The Rule of Law and Enforcement of Chinese Tort Law

34 Thomas Jefferson Law Review 43 (2011)

52 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2012 Last revised: 3 Oct 2012

See all articles by Vincent R. Johnson

Vincent R. Johnson

Saint Mary's University of San Antonio

Date Written: December 15, 2011


This article considers the Rule of Law and the demands that it places on the evolving Chinese tort system from a distinctly American perspective. The article surveys the themes related to the Rule of Law that emerged in decisions of the United States Supreme Court between 1789 and 2011. In the written opinions of the American justices, it has been argued that the Rule of Law calls for transparency in governmental decision making; consistency, not arbitrariness; fair notice of legal requirements; restrains to prevent the abuse of power; official accountability to citizens; citizen responsibility to society; judicial independence in the enforcement of legal standards; respect for human dignity; and practices that tend to ensure confidence in the legal system. Measured against these standards, it is clear that whether the developing Chinese tort system is consistent with the Rule of Law depends as much on how the new Chinese tort code is implemented and enforced as on the code’s substantive provisions. There are many challenges ahead for those who want to build the Rule of Law in China.

Keywords: Rule of Law, China, U.S. Supreme Court, Tort Law, Comparative Law

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Vincent R., The Rule of Law and Enforcement of Chinese Tort Law (December 15, 2011). 34 Thomas Jefferson Law Review 43 (2011), Available at SSRN:

Vincent R. Johnson (Contact Author)

Saint Mary's University of San Antonio ( email )

1 Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78023
United States
210-431-2131 (Phone)

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