<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <HTML><HEAD> <META content="text/html; charset=unicode" http-equiv=Content-Type> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19019"></HEAD> <BODY> <P><SPAN style="WIDTH: 630px"></P> <DIV style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 20px" id=Title_e> <H1 style="COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)">Law must be more than just words</H1> <H6>By Xu Xianming (China Daily)<BR>Updated: 2011-04-18 08:04</H6></DIV> <P> <TABLE style="MARGIN-LEFT: 20px; FONT-SIZE: 11px; BORDER-TOP: rgb(153,153,153) 1px dashed; PADDING-TOP: 5px" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600> <TBODY> <TR> <TD width=220 align=right><LINK rel=stylesheet type=text/css href="cts2009style_e.css"> <DIV style="WIDTH: 468px; HEIGHT: auto"><IMG align=absMiddle src="ctsarticle_comments.jpg" width=26 height=26> <A class=black href="javascript:docmtend()"><STRONG>Comments</STRONG>(<SPAN style="FLOAT: none; COLOR: rgb(153,0,0)" id=show_count1></SPAN>)</A> <IMG align=absMiddle src="ctsarticle_print.jpg" width=26 height=26><A class=black href="javascript:Print()" target=_top><STRONG>Print</STRONG></A><IMG align=absMiddle src="ctsarticle_mail.jpg" width=26 height=26><A class=black onclick="javascript:window.open ('http://app3.chinadaily.com.cn/webdev/PageRcmdToMail.shtml?url='+document.location+'&amp;title='+document.title, 'newwindow', 'height=380, width=480');" href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-04/18/content_12341674.htm#"><STRONG>Mail</STRONG></A></DIV></TD> <TD><IMG src="ctsA.jpg"></TD> <TD class=black width=248><A href="javascript:doZoom(16)">Large</A> <A href="javascript:doZoom(14)">Medium</A> <A href="javascript:doZoom(12)">Small</A> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></P> <DIV style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" id=Content><!--enpproperty <date>2011-04-18 08:04:44.0</date><author>Xu Xianming</author><title>Law must be more than just words</title><keyword>legal system, loopholes, laws,</keyword><subtitle></subtitle><introtitle>Xu Xianming</introtitle><siteid>1</siteid><nodeid>1011501</nodeid><nodename>Op-Ed Contributors</nodename><nodesearchname>2@webnews</nodesearchname>/enpproperty--><!--enpcontent--> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>After decades of legislation, China has finally established its own basic legal system. But that system leaves much to be desired; there are still loopholes to fill. Therefore, in the coming years, more effort is needed. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>In China, the economic and political, as well as many other social institutions, are still immature and need to be further developed. As a result, the laws governing finance, the transfer of land-use rights, housing, and ecological protection are far from adequate to meet the needs of healthy growth. So they need to be constantly amended to adapt to changing circumstances. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left></P> <DIV> <TABLE style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" border=1 align=left> <TBODY></TBODY></TABLE></DIV> <DIV> <TABLE style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width=264 bgColor=#f3f3f3 align=left> <TBODY> <TR> <TD> <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width=251 bgColor=#c1cddb align=left> <TBODY> <TR> <TD width=249> <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width=251 bgColor=#fffde8> <TBODY> <TR> <TD colSpan=3> <P><FONT color=#cb0000 size=2 face=Arial><B>Related readings:<BR></B></FONT><FONT color=#006699><FONT size=2 face=Arial><IMG id=3713426 alt="Law must be more than just words" src="cts0023ae9896560f15db6511.gif" md5="">&nbsp;<A style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011npc/2011-03/10/content_12149516.htm"><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" size=1>China to focus on revising, improving laws</FONT></A><BR></FONT></FONT><FONT color=#006699><FONT color=#006699><FONT face=Arial><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" size=1><IMG id=3713428 alt="Law must be more than just words" src="cts0023ae9896560f15db6512.gif" md5="">&nbsp;</FONT><A style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-01/20/content_11885862.htm"><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" size=1>Call for fair and just laws</FONT></A><BR><FONT color=#006699><FONT color=#006699><FONT face=Arial><FONT color=#006699><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" face=Arial><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" size=1><IMG id=3713431 alt="Law must be more than just words" src="cts0023ae9896560f15db6513.gif" md5="">&nbsp;</FONT><A style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-04/06/content_12278792.htm"><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt" size=1>Laws should be enforced with severe punishment</FONT></A></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></DIV> <P align=left>To realize the Party's promise of ruling the country according to law, a more complete legal system is required, with respect for individual rights, as well as effective supervision over administrative power. Most importantly, public power must be kept in check and officials in power regulated with the rule of law. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>Rule of law is different from rule by law. Rule by law can be the governance by individual persons, to whom the law is none other than a pet tool; the ruler can alter or even dispose of it at his or her own will. But under the rule of law, the law becomes embodied into the daily life of all members of society, none of whom can override it. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>Then the entire country can be run according to the law and the institutionalizing of the socialist democracy can be gradually realized. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>Currently more attention should be paid to the quality rather than quantity of laws. The legislators must take into consideration the changing social conditions, and combine the requirements of the State with the people's emerging needs, so as to better protect the rights and liberty of individuals. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>At the same time, legislative procedures should also be further reformed, introducing more transparency and citizen participation in the whole process, like planning, review, hearings, investigation and evaluation. Better and more just procedures can aid fairer application of laws. </P> <P align=left>Of course, good laws are nothing if they are only on paper; implementation is indispensable. That requires the State pay more respect to its own constitution, and construct a comprehensive institution to coordinate the constitution and ordinary laws. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>In particular, the State needs to respect universal equality before the law, granting no individual or group the privilege of breaking it without penalty; it should operate strictly according to the law, putting every power under supervision and restraint; assume responsibility for its own deeds, correcting errors and abolishing laws that are proved wrong by social practices; and invest more in educating citizens about the law, and take the leading role in respecting the law, so that its authority can be admitted by all citizens. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>For lack of maturity and want of experience, some mistakes have been made in constructing the legal system in the past. For example, many laws, although coded in long texts, are in want of details that can be clearly applied in use. The legislation needs technical improvement to make them more precise and applicable. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>The effectiveness of a legal system depends not upon how many laws it has, but how many are really respected and obeyed by the members of society. There is still a long way to go before most laws can go from being merely on paper to people's hearts, just as it is a long and difficult mission, establishing rule of law in China. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>Citizen participation in legislation is the first step toward accomplishing this mission. Public opinion in the broadest sense should be respected in the making of laws and regulations. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>And the next step, which will require time, and the overcoming of many difficulties, is the completion of the legal system. That means not only a complete set of laws and judicial institutions, but also a ruling party and a government that abides by law in its own behavior. Only in this way can the law maintain its sanctity and earn the trust of the people. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>A legal system is indispensable to a country ruled according to law. Only after constant development and adjustment in accordance with reality can a legal system be truly qualified to support the rule of law in a country. There is still a long way to go toward these objectives. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=left>The author is President of the China University of Political Science and Law. The article first appeared in Study Times. </P> <P style="FONT-SIZE: 14px" align=right>(China Daily 04/18/2011 page8)</P></DIV> <P></SPAN></P> <P>--------------------------</P> <P>Comments</P> <P>wishful thinking 2011-04-18 17:48</TD></TR><TR><TD>&nbsp;</TD><TD>"putting every power under supervision and restraint; assume responsibility for its own deeds, correcting errors and abolishing laws that are proved wrong by social practices; and invest more in educating citizens about the law, and take the leading role in respecting the law, so that its authority can be admitted by all citizens. "<BR><BR>Every power under supervision? Haven't you heard China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said on the work of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) ?<BR><BR>all laws and regulations are formulated under the party leader, all laws and regulations must be advantageous in strengthen and improve the party leader, is advantageous in consolidated and the perfect party's ruling status, is advantageous leads the people in the guarantee party to govern the country effectively <BR>&nbsp;</TD></TR> <TR bgcolor="#dddddd"><TD width="4%" align="right"><IMG src="ctsbtn_face.gif"></TD><TD width="96%">g a 2011-04-18 17:20</TD></TR><TR><TD>&nbsp;</TD><TD>It is not just a matter of enforcement but the correct enforcement. You can't have one standard of law for the ruling elites and bureaucrats and one standard for the citizens. You are just making hiee citizens second class! And that is unacceptable. The law applies equally to everyone, even up to the top and it must never contravene the Constitution. Right now, it appears the State an arbitrarily detain anyone they like for how long they like via the Police despite the law saying that you can only detain for 3 days at a maximum wherein then u decide whether u r going to charge that person and then properly arrest him. If there is no prima facie case, no one should be detained improperly. Or even tortured to confess just to make the life easier for the police officers concerned. So, where are we? <BR>&nbsp;</TD></TR> <TR bgcolor="#dddddd"><TD width="4%" align="right"><IMG src="ctsbtn_face.gif"></TD><TD width="96%">Law Enforcement 2011-04-18 08:58</TD></TR><TR><TD>&nbsp;</TD><TD>China is not short of laws; it's short of law enforcement, and that's why many Chinese don't respect the law, they know that no one is going to enforce it! There is plenty of evidence in daily life of how people break the law with impunity, on the roads, in food manufacturing, in building and construction, etc. </TD></TR></P></BODY></HTML>