country and its future development. The need for legal and judicial reform in China is widely recognized among both political and intellectual figures in the country. The demand for the protection of rights consistent with the rule of law has formed a common language between China’s government officials and its citizenry. At the same time, China’s legal and judicial problems have become a major focal point of international attention. Together, these trends have generated a need for the China Law Digest.

2. Purpose of the China Law Digest

The purpose of the China Law Digest is to offer the latest news on legal developments and judicial reform to domestic and foreign subscribers interested in Chinese legal issues; to employ the assistance of interdisciplinary contributors to extract and summarize the most important information regarding China’s legal and judicial reform from the current myriad of legal news; to offer valuable intelligence on China’s legal developments to international organizations, political circles, lawyers’ groups, NGOs, corporations interested in Chinese legal issues, and universities and scholars researching Chinese law.

3. Emphasis and scope of the China Law Digest

(1) Social justice and the protection of disadvantaged minority groups: with particular emphasis on (1) the current social situation and legal status of disadvantaged groups in China (such as peasants, women, ethnic minorities, and the handicapped); and (2) the institutionalization of a social justice system.
(2) Constitutional reform and the advancement of the rule of law: with particular emphasis on (1) the most significant problems in connection with the improvement and advancement of human rights law; and (2) the most pressing problems affecting constitutional transition and the establishment of a constitutional order.
(3) Legal and social development: with particular emphasis on (1) using law to promote social development; (2) using legal institutions to resolve the problems accompanying a modernizing and developing China; and (3) using legal institutions to resolve the most pressing problems affecting the lives of Chinese citizens.
(4) Sino-foreign exchanges on judicial and legal reform: with particular emphasis on (1) significant problems related to the intersection between Chinese and international law; and (2) recommendations by the international community addressing Chinese legal and judicial problems.

4. Editorial structure of the China Law Digest

The China Law Digest is a monthly publication focusing on the following subject categories:

(1) Legal News — The latest information on legal developments in China.
(2) Legislative Developments — The latest interpretation of national legislation and the most important information on a variety of guiding regulatory documents; legislative recommendations on the construction of a national constitutional legal system.
(3) Important Cases — The most important and relevant current cases.
(4) Regional Developments — Information about legislative and judicial developments at the provincial and local levels.
(5) Law Stories — True stories illustrative of legal and judicial issues in China.
(6) Op-Eds on the Law — Analysis and commentary on legal and judicial problems.
(7) Legal Profession — Information on the development and reform of the legal profession.
(8) Chinese Legal Studies Abroad – Information on Chinese legal studies abroad (journalistic reports, articles, commentary).
(9) Prominent Figures in the Legal Community — News on prominent figures in the Chinese legal community.
(10) Monthly Focus — Periodic publication of information reflective of particularly important Chinese legal problems.

5. Primary source of information for the China Law Digest

Various publicly available Chinese and foreign publications.

6. Editorial information

The China Law Digest is published by the Constitutional Democracy Forum and edited each month by Xiaoping Chen and translated by a group of research assistants at the Harvard Law School. The contact information for the Digest is:

China Law Digest
169 Cherry Street, No.1
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.chinalawdigest.com/

7. Support, subscriptions, and sponsorship welcome

We greatly appreciate your suggestions, patronage, and readership while the China Law Digest is in its initial trial phase. The Constitutional Democracy Forum is able to provide proof of 501(c)(3) tax-exemption status upon request. Please make checks for donations or subscriptions out to “Constitutional Democracy Forum.”

About the Editor:

Xiaoping Chen is a graduate of the Beijing University Law School (LL.M.) and the Harvard Law School (LL.M.). He has served as lecturer at the Chinese University of Politics and Law; Assistant Director of the Teaching and Research Division on Constitutional Law; Board Member of the Chinese Constitutional Society; Research Fellow at the Beijing Institute of Social and Economic Sciences; Special Reporter to the Economic Weekly and the World Economic Herald; Chief Consultant and Assistant to the Beijing bureau of the New York Times; freelance editor to various news publications; Nieman Fellow at Harvard University; visiting scholar and part-time researcher at the Harvard University Fairbank Center; and visiting scholar and researcher at the Harvard Law School. Mr. Chen is the author of Constitutional China, The Political Reform of Jiang Zemin, and China’s Second-Class Citizens, and also contributes articles to various English- and Chinese-language periodicals analyzing the problems of contemporary China.