socialist principles, but rather the development of a Socialism with Chinese characteristics.)2.5.2 The Law of the People’s Republic of ChinaChina still belongs to the socialist legal family, but more recently, it has begun to develop itsown brand of socialism to suit its particular needs. China has only been part of the socialistlegal family since 1949, but of course its history goes back much further. China's history is ofa great civilisation, in many respects far more advanced than that of its Europeancounterparts. That history includes the rules and traditions under which the people weregoverned. It is possible to set out three broad stages in China's legal history. That of dynastic China: theperiod up until 1911, when China was ruled by various dynasties; the republic of China from1912 - 1949 and the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the present.The legal system in China has been influenced by a number of different legal systems.However, it is less likely than elsewhere that remnants of the old influences remain. Duringthe period of the Republic of China (1911 - 1949), numerous laws were drafted, which wereclosely based on models taken from the Civil system in Europe – in particular, the Germanand Swiss models. The statutes which were developed included the Civil Code of 1929/31,the Code of Civil Procedure of 1932, and, after 1927, six Codes including: the Regulation ofCriminal Procedure, the Regulation of Civil Procedure and a Commercial Code.Pursuant to the legal system created on the formation of the People's Republic of China, theintroduction of what are known as the Four Modernisations (Agriculture, Industry, Defenceand Science and Technology), China has also introduced a range of laws known collectivelyas the Economic Law of China. These laws are intended, among other things, to set up alegal framework tol attract foreign investors and promote the achievement of the goals of theFour Modernisations programme.The legal system in China has in the past been defined by western scholars as beingbureaucratic in nature. This was primarily due to the fact that the laws or rules by whichsociety operated were formulated and implemented by the Communist Party and weremainly procedural in nature. This means that they mainly dealt with how people were toarrange their affairs and deal with one another, rather than granting people any substantiverights. In keeping with the core tenets of socialist law, the Chinese Communist Party hasbeen the supreme power in China, and its activities have not been subject to review orsupervision by any court or tribunal (as the Australian Parliament's legislative activities aresubject to review by the High Court). Among the legal reforms that have been introduced in China since 1978 is the introduction ofthe fourth Constitution (adopted on 4 December, 1982), which was amended in 1988 to addnew guarantees regarding private property and the use of land. (The first Constitution waspromulgated in 1954, the second in 1975 and the third in 1978). The basic function of theConstitution in the Chinese system is to set out the structure of the State. Most of the
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