David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This article examines the significance of the new Chinese Property Code from a comparative perspective. The new code aims to tackle intractable disputes that its outdated property law regime faces by elevating private property rights and providing a clear demarcation of property rights. This article first presents the social and legislative background of recent developments in Chinese property law, explaining why the enactment of the Property Code is urgently needed. Subsequently, the article analyses the selected primary principles and main elements of property law such as ownership, rights of use and enjoyment, and rights of security. The comparative approach - utilising systems of property rights in other jurisdictions - is used to evaluate property regimes. The conclusion is that, ultimately, the life of the law lies in its application. Although it is widely acknowledged that the new Chinese Property Code is of milestone significance in Chinese legal development, the success of nascent legislation will rely on the state's approach to enforcement. A number of special statutes pertaining to specific institutions are therefore needed to rectify the problems the code does not deal with and to substantiate Chinese property law.
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