Professor Sun Xianzhong: the Draft Civil Code Compatible with the Requirement of Scientific, Democratic and Law Based Legislation

The compilation of the civil code is a major event in the Chinese legislative history. In accordance with a decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the Draft Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China will be submitted to the Third Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress for deliberation. This means that China will formally enter into a civil code era. Recently, Professor Sun Xianzhong, a member of the Academic Committee of CASS, a research fellow at CASS Law Institute and a member of the Constitution and Law Committee of the National People’s Congress, accepted an interview by the newspaper Legal Daily, in which he introduced the historical process and latest development of the codification of the civil law in China and explained the system, jurisprudence and logic of the Chinese civil code. He pointed out that China has adopted a two-step plan for the compilation of the civil code:the first step is to codify the general rules of civil law, namely formulating the new General Provisions of the Civil Law independent of the existing General Principles of the Civil Law; andthe second step is to integrate the existing civil legislations other than the general principles of the civil law. The two-step plan is appropriate and successful because it is compatible with both the national condition and the scientific theory of civil law codification, and isconvenient for the study, teaching and judicial application of the code. The current draft of the civil code has met the requirement of scientific, democratic and law-based legislation and therefore is a relatively mature draft on the whole.In the compilation of the Civil Code, China has adopted a system and structure of separation of general provisions and special provisions, which is the only way to ensure the integrity and scientificity of the legislation and the best way to guarantee the quality of the legislation. Also, in the compilation of the civil code, China has adopted the legislative technique of “extract the common factor”, namely putting general and common rules in the General Provisions of the Civil Law and relatively concrete rules in different books of special provisions of the civil law. This legislative technique has avoided large amount of repetitive provisions in the code and greatly facilitated the study and application of the code.