The codification of a civil code is a major step for China to promote a comprehensive rule of law in the country and modernize its governance system and capacity, overseas legal experts have said.
The experts views were published on the website of the NPC&CPPCC 2020 Annual Session, a special series of the www.xinhuanet.com, the Chinese News Agency at then round-off the Chinese annual legislative session for the year.
Chinese lawmakers on Thursday voted to adopt the country’s Civil Code at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress. The Civil Code will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
Ikenna Emewu, Executive Director of the Afri-China Media Center based in Nigeria, told Xinhua in Lagos that China’s first-ever Civil Code is a welcome development.
With this Civil Code eventually crystalizing into a law, it would be one of the landmarks of the Chinese government and take China further on the way to national rejuvenation, he said.
Emewu said the benefits of this code are manifold and make China’s investment environment more friendly to foreign investments.
It is another testimony to the Chinese government’s commitment to people-centered governance, he said, adding the code will help China on its way to the rule of law and modernization of governance.
Loh Chang Woo, president of the Malaysia China Legal Cooperation Society, said compiling a civil code is a milestone in China’s legislative history.
The Civil Code puts people first and keeps pace with the times, he said. To rely on the Civil Code to solve all kinds of social problems and protect people’s personal and property rights will be a powerful way for China to modernize its governance system and capacity, he said.
Over the last few decades, it has been an international trend that the demand for the protection of individual rights, such as personal dignity, is growing, he said.
China’s Civil Code has added personality rights, which embodies the Chinese government’s people-oriented philosophy, he said.
Malaysia can learn from China with regard to the code of conduct in human embryo science research and other emerging fields, he said.
Oleg Timofeyev, associate professor at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, said China’s first Civil Code involves many issues of vital interest to the Chinese people and is of milestone significance.
At present, China is vigorously promoting comprehensive law-based governance and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the Civil Code is a useful exploration on this path, he said.
It is one of the highlights of China’s Civil Code to contain a specific provision on personality rights, Timofeyev said.
In the era of big data, personal information protection, prohibition of sexual harassment and other issues are not only common problems faced by China, but also by all countries in the world, he said, adding the Chinese Civil Code has made regulations on these issues, providing good legislative reference for other countries to solve these issues.
Christine Bierre, editor-in-chief of France’s Nouvelle Solidarite magazine and an expert at the Schiller France Institute, said the Civil Code is an important symbol of China’s modernization of the rule of law.
It will play a positive role in promoting a comprehensive rule of law in China, as well as modernizing the country’s governance system and capacity, she said.
Collin Hawes, associate professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Technology Sydney, said it is certainly important to have a more detailed and internally consistent legal code to guide Chinese judges when they decide civil law disputes, and in this sense, the new civil code is a milestone.
Prominent Egyptian legal expert Shawky al-Sayyid said in an interview with Xinhua that the content of China’s Civil Code represents a model for all countries to follow.
The Civil Code will promote the rule of law, he said, and its elements and articles represent a great awakening for humanity, a revival of moral values and the regulation of rights and freedom, as well as a progressive step towards new fields in civil life and its regulation.
The Civil Code addresses modern fields that need regulation, he said, adding that it responds to actual life, regulates personal rights, and protects the people for the sake of humanity and the future.