China’s Evolving Legal System – Part 2/2

December 7, 2010

During the 1990s, Zhou Litai became famous as one of the first lawyers fighting for the rights of workers injured or mistreated by China’s new wave of private enterprises.… Since then, he has handled thousands of workplace injury cases, and even houses and feeds some of his most destitute clients. Source: New York Times

Zhou Litai has been featured in China Daily and on CCTV in China.

In the 2006 documentary, Zhou Litai says, “In Shenzhen every year, 10,000 insured workers get injured.  It’s reported that 95% of injured workers do not file lawsuits.”

“After winning cases,” Zhou Litai says, “some clients went back home to buy a house or to open a home business. Also, a few have started self-education in law such as Fu Shulin, who comes from Anhui Province.”

“Before he came to Shenzhen,” Zhou Litai says, “Fu Shulin was a student at a vocational college in Hefei City and he’s been living with me after filing a lawsuit. During the legal process, he realized the power of the law and decided to study after me.”

In May 2006, a short documentary of China’s changing legal system was produced.

Before becoming a law clerk, Fu Shulin had a hand cut off while operating a machine. He was sent to a hospital.

Shulin says, “At first, the doctor told me that my hand was able to be reconnected. However, after my boss talked to the doctor, he told me that my hand wouldn’t be reconnected because the bones had been shattered.”

Shulin had problems with his factory boss so he saw Lawyer Zhou Litai.

After seeing Zhou Litai, Shulin was offered 30,000 yuan by the factory (less than $4,000 US). He turned it down.

Then the boss had him locked up in a factory room, but Shulin managed to get a note to his lawyer, Zhou Litai, who came with the police to free him.

in 1998, the district court ruled in Shulin’s favor and awarded him 160,000 yuan (more than $19,000 US dollars). The factory boss appealed and lost. The final settlement was 168,000 yuan (more than $20,000 US)

Return to China’s Evolving Legal System – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Growing China’s Legal System

July 18, 2010

In October 2008, Stephen Yao, talked about the evolution of the Chinese legal System. During the Cultural Revolution, for ten years, China had no law or legal system.  Then in 1979, Deng Xiaoping initiated the “Open Market Policy”.

Law schools, the ministry of justice and legal services were started in the early 1980s.  Another milestone was in 2001, after China joined the WTO (World Trade Organization).  The economic changes were taking place faster than the legal system was developing.

In 2008, the Chinese legal system had the minimum standards as recognized by the WTO.

In the video, Stephen Yao displays a chart for China’s Legal System and explains briefly what it means.  The second slide shows China’s legal market overview and the multilayered legal structure.

Yao says that the death penalty must be referred to China’s higher court and the lower courts do not have the power to apply the death penalty.

See China Law and Justice System


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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