The use of case law in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-148
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


This article assesses the prospects of establishing a body of Chinese case law for the purpose of promoting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and devises appropriate strategies for such a proposal. Through a general survey of 22 significant BRI cases and a close examination of four samples drawn from them, this article explores the features, deficiencies, and promises of three prominent models of case law currently adopted by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and makes a number of suggestions for further developing a BRI case law system in China. It is suggested that a modified Typical Case Model should serve as the primary model at the present stage. The detailed case analyses conducted in the article reveal that case summaries provided by the SPC suffer from a number of flaws in need of fixing, including a general failure to address the needs of target users from BRI members, an insufficient number of cases, inaccessibility, incompleteness, and inaccuracy. Accordingly, a range of responsive measures are proposed to ameliorate the Typical Case Model. In particular, it is suggested that the model should focus more on cases involving the application and interpretation of international rules (such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods) in the immediate future.

Research Area(s)

  • Belt and Road, Chinese case law, Gazette of the Supreme People's Court, guiding case, typical case

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