Tort Liabilities and Torts Law: The New Frontier of Chinese Legal Horizon

Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2011

Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-23

83 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2012

See all articles by Mo Zhang

Mo Zhang

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: April 12, 2011

Abstract

China did not have a single body of torts law until 2009. As a new piece of legislation in the country, the Torts Law of China, effective July 1, 2010, tends to form a comprehensive framework that regulates torts and provides a legal mechanism that governs liabilities and remedies. A product of the civil law tradition, common law practice and Chinese reality combined, adoption of the Torts Law is hailed in China as an important move of the nation toward a civil society that is ruled by law.

The Torts Law premises torts on the fault liability with a few exceptions where the non-fault liability is imposed. Structurally, the Torts Law is distinctive in that it stresses principles and rules of general application, and in the meantime prescribes peculiar trotfeasros and special torts that need to be dealt with differently. In substance, the Torts Law is ambitious because it intends to embrace not only traditional torts but also the newly developed area of torts. In many aspects, the Torts Law is also keen to maintain the Chinese characteristics.

Still, there is a substantial gap between the law on the paper and the law in action. Many ambiguities exist, which require both legislative and judicial interpretations. In addition, a lot of unsolved issues may become obstacles to the application of the Torts Law. More significantly, the enforcement of the Torts Law remains as a major challenge to the Chinese legal system in general and to the Chinese judiciary in particular.

Keywords: Torts Law of China, civil law, tort liability, product liability, negligence

JEL Classification: K00, K13, K33

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Mo, Tort Liabilities and Torts Law: The New Frontier of Chinese Legal Horizon (April 12, 2011). Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2011, Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1808042

Mo Zhang (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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