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School of Law

Chinese commercial law

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

The object of this course is to examine the principal features of commercial law in contemporary China. The course explores the manner in which law regulates the resultant growth of commercial activity in modern China, looking at both general principles and specific substantive areas of law. 

Particular attention is given to key issues such as:

  • the general principles of civil and commercial law, 
  • the law-making process, 
  • the relationship between law, administration and policy, 
  • the principles that infuse the rapidly growing body of commercial law, 
  • incorporation of foreign law and legal concepts, 
  • and implementation and enforcement of law. 

Among the topics ordinarily covered in the first part of the course are: 

  • categorisation of types of law especially relevant for commercial activity, 
  • general principles of civil law, 
  • contract law, 
  • company and enterprise law, 
  • law relating to foreign trade and investment, 
  • property law,
  • law governing securities markets, 
  • banking law, 
  • intellectual property law, 
  • anti-monopoly law, 
  • commercial dispute resolution, 
  • enterprise bankruptcy law. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The objective of this course is to study the contemporary commercial law in China and to examine some of the fundamental and important substantive areas of commercial law and practice. This is a field with a large and growing literature from both scholars and practitioners. It is also an area of practical importance and one in which a substantial body of judicial interpretations and cases has developed. Students should have a good understanding of the Chinese commercial law by the end of the course, and this understanding will also give them a better understanding the basis of contemporary Chinese law and legal system in their concurrent or later studies.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 50% unseen examination and 50% coursework (one 7000 word essay)