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Beyond the Border: Chinese Legal Information in Cyberspace

  • Joan Liu

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In a broad sense, “China law” ought to be comprised of four components: (1) the laws of the People's Republic of China (PRC); (2) the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), a former British colony handed back to the PRC in 1997, which still employs the common law system; (3) the laws of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR), a former Portuguese colony which was returned to China in 1999, but has kept the original legal system; and (4) the laws of Taiwan which, as the remaining part of the former Republic of China, has developed a distinct legal system different from that of the mainland after the Nationalists lost the civil war to the Communists in 1949. However, “China law” is commonly referred as the laws of the PRC, which was constituted in 1949 when the new government was founded. This article will mainly review the legal resources of the laws of the PRC in electronic formats, including databases, websites, CD-ROM products, and other non-print materials, but not traditional print resources. The legal resources of the laws of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan will be discussed in future articles.

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* Head of Acquisitions and Serials and Research Liaison on Chinese Law, New York University Law School Library. LLM, East China Instiute of Politics and Law, MLS, Rutgers University. The author would like to express her gratitude to Kathie Price, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at NYU, for her guidance and support on the research of Chinese legal information. The author also thanks Mirella Roznovschi, Foreign and International Law Reference Librarian, NYU Law Library for her encouragement and input to the article.

This paper was first published on LLRX.com, the free web journal on research and technology issues for the legal community. The URL for the online version and for future updates is >http://www.llrx.com/features/china.htm<.

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