Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Introduction to Chinese Law

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semester
  • Course codeJUS292-2-A
  • Number of semesters
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits

10 ECTS Credits

Level of Study



Full time

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

Objectives and Content

This course is a virtual mobility course. Due to the current situation caused by the corona pandemic most universities have cancelled all student mobility for the fall semester 2020. Hence, there is a need to look for ways of providing students with international experiences other than through the traditional exchange. One possibility is virtual mobility. The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EDTAU) has underlined that online courses and collaborative learning activities can also improve intercultural competences and international online communication skills.

The course will facilitate collaboration and interaction between students from different countries and cultures. In addition to the online lectures, there will be seminar groups led by advanced Chinese students from Shandong University School of Law. In the seminar groups students from all around the world will engage in discussion of relevant topics taught in the course, bringing into the course an important intercultural learning experience, in addition to the learning benefits students normally receive from the course.

The online-taught course aims to provide the students with a comprehensive and practical overview of Chinese law and the legal system of China. China is the most populated country with the second largest GDP in the world, and is also a very important business partner of Norway and Europe. In the past 30 years or so, China witnessed a dramatic change in every aspect of the society, including a significant change in the legal system. It will be very helpful to the students who are interested in the Sino-European business to have some basic and practical understanding of the currant Chinese Law. In order to meet this need of the students, this course will focus on the Chinese legal system, from both the theoretical and practical approach.

The currant Legal system of China is the result of evolution of culture, economy, society and politics. Despite the fact that China is a country with very long history, the modern Chinese legal system can only be traced back to the transplantation of western laws. In the beginning of 20th century, facing the crisis of colonization, China began her painful reform of the society and transplantation of modern law, which followed the model of civil law countries such as Japan and Germany. After 1949, the Soviet law casted huge shadow on Chinese law too. And in the past 36 years, China took the rout of "socialism market economy", to which the rule of law is essential. In order to meet the requirements of economy, China introduced civil and commercial law from developed countries and established its currant legal system.

Like in other civil law countries, Chinese laws are mostly statutory laws. With the constitution as the basis, the legal system consists of department laws such as civil law, commercial law, criminal law, administrative law, labour law, economics law and procedural laws (civil, criminal and a dministrative), etc.

This course will spend more time on the laws of business in China, i.e., civil law, commercial law, labour law, intellectual property law and economics law, which may be more interesting and useful to the students who would like to understand Chinese law for the trade and cooperation with Chinese enterprises. Meanwhile, the course will give some definition of the situation and hot spots of legal studies and research in China, in order to help those who are interested in the comparative research of Chinese law.

In addition to the static laws, the course will also focus on the functioning of Chinese legal system. The course will provide a brief definition of how the governments, courts and other authority bodies work and how the laws are applied.

Furthermore, the students will be introduced to the field of intercultural understanding and communication skills. Intercultural competence is the capability to acquire targeted knowledge, skills and attitudes that lead to noticeable behavior and communication that are both effective and appropriate in intercultural interactions. The students will develop and practice these skills through online student-led seminar groups where they will discuss relevant topics with classmates from all around the world.

To achieve the goals above, the course is designed to have the following contents:

  • A brief introduction to Chinese history, culture, society and economy, transplantation and modernization of Chinese law;
  • The Constitutional Law, the organization and function of governmental branches, judicial system, and the rights of citizens;
  • Civil law I: General Principles, property law, family law;
  • Civil law II: Torts, unjust enrichment, voluntary service, and intellectual property law;
  • Civil law III: Contract;
  • Commercial law I: Company law;
  • Commercial law II: Banking law, security law, negotiable instruments, maritime law;
  • Labour Law, social security law, economic law;
  • Criminal law;
  • Administrative law;
  • Procedural laws.
  • Basic introduction to intercultural understanding and communication skills.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the students will have acquired basic and accurate understanding of Chinese law, and they will have gained knowledge about intercultural understanding and communication skills.

In particular, the students will able to:

Understand the social, economical and historical background of the Chinese legal system;

  • Understand the functioning of Chinese governmental authorities, especially governments and courts on different levels;
  • Analyze and make use of the legal framework in the business cooperation with Chinese partners according to Chinese law;
  • Identify and make use of the legal procedural in the application of Chinese law;
  • Have the basic knowledge for conducting a comparative study between European law and Chinese law.
  • Have a basic knowledge of intercultural understanding and communication skills.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Good level of English

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

No overlapping with other courses

Access to the Course


Teaching and learning methods

Online lectures and seminars

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Online lectures and seminars

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Three hour digital exam. Information about digital examination.

Semester without teaching: three hour digital school exam

Exam question: English

Answer: English

Examination Support Material

Support materials allowed during school exam

See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Special regulations about dictionaries:

According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.

Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).

Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.

Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.

In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.

Grading Scale

A - E for passed, F for failed.

Subject Overlap

No overlapping with other courses

Course Evaluation

According to Faculty of Law routines.

Course Coordinator

Professor Bjørnar Borvik


Administrative contact: elective-courses.jurfa@jurfa.uib.no

Course leader: Professor, dr. Bjørnar Borvik, PhD

Subject lecturer: Professor, dr. Hongjie Man, PhD

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    30.05.2023, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam