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(1,809 words)

Author(s): von Senger, Harro
"Censorship" as a term with a negative connotation is roughly equivalent to the Chinese word xinwen jiancha, which is normally avoided in the legal language of the PRC and only used when criticizing enemy regimes. Neutral words used with reference to the PRC include shenhe, shenpi, shending, and shendu. Freedom of expression was not explicitly advocated by any of the relevant schools of ancient China. Confucianism, Mohism, and Legalism in one way or another all supported a unification of the different opinions on right and wrong. General laissez-faire tendencies with regard to exp…

Human Rights

(2,719 words)

Author(s): von Senger, Harro
In the whole framework of its own cultural tradition, imperial China did not develop the concept of subjective rights, nor the concept of autonomous "man", acting as a bearer of rights, the same level being assigned to men and women, slaves and freemen, aliens and Chinese etc., and all being vested with the same dignity. Admittedly, the traditional Western human rights doctrine of positive right was not based on such a comprehensive concept of man either. In national law as well as in the intern…

Legal System

(2,934 words)

Author(s): von Senger, Harro
According to contemporary mainland Chinese terminology, the "legal system" ( sifa, often translated as "judiciary") encompasses, in its more narrow interpretation of the word, merely the judiciary, whereas its broader meaning also includes the activities of the procuratorate and the justice departments, the agencies responsible for public and state security as well as numerous arbitration and mediation agencies, and finally the attorney and notary system. China distinguishes between criminal, civil, comme…