Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2015

Foundation for Law and International Affairs Comments on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft)

This post introduces a set of comments on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) I have prepared together with the Foundation for Law and International Affairs
The comments can be accessed here:
General Comment on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) - Larry Catà Backer and FLIA - DownloadTechnical Comment on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) - Jedrzej Górski, Zhu Shaoming, Flora Sapio - Download

As those who have been following the vicissitudes of China's civil society sector will know, a Draft Charity Law was submitted to the National People's Congress at the end of October, and released for public comment.
During the time I spent in Hong Kong, I was fortunate enough to have had an opportunity to more closely observe the chances as well as the hurdles Chinese civil society organizations face every day. 
Earlier, I have stated how the decision to establish Party groups in Chinese and foreign civil society organizations is a much needed move to once and for all set straight the relati…

A long overdue reply to Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt's criticism

This post is written in response to Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt's criticism of the paper I presented at the 2015 European China Law Studies Association Conference (here). Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt works with Stéphanie Balme at SciencesPo, in Paris. The criticism I received from him is, this far, the best and most sophisticated criticism I have ever received. I am not posting the response he sent me. Those who are interested in the question of how we should approach Chinese law may want to get in touch to explore possible ways to start a broader public conversation on this and similar points. 

Here is, however, a summary of what Christopher wrote. Among others, my paper holds that principles in Western law are equivalent to "原则" in Chinese law, and therefore "Seeking Truth from Facts" functions as a legal principle. 

Christopher's criticism takes aim at the question of what a "principle" and what a "原则" are, according to the paper. T…

The Xiezhi in Chinese Mythology

Everybody knows how thexièzhì was a goat-like animal with a shiny black coat, who lived near water courses. Lambs and goats, bulls and cows have two horns but, the xièzhì had only one, long, spiraling horn protruding from its forehead.
All mythical animals have their unique temperament. The xièzhì was loyal and dependable. But, being a wild animal, it also had an instinctive ability to tell the righteous from the wrongdoers, and the sincere from the obsequious. So fierce was its nature, and so uncanny its ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood, that whenever Minister Gao Yao was in doubt about the innocence of a person, he would call on to the xièzhì. The xièzhì would gallop through the hills and the rivers, and storm through the court gates. Once there, he would gore the guilty to death. Therefore, Gao Yao held the xièzhì in the highest esteem and respect, considering him an auspicious animal.
Historical records tell us that from the highest antiquity until the modern era, …