Chinese Constitutional Law

CHENG-JieAssociate Professor CHENG Jie,


Course Outline:

This course aims to introduce the theory and practice of constitutional law in China. The current Constitution was promulgated in 1982 and is the fourth constitutional law after 1949. In practice, the horizontal and vertical division of powers makes it a unique constitutional law compared with many other countries. As a controversial document in a controversial country, both the text and practice of the Constitution have attracted criticism for very different reasons. Therefore, other than promoting awareness of the mechanism of Chinese constitutional law, this course encourages class participants from different backgrounds and different jurisprudences to exchange ideas of what makes a good constitutional law and how to entrench the implementation of constitutional law in China.

Course Organization and Reading Materials:

This course is divided into 7 parts for 7 classes. These include: (1) Introduction to Chinese Constitutional Law: History and Structure; (2) The Popular Sovereignty Principle and the National People’s Congress; (3) The Executive, the Judiciary and other Significant Authorities in China; (4) Constitutional Entrenchment and Coherence of Laws; (5) Vertical Division of Powers: Regional Disparity and Decentralization; (6) Civil and Political Rights in China; (7) Social and Economic Rights in China.

Reading materials are available upon your registration. Class participants are required to read the materials before each class.

Other relevant documents including newspapers, government white papers and law journal articles may also be designated or disseminated by the professor.


The total score will be composed of two parts: class participation and final examination, which respectively composes 30% and 70% of the total score.