China’s Unceasing Quest For World-Class Jurisprudence

Report Post

“… should follow the direction of open, innovative, quality and harmonious development, with Chinese characteristics, while honouring the mission to ‘connect legal societies around the globe and creating a community of the rule of law for the world’.”

Professor Huang Jin
President of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)

In 2017, the Chinese government launched a program to ‘establish first-tier universities and disciplines in the world’, commencing its quest for ‘world-class jurisprudence with Chinese characteristics’. China will establish more world-renowned universities, strengthen legal disciplines, pursue academic achievements in law, train more legal elites, thus contributing to the enrichment of world jurisprudence and advancement of the rule of law.

“Emphasise the educational value of ‘self independence’ and uphold the spirit of ‘all in the world serve humanity and public good’.”
Tian Xia Wei Gong

The Chinese classic The Great Learning states: ‘The philosophy of great learning consists in making illustrious virtue manifest, renewing the people, and abiding in the highest good’. A cultural gem of the world, it reveals the essence of moral education and civic virtue, passion for excellence, and the pursuit of nobility, and has had a profound influence upon China’s education for thousands of years. When the Great Way prevails, the realm under Heaven belongs to all people. World-class universities in China should abide by and observe common rules of world higher education, while respecting and inheriting the unique value of our own education; learn virtues from other nations and cultures while upholding the cultural traditions of China; refining and improving the unique style and core competitiveness of education.

Chinese universities must manifest ‘inclusiveness, mutual learning and benefits, and shared progress’.

To build world-class jurisprudence, Chinese universities must keep an open mind: ‘The ocean grows by welcoming every stream, mountains higher by accepting every dust’. We should prioritise development, mindful of people’s wellbeing. Starting with problems of the rule of law, legal academic research as the tie, and legal practices as the focus, thinking outside the box, we should innovate and share existing resources via optimised reintegration, creating additional values through sound interaction, mutually beneficial cooperation, to chart a development path of ‘inclusiveness, mutual learning and benefit for shared progress’.

Chinese universities must tap into the potential of ‘multidimensional exploration and creativity’ and embrace an international vision ‘geared to the needs of the world and benefiting humanity’.

Universities’ ‘greatness’ lies not in grand buildings but in great professors, great wisdom, and love for the world. Excellent law universities should attract leading and innovative jurists and legal talents, be a cradle for advanced legal thinking and a vast depository of legal knowledge. Importantly, they should act as the source of the rule of law for humanity. So, law schools and universities in China have always regarded the ‘cultivation of outstanding talents, creation of leading academic achievements and excellent contributions to society’ as a cornerstone of innovation. With a priority ‘theoretical institutional and practical innovation’, and ‘creative, innovative and entrepreneurial education’ as guidance, Chinese law universities are pursuing the goal of original, trail-blazing, and leading jurisprudence and to make remarkable contributions.

Globally, despite practical differences, legal education and rules share extensive and profound similarities in values. Against the backdrop of economic globalisation, political multi-polarisation, cultural diversification, social informatisation, and judicial convergence, China’s quest for world-class jurisprudence must harness international exchange and communication; interschool, state-to-state, people-to-people dialogue, and sharing theory and research. We will improve the rule-based mechanism that safeguards legitimate rights and interests of countries, and optimise the international legal regime that protects rights, consolidates orders, and resolves disputes. Ultimately, we will create a community of rule of law based upon ‘mutual consultation of rules, shared responsibility and achievements’.

Professor Huang Jin is president of China University of Political Science and Law, vice president of the China Law Society, president, Chinese Society of International Law, and vice president of the China Human Rights Development Foundation Council.