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The 19th Party Congress and Reforms of the State Supervision System

As the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party has closed, more information is being released on the reforms of the state supervision system announced in Xi Jinping’s Work Report, and listed here.
The Work Report is an extremely important document, that will set the pace and path of change in the policy environment, and in the state apparatus. The reform of the state supervision system will be a process of notable breadth and complexity, to be understood and analyzed as a whole. A focus limited to single episodes within this process — such as the reform of administrative detention measures — does not really do justice to the reforms, and their significance for the policy environment as a whole, not to mention the evolution of theoretical concepts and principles.
Yet, many have been focussing on the announcement that supervision organs will replace shuanggui with a different measure — known as liuzhi, and attempting to understand how big this move really is, and what has led to it.
Ye…

UN Draft Guidelines on Human Rights and the Environment - Suggested Revisions

On October 10, 2017, Professor John Knox, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment released a newsletter where  comments on the Draft Guidelines on Human Rights and the Environment were solicited
I was honored to produce and submit a commentary together with Professor Larry Catà Backer, under the auspices of the Coalition for Peace and Ethics. The executive summary of a much longer commentary on the Draft Guidelines on Human Rights and the Environment, and a table of our suggested revisions to the Draft Guidelines are reproduced below.

Executive Summary
The Draft Guidelines on Human Rights and the Environment are based on articles 4, 5, and 7 of Resolution 31/8, and articles 5, 6, and 7 of Resolution 34/20 (Human Rights and the Environment). They summarize the basic human rights obligations of States on environmental matters.
The adoption of the Draft Guidelines on Human Rights and the Environment will provide an important opportunity to seek to advance the conceptio…

A Question From Douglas Elmauer

This post has been written in response to a question Douglas Elmauer (Escola de Direito de São Paulo, Brazil) asked following the Rountable on The Implications of the 19th Communist Party Congress.
To what extent does Chinese openness to the global capitalist market help in the process of democratization and in strengthening the "rule of law" that provides legal security for foreign investors and companies? Perhaps the progressive economic opening may one day irritate politics to the point of a constitutional rupture in the future.

Dear Douglas,
thanks for this very thought-provoking question. A conventional response would rely on either of three contrasting approaches to the free market as an agent of democratization:
A first approach would confirm this nexus, and then proceed to look for the most appropriate locus of irritation in China’s political system, in the hope a constitutional rupture may lead to democratization and to stronger guarantees for multinational corporations…

LIVESTREAM- Implications of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress — November 3, 2017–10:00 AM EDT

Join a group of scholars from the United States, Europe, and China on a roundtable on the implications of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress.




Date: November 3, 2017 Global Times: 10:00 AM EDT (New York)03:00 PM CET (Rome, Berlin, Stockholm)10:00 PM CST (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong)Concept Note and List of Participants — English and Chinese Primary Sources on the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party Access Link

A Question from Donald Clarke

In this post, I answer a question I received from  Donald Clarke (George Washington University) on a translation of a Chinese article I published on the website of FLIA and the CPE research project on Social Credit in China. 

For the convenience of my two readers, I am posting Professor Clarke's question below.

Flora, you haven’t included a link to the paper that explains your view that official policy interpretations should prevail over any others. Not sure what you mean by “prevail.” If you mean, “should be considered more truthful as an account of the real reasons behind a policy,” I don’t see why we should automatically believe everything a government says. For example, Trump just announced a policy of barring transgender people from the military. His official explanation: it hurts military readiness. But an administration official revealed a more plausible reason: it will force the Democrats to oppose the policy in the next election, thus helping him with cultural conservatives…

A Short Response to a Reader

This post provides a short and simple response to a question I received about my short essay "民法的一般原则、党组以及“一带一路”  (available here for those who may like to read it in Chinese, and here for those who may like to read it in English). The question was received on the "法律与国际事务学会" Wechat group, following the circulation of this short essay on Chinese-language internet groups and websites. 

I am publishing my short and simple reply here because the question may be of interest to persons other than the reader who asked it (and whom shall remain anonymous). Also, my essay was written for the sole purpose of academic research and communication therefore, there is no reason why I should provide my answer within the 'four walls' of a social media group.
Question: In your commentary, you wrote “in 1957, Liu Shaoqi suggested to use the words ‘militant bastions’ in article 19 of the Constitution of the CPC to refer to the function of primary organizations, rather than to their …

Short Essay: 民法的一般原则、党组以及“一带一路”

The following short essay was produced as part of a series of commentaries on the General Provisions of Civil Law authored for the Chinese and Western public. It examines how the General Provisions of Civil Law can contribute to the construction of a transnational rule of law framework for the Belt and Road Initiative. In the essay, I discuss the General Provisions of Civil Law in relation to the legal status of Party groups in SOEs, private enterprises, and social organizations (including NGOs and Foundations) operating in China and in Western countries. My most heartfelt thanks go to Luo Qiyue and Huang Linlin, for their outstanding translation of my essay. 




民法的一般原则、党组以及“一带一路” 作者:Flora Sapio1

自党的十八大以来,国家采取了数个措施来增强党在国有企业、私有企业和社会组织中的权威。2013年《中央党内法规制定工作五年规划纲要(2013—2017年)》第二条要求规范和完善党组工作制度,并且制定有关党组工作的党内法规。2014年党的十八届三中全会亦提出要加强建设以提供服务,学习及创新为导向的党组。
为了应对经济发展所提出的一系列全新需求,强化党组是必不可少的。这些新的需求包括加强对公司的内部审计、监督公司高层以及员工行为的合法性、寻找多种途径解决劳动纠纷以及更好地向公众提供公共服务等。
为了使得党组在上述及其他领域发挥根本性作用,党的十八届中央委员会创建了一个法律框架来规范党组构成及其活动。…