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Four major trends in China's legal system
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11:14, January 15, 2009

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The annual legal report "Law and Order Affect Life - 2008 Blue Book on China's Legal System," sponsored and compiled by the Procuratorial Daily was released recently. It analyzes the significant events regarding law and order in 2008 and reveals four major trends in China's legal system.

Firstly, anti-corruption efforts continued to expand in scope and depth. A series of measures were adopted, including the central government's five-year plan for castigating corrupt systems, the "seven requirements" for strictly supervising senior management of state-owned enterprises and the judicial interpretations made to strictly combat commercial bribery.

Secondly, the trend of passing more laws regarding people's livelihoods gained momentum. The Law on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons, the Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters, and the Patent Law were amended timely. In particular, because of the introduction of a series of laws and regulations including the Regulations for the Implementation of the Labor Contract Law, livelihood-related issues now have now more and more representation in the law.

Thirdly, democracy rapidly expanded in the Internet. In 2008, which could be called the Year of the Chinese Internet, General Secretary Hu Jintao exchanged ideas with netizens on the Internet and the Secretary of the discipline inspection commission in Zhuzhou City used his real name on the Internet to advocate anti-corruption documents. Democracy is extending inside the Internet in an unprecedented fashion.

Lastly, the rise of grass-root culture urgently required legal regulation too. The phenomena frequently addressed by netizens with the hot phrase "shanzhai", which refers to products imitating famous brands, had to be normalized, as well as the phenomenon of on line grass-root journalists. The term "shanzhai", literally meaning“mountain stronghold”in reference to historical warlord holdouts that were outside of government control, has become a popular expression to identify products realized outside of government regulations such as the numerous fake and knockoff electronics/commodities made in China today. The term “shanzhai” can also pinpoint things that are improvised or home-made and are generally crude in both form and function (the closest English equivalent would be "ghetto").

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Procuratorial Daily published the Blue Book on China's Legal System.

By People's Daily Online

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