Advancing the Construction of the Legal Knowledge System by Taking Xi Jinping’s May 17th Important Speech as the Guidance

Professor Chen Su

On May 18, 2020, Professor Chen Su, Director of CASS Law Institute, published an article in the Journal of CASS on an important speech given by Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s on May 17, 2016 (hereafter referred to the May 17 Speech) and the construction of the legal knowledge system in China. In the article, Professor Chen pointed out that: firstly, the May 17 Speech is the theoretical guidance for the construction of the legal knowledge system with Chinese characteristics. The speech is a comprehensive expression, general theoretical improvement and new strategic plan of the CPC’s philosophy and social sciences and, as such, is of great theoretical and practical significance to the development of social sciences and to the construction of the philosophical and social science system with Chinese characteristics. Legal science, as an important component of the system of philosophy and social science, plays an important role in guiding and supporting the rule of law practice. Secondly, the May 17 Speech is the action guide for the innovation project on legal knowledge system. In the speech, Party General Secretary pointed out that China must speed up the development of philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics, and continuously advance the construction of the discipline system, the academic system, and the discourse system of social science. The discipline system of the law science is the typological expression of the legal knowledge system; the academic system of law science is the formation mechanism of the legal knowledge system, and the discourse system of the law science is the transmission and application process of the legal knowledge system. We should carry out such targeted acts as academic guidance, project design and task arrangement in discipline planning and research administration in accordance with the above understanding. And thirdly, we should take the May 17 Speech as the guidance to create a new situation of legal research work. The socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era has raised many new demands on the construction of the rule of law and the legal research work in China, including: 1. to be guided by Marxism in legal research; 2. to study and interpret Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s new ideas, new thought and new strategy of ruling the country by law in a comprehensive way; and 3. to innovate legal theories on the basis of the rule of law practice in China.