Formulated in the time of a planned economy, the Administrative Litigation Law is confronted with such challenges as inadequacy in providing remedy for rights, high litigation costs, and malfunction of courts. The situation calls for reform and development of the Law. An overall improvement shall be done on the Law from such aspects as providing more effective remedies for rights, reducing administrative litigation costs, strengthening the function of administrative litigation in dispute resolution, optimizing the administrative litigation effect, preventing the dereliction or abuse of administrative adjudicative power and upgrading the scientific level of the Law.
With rapid social and economic development, nowadays there are an increasing number of social conflicts, especially administrative disputes between the government and individual citizens. However, many of the conflicts cannot be effectively solved through administrative litigation, which continuously leads to a high rate of appeals and complaints, making it ever more difficult to resolve administrative disputes. Often susceptible to interference from local party committees and governments, courts face difficulties to accept complaints, conduct trials, make decisions and enforce judgments, which make courts dysfunctional in supervising administrative organs. All the issues above are caused by problems in the court administration system. The control of the court’s personnel, expenses and property is decentralized, with courts divided by administrative regions, income provided through local finance and personnel controlled by local party committees. However, administrative organs are defendants in administrative litigations and courts are to review the legality of administrative acts. It is neither realistic nor logical to have courts in the de facto control of local governments to supervise the governments. Therefore, it is of necessity to build a vertical administrative court system subordinated to the Supreme People’s Court. This vertical system shall free courts from the control of local governments, overcome localization of the judiciary, and would be able to effectively solve administrative conflicts and ensure that government decisions/orders are smoothly carried out.
Rapidly increasing foreign direct investment from China within the European Union over the past decade has been, in general, greatly fostered by an open and non-discriminatory legal regime. However, 28 Member States retain control over the review of such investment for purposes of evaluating national security concerns within their respective borders. Current trends reveal a strong likelihood of substantial increases within the coming years in Chinese investment touching upon so-called “strategic” or “sensitive” sectors within the European Union nations. Similar Chinese investment in the United States has raised some strong opposition from the federal government on national security grounds. Accordingly, this article compares and contrasts the European Union’s current fragmented system of national security review with that of the United States — a centralized legal regime which provides for exclusive federal government national security review of foreign investment. The question is then posed as to the likelihood of the European Union adopting an American-style unified national security review system to replace the existing fragmented system, especially in light of the newly enhanced legal competence of European Union authorities over issues concerning foreign investment. This article then concludes with an analysis of the advantages to Chinese investors stemming from the creation of such a European-wide system of national security review.
Sovereignty-disputed islands have special effect on maritime delimitations, whereas positive international law has no regulation on such matters. The legal status of sovereignty-disputed islands on maritime delimitation fall into three categories: full status, partial status and zero status. Full and partial status suggest the cases in which the sovereignty of the islands can be decided un-ambiguously in legal terms, while zero status means the circumstances to which islands under sovereignty dispute are not clearly subject to legal adjudication. Partial and zero status are commonly seen in international cases. The willingness of the disputed parties to a considerable extent defines the relevance of the legal status. Natural circumstances of islands affect not only the nature of the disputed islands and their legal status, but also the willingness of parties greatly. Geographic position of islands may lead to different legal status and affect the willingness of parties. The principle of equity is supposed to play an important role in the determination of legal status of disputed islands. In the case of the Diaoyu Islands for instance, if sovereignty issue can be decided in legal terms, then some extent of partial or full status will take place in the maritime delimitation of East China Sea; if sovereignty issue cannot be decided in legal terms, then only zero status can be granted. “Putting aside disputes and developing jointly” should not be treated as the preferred option and should be transited to certain real dispute resolution such as delimitation agreements or judicial judgments.
Globalization has enabled China to rationalize and institutionalize its economic and political system. China has been quite successful in accommodating globalization in its legal reform. As China becomes one of the important trade players in the international market, the commercial disputes between Chinese companies and foreign trade-partners to be resolved through the arbitration are arising substantially. To an extent, China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has sped up its legal reform in the past decades. However, there are some deficiencies with respect to the mechanism and legislation of China’s arbitration law that arguably is not responsive to the norms of the United Nations Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL) Model Law (1985) and its Amendment (2006). This paper provides an overview of arbitration in China from the legislative and practical perspectives, covering the arbitration’s evolution history and problems before and after 1994. The paper focuses on some important issues in China’s Arbitration Law (“CAL”), evaluating its legislative defects which are inconsistent with the Model Law and its Amendment, clarifying how the Model Law was incorporated into China’s CAL. Some legislative amendments are recommended for CAL’s modernization and its practices, to align it with international arbitration norms in the future.
Since the reform and the opening up to the world of China, there has been increasingly more litigation in China, which has stimulated further development of the legal profession and greater public and private expenditure on the legal practice. Accordingly, legal reform has become an important component of the national scheme of social transformation. On the other hand, the rapid increase in litigation has unexpectedly eroded the traditional means to resolve disputes of both mediation and judicial mediation. More alarming is that judicial credibility is seriously challenged by judicial corruption and poor enforcement of judicial decisions. The increasing number of litigation-related complaints by the public, and the large number of vetoes against the working reports of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate by the National People’s Congress, are two indicators of the crisis of judicial credibility. This paper is to analyze the data of litigation, legal profession, mediation, and the phenomena of judicial corruption. Based on this analysis, it suggests that, to overcome the current quandary of judicial development, further reform should not only focus on courts, but also on all functional departments that could collaborate one way or another with the judiciary, should not depend only on governmental organizations but also on NGOs in resolving disputes and social issues, and should explore and develop innovative ways of social management.