Anyway, this duality has a lasting impact on Chinese legislative system design.
Legalism has left a number of codes, but was confined to administrative areas, mainly for civil servants.
A legacy of Confucianism is undeniable distrust vis-à-vis the law. “Win your lawsuit and lose your money,” “the ten reasons for judgment, nine are unknown to the common man” the proverbs say.
The Chinese tend to live outside the law, regardless of the rules formulated by the law. A Chinese will not rule before the judges but their relationships with others in accordance with his sense of proper, having in view the conciliation and harmony. A trial is disgraceful and disturbing social peace, better find a compromise.
Creation of a genuine legal system and changes since
This explains, with the importance of Confucian thought in China, as China is very long remained without a real legal system.
During the Republic the early 20th century, Sun Yat Sen permeated Western influences, spread the ideas of democracy and separation of powers, and created the first modern Chinese state.
But the first Chinese legal system will come with the founding of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong in 1949.
It is at this time that China will develop its first constitution, which will be reworked until 1954, when his first amendment.
Then until 1979, the law is considered as a means of struggle for power. In particular, from 1966 to 1976, the period of the Cultural Revolution, the legal system is reduced to its simplest expression, neglected in favor of other instruments of social control.
Indeed, the constitutional amendment promoted by Mao Zedong in 1975 reduced the number of articles dealing with the judicial organization of 12 to one, and eliminated some of the most cherished protections bourgeois rights, such as the equality before the law, procedural safeguards, protection of private property, or the prohibition of arbitrary arrest.
Between 1949 and 1963, the Chinese legislative or executive bodies have adopted a total of 1,488 laws, regulations and decrees, but no code or organic law on criminal or civil law has been adopted.
Finally, with the arrival to power of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, an era of reform opens and confirms in its first 10 years about 450 laws. This period of renewal is primarily motivated by the desire to break with the Cultural Revolution, a source of confusion should not occur again, the project of building a market economy, and the desire to attract foreign investors.
In 1979, autarky is formally abandoned. Stability and economic growth will then be the key ideas that will lead to law reform, economic development tool, with the drafting of a new constitution in 1982, amended in 1988, fruit of an incessant concern mainly:
the introduction of economic actors (corporate law and foreign investment),
contract law and competition law,
management of the budget and the central bank,
social security and labor law,
supervision of infrastructure (rail, electricity, civil aviation)
the law of international trade,
the right to intellectual property,
the right environment,
monitoring practices in the marketplace.