Postgraduate course

Introduction to Chinese Law

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeJUS292-2-A
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

10 ECTS Credits

Level of Study



Full time

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

Objectives and Content

This 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, who is also a very important business partner of Norway and Europe. In the past 30 years, China witnessed a dramatic change in every aspect of the society, including a thorough 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 understandings 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 approaches.

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.

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.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the students will have acquired basic and accurate understanding of Chinese law

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;
  • Analyse and make use of the legal framework in the business cooperation with Chinese partners according to Chinese law;
  • Indentify 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.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Good level of English

Access to the Course


Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Lectures and seminars

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Four hour digital exam. Information about digital examination can be found here:www.uib.no/en/education/87471/digital-examinationwww.uib.no/en/education/87471/digital-examination


Semester without teaching:

Four hour digital school exam 

Exam language:

  • 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

Associate professor dr. Bjørnar Borvik, PhD.


Contact Information

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

Course leader: Professor, dr. Bjørnar Borvik, PhD

Subject lecturer: Associate 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. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam. Candidates must check their room allocation on Studentweb 3 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    25.05.2020, 09:00
    3 hours
    Examination system
    Digital exam