LAW 2564 - Selected Issues In Chinese Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This subject provides a general introduction to the contemporary legal system of the People's Republic of China. Topics covered include the nature and function of law, sources of law, the legislature, the administrative system, the judiciary, the legal profession, and the development of the civil, corporate, commercial, and economic legal framework. Select aspects of China's approach towards international law and international relations are also discussed.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2564
    Course Selected Issues In Chinese Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501, LAW 1504
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This subject provides a general introduction to the contemporary legal system of the People's Republic of China. Topics covered include the nature and function of law, sources of law, the legislature, the administrative system, the judiciary, the legal profession, and the development of the civil, corporate, commercial, and economic legal framework. Select aspects of China's approach towards international law and international relations are also discussed.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Nengye Liu

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completition of this course a student will have:
    1. Analyse the foundational principles of Chinese law, undertake self-directed legal research at a foundational level, and evaluate legal information;
    2. Apply knowledge of Chinese law to complex problems/ issues, critique the operation of Chinese law from a theoretical/policy perspective, either individually or as part of a team;
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written and/or oral arguments for a legal/professional/general/mixed audience;
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis and undertake practical legal work at a basic level both independently and cooperatively in a professional/academic environment;
    5. Analyse the impact/operation of Chinese law from policy/comparative/international/interdisciplinary perspectives, and in the context of social and cultural diversity;
    6. Reflect on their abilities to effectively undertake work as a member of a team;
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The following resources must be brought to class every week. They will be referred to continuously:
    1. The Course Guide (an outline of the materials and issues to be covered each week)
    2. The Course Materials set for that week

    Electronic copies of the Course Guide and Course Materials will be made available on MyUni.

    There is no prescribed textbook for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    Chen, Jianfu, Chinese Law: Context and Transformation (Brill, 2016)
    Randall Peerenboom, China's Long March towards Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2002)


    The China Quarterly
    Journal of Contemporary China Studies
    East Asia Forum (
    China Daily
    South China Morning Post
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post announcements, additional class materials (such as slides (if used), audio recordings of the lectures (if available), and other materials students are specifically required to read for class), and assessment-related information. Electronic copies of the Course Profile, Reading Guide, and Course Materials will also be available on MyUni.

    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course. An announcement will be made when additional material is posted.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught in a three hour block. This will include some short lectures, but predominantly involve large and small group discussion and activities in which students will be required to discuss, debate and defend their analysis of the relevant material set in the course readings. It is absolutely critical that students have undertaken the reading before coming to class each week.

    The Reading Guide provides a list of the discussion questions, activities, and problems that will be used in class each week.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. As this is a 3-unit course, students are expected to devote an average of 12 hours per week to their studies in it, including classes. Students in this course are expected to attend one three-hour lecture each week. In addition, students should allocate time to private study in the course across the 12 week semester – this includes reading the material, preparing for class, working in small study groups, and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic
    1 Introduction
    2 Chinese legal and political system since 1949
    3 Constitutional law
    4 Administrative law
    5 Criminal law and human rights issues
    6 Civil law
    Mid-semester break
    7 Environmental law
    8 Foreign Investment and Trade law
    9 The legal profession
    10 China and International Law
    11 Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau
    12 Revisions
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than described elsewhere in this document.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Task Task Type (Group or Individual)
    Due Weighting Length Redeemable Course Learning Outcome
    Class Participation Individual


    10% No 1,2, 3, 5, 6
    Interim Assignment Individual 19 April 2019 20% 2000 words No 1-6
    Final exam Individual Exam period 70% 2 hours No 1, 2, 3, 5
    Assessment Detail
    All three components of assessment are compulsory. This means that if any of the items of assessment are not undertaken or submitted, the marks assigned for that assessment will be irrevocably lost and the final mark obtainable reduced by that.

    Class participation (10%)

    The rules and expectations for the class participation mark will be released and explained in Week 1. Generally, students will be expected to participate in large and small group discussions and actively contribute to other activities conducted within the lectures. 

    Interim assignment (20%)
    Students must submit a 2000 word mid-semester paper. Further details of the interim assignment will be released by/in Week 3.

    Due date: 2:00pm on 19 April 2019.

    Final exam (70%)
    Release Date: University exam period (TBA).
    Due Date: N/A
    Details: The Exam will be two hours in duration, with all course material being potentially examinable. The exam will be open book. Further information regarding the Exam will be delivered to students closer to the date.
    All assignments for this course must be submitted electronically through MyUni. Further detailed instructions on how to submit assignments will be provided in the assessment information. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation, which is available at

    Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to Law School policies. Extensions may be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship, or on compassionate grounds according to University policies. Work commitments, travel, holidays, or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    The interim assignment for this course will be returned to students electronically within 3 weeks of the submission date. General feedback and individual feedback will be provided on each assignment.

    Late Submission: 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. 

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any
    kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in
    any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are
    required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or
    course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework
    Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and
    Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for
    academic review (such as an official re-mark).


    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy,
    course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in
    courses with multiple markers include:

    *assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    *detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    *sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    *reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    *comparison of the marks andtheir distribution across markers;
    *automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    *the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners

    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject toapproval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by
    ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to
    ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the
    Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health
    issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program. Students can
    participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities.

    Our FaceBook page at, our website at and regular allstudent emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness. Our Lex Salus Youtube channel at also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality.

    Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at: 

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.