This article analyses the application of international law in the legal system of the People’s Republic of China. It is a widespread opinion among Chinese commentators that international treaties would automatically become part of domestic law by the time of ratification (or signature, in the case of executive agreements). However, this view is contrary to both the letter and the ideological framework of the Constitution — which is silent over the status of international law in the domestic legal order — and finds no confirmation in the practice of State organs. An analysis of legislation and domestic judicial practice shows that the application of international law is grounded on ad hoc legislation. Sub-constitutional sources do not deal with the issue of the domestic application of international law in general terms and only provide for the direct judicial application of some international treaties, mostly concerning private international law matters. Because of their special character and of the limits surrounding the direct application, these provisions do not mirror a general principle of Chinese law. As a confirmation, the direct application of entire categories of treaties, such as human rights treaties, has been expressly barred by the Supreme People’s Court. In conclusion, this study argues that, as a general rule, international law cannot be deemed to be part of the Chinese legal system. This reflects the importance attached by China to the protection of its sovereignty.

L'adattamento al diritto internazionale nell'ordinamento giuridico della Repubblica popolare cinese / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: RIVISTA DI DIRITTO INTERNAZIONALE. - ISSN 0035-6158. - 99:2(2016), pp. 425-453.

L'adattamento al diritto internazionale nell'ordinamento giuridico della Repubblica popolare cinese

Rossi, Pierfrancesco
2016

Abstract

This article analyses the application of international law in the legal system of the People’s Republic of China. It is a widespread opinion among Chinese commentators that international treaties would automatically become part of domestic law by the time of ratification (or signature, in the case of executive agreements). However, this view is contrary to both the letter and the ideological framework of the Constitution — which is silent over the status of international law in the domestic legal order — and finds no confirmation in the practice of State organs. An analysis of legislation and domestic judicial practice shows that the application of international law is grounded on ad hoc legislation. Sub-constitutional sources do not deal with the issue of the domestic application of international law in general terms and only provide for the direct judicial application of some international treaties, mostly concerning private international law matters. Because of their special character and of the limits surrounding the direct application, these provisions do not mirror a general principle of Chinese law. As a confirmation, the direct application of entire categories of treaties, such as human rights treaties, has been expressly barred by the Supreme People’s Court. In conclusion, this study argues that, as a general rule, international law cannot be deemed to be part of the Chinese legal system. This reflects the importance attached by China to the protection of its sovereignty.
L'adattamento al diritto internazionale nell'ordinamento giuridico della Repubblica popolare cinese / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: RIVISTA DI DIRITTO INTERNAZIONALE. - ISSN 0035-6158. - 99:2(2016), pp. 425-453.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/209655
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