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Legal principles and Chinese law. A philosophical investigation

02 October 2008

PhD ceremony: B. Zhao, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Legal principles and Chinese law. A philosophical investigation

Promotor(s): prof. P.C. Westerman

Faculty: Law 


Legal principles essential for long term interests society

The concept of ‘legal principle’ is controversial in legal theory. Scholars have widely different understandings of its meaning. The thesis of Zhao tries to approach the concept from a functional perspective. Zhao argues that legal principles are the legal instruments that are capable of securing a society’s long term interest. First, he depicts the increasing, devastating social tension between long term and short term interests in the recent developments of Chinese society, and inquires into the proper legal remedies. Then he argues that legal principles can meet such a need. Zhao argues that legal principles are fit to represent the long term goals and interests of a legal system or of the society at large.After an investigation of the nature of principles, especially their seemingly irreconcilable soft and hard characters, he advocates that balancing is crucial to the optimal nature of legal principles and that we should redefine the rule-principle relationship accordingly. Following the above theoretical discussions, the thesis turns to legal practice for further illustration. By means of analyzing the Chinese legal development, Zhao shows how the law fails to protect the society’s long term interests when principles are neglected and distorted by the present mechanism.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.37 p.m.
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