Law and Society in China


Finnish China Law Center, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki

Related Degree Programmes:

Master’s Programme in International Business Law, Master of International and Comparative Law




600-900 EUR




Zhang Yihong

Target students

This course is designed to give students practical knowledge about the Chinese legal system. The course is suitable for both law students and students from related disciplines, such as Asian studies, economic sciences, political science and social sciences. Students both with and without prior legal knowledge and study of China are invited to enrol.


This Helsinki Summer School course examines core issues in Chinese law and society. The aim of this introductory course is to provide students with a foundation of the legal system of the People’s Republic of China. Students will learn about Chinese legal institutions, society and governance. By attending lectures given by Chinese law experts and discussing selected papers, students will examine how law is functioning in modern China.

Each session will cover a particular topic in an area of Chinese law. Topics to be covered in the course include the sources of law, the roles of the judiciary and other legal institutions, legal reforms, and the development of company law, labour law, criminal law, civil society and human rights in China.

Students will be required to attend teaching sessions, complete required reading and participate in class discussions. Credits will be awarded based on group presentations at the end of the course.

Learning objectives

After completing the course, students will

  • have become familiar with current scholarship on Chinese law and society;
  • understand the role of law in Chinese society and Chinese legal tradition;
  • have gained a general knowledge of important branches of Chinese law, including constitutional law, company law, labour law and foreign investment law, civil society and human rights, etc.

Course format and teaching methods

The course combines lectures by Chinese and European experts, group work and student presentations. Students will have interactive discussions with lecturers and classmates, on the basis of lectures and pre-class reading.

Means and criteria of assessment

Grading scale: 5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.

Assessment will be based on: class participation, including group presentation and discussion (30%) + learning diary of pre-class reading and lectures (70%).

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
11 days
600 EUR
600-900 EUR
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