To What Extent The Role Of The People's Mediation Committees In China Now Is Still Significant When Some Cities Tend To Modernize And Others Tend To Conserve Traditionalism?

3644 words - 15 pages

It can happen that sometimes you have a personal dispute with a family member, friend or neighbour, or a legal dispute involving business. There are three main ways as alternatives to going to court to resolve a dispute in China: negotiation, mediation and arbitration, they are ADR. ADR means “Alternative Dispute Resolution” and it refers to various processes, commonly used in civil law tradition, which have in common the aim of a better communication between the parties during a dispute and the saving in managerial and legal time, expense and worry (Bevan, 1992).

We can clearly distinguish the advantages of the ADR, comparing to the formal dispute settlement at court. ADR ...view middle of the document...

They have also permitted more individual freedoms, since the decentralization of the political control. Moreover, the fast-growing economic developments, the modernization and the Westernization have led to the apparition of new cities which advocate the ideas of individualism, competition and private space, ideas totally at the opposite of the Chinese traditional culture which advocates the social harmony in community and society.

In my essay, I will try to answer to this question:
To what extent the role of the People's mediation committees in China now is still significant when some cities tend to modernize and others tend to conserve traditionalism?

First, I will present the evolution of the traditional Chinese legal system to the contemporary Chinese legal system. Second, I will focus on the case of mediation, one Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the People's Mediation Committees. And finally, I will explore the importance of the teachings of Confucianism in the evolution of mediation.

I. From traditional Chinese legal system to contemporary Chinese legal system
Chinese history, even in the last century, has gone through several events which have affected the development of its judicial system. Conscious that traditional Chinese law was backward and that a Western legal system, more modern, would improve a lot the development of Chinese society, Mao attempted to establish a modern legal system based on rules and law in 1949 (Utter, 1987). The Communist Party recruited first former nationalists, who knew all about the Western legal systems: “To staff the new legal system, the Communists retained a number of legal specialists who had worked for the Nationalists, primarily because the Communists did not have within their own ranks people with skills and knowledge to run a complex legal system”, but they were completely “politically unreliable and elitist” (Utter, 1987). The Party then replaced them by “new cadres” selected for their political allegiance to the Mao government, and not for their abilities in legal system, “[t]he new cadres lacked legal skills and knowledge” (Utter, 1987). This decision of the Chinese Mao’s government influenced the development of the legal system. They were convinced that complex processes were only burdens to the modernization of the legal system, so they developed a system easily understandable and accessible to the people:

During the first few years of the communist party, the “new cadres” helped to establish law codification commissions, judicial and police structures. Law schools opened and some legal books were published. In 1954, the first Chinese constitution which established a tripartite governmental design consisting of the supreme people’s courts, the supreme people’s procuracy, and the state council, all responsible to the standing committee of the national people’s congress, was introduced (Utter, 1987).

However in 1957, the improvements of the Chinese legal system began to...

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