In the afternoon of May 22, Prof. Han Dayuan, the dean of the law school at Renmin University of China, chairman of Chinese Constitution Research Society, doctoral supervisor and one of the professors specially invited as "Changjiang Scholar" by Ministry of Education, delivered a wonderful lecture on “Constitutional systems around the globe and the future of Chinese constitutionalism” to the first year CESL students in Room 305 of Mingfa building, CUPL. It was the second of the lecture series on "Contemporary Chinese Legal System" and the lecture was hosted by Prof. Liu Fei, Chinese Co-dean of CESL.
Prof. Han introduced the topic in five aspects, including constitution and the civilization of human being, the current situation and challenges of constitution development around the world, the trend of constitution development and the history and future of Chinese constitutionalism.
To begin with, Prof. Han elaborated the content of constitution and the culture of human being by introducing why we need constitution through examples of the constitution evolution of different countries, such as Germany, America, Japan and so on, and analyzing the relation between constitution and states. With the example of the Germany Constitution, Prof. Han expressed that all the modern countries need constitution as status and symbol of its existence as well as the source of patriotism, it, too, safeguarded the unity of a country, which we could see from Africa, where civil war and famine happens. He also mentioned that constitution laid foundation for countries just like the Chinese constitution enacted in 1954. The unconstitutionality of Roosevelt’s New Deal unveil that the constitution is the basis of social common sense and also is the philosophy of a state’s existence from perspectives of South Africa, Japan and Egypt. He summarized the countries maintain basic social values and systems through the implementation of constitution that provided unified legal foundation and moral basis for the protection of citizens’ basic rights.
Then, Prof. Han made a comprehensive introduction on the trend of the constitution development and the challenges different countries faced, with emphasizing the geological distribution of constitution in the world, common features of constitution development and the factors that led to those challenges as well as the latest problems came out and direction of constitution development.
At last, Prof. Han highlighted the development of Chinese constitutionalism in the context of international constitutional system. The criteria of Chinese legal system contains human rights protection, authority control, judicial independence, local autonomy, constitutional supervision and other factors, from which, people could see constitutionalism is a significant part of Chinese legal system. Prof. Han shared his opinions over the future of Chinese constitutionalism in five aspects:
A. To understand constitution from the height of the existence and development of a country. To fully implement constitution and to further our understanding on the importance of constitution while building the authority of it.
B. To stick to the concept of “administration through the rule of constitution” and to secure the implementation of the guideline that “CPC’s action is within the regulations of both constitution and law”. To rule the country by law and to administrate by constitution and to adjust CPC’s work and inter policies in accordance with constitution.
C. To promote the implementation of constitution and to complete the system of unconstitutional investigation. To be more specific, relevant authorities should make a better system and procedure of constitution implementing as well as those of legal interpretation and the system of constitutional supervision by Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. To pay more attention to legal recording ability and system. To build the system of constitutional oath.
D. To safeguard social justice and to realize humane and constitutional development of economy.
E. To launch reforms in line with constitution. This requires the aim and means take for the reformation have to be constitutional. Insisting on the rule of law rather than rule of people and make constitution the “highest directives”.
At the end of the lecture, Prof. Han patiently answered the questions raised by the students. His preciseness, humor and kindness left deep impression on every student participated in the lecture. Prof. Han also took photos with the students.
Article by LIU Meixiao (CESL master student from 2014 intake)
Photo by ZHAO Tianshu