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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 9 No 2 (2007)

The Next Reform: The State of Contractual Freedom in China

Many of the remaining significant barriers to modernisation of China’s contract law arise from structural and conceptual limits on contractual freedom. These limits are manifested in ambiguity and contradiction within the body of contract law. Limits also arise from real and potential problems of state influence on party autonomy, and from problems of privity of contract, especially as against the state. This article briefly traces the development of Chinese contract law since 1949, and then examines the current state of contract law with reference to these limits on freedom of contract. The article suggests further reforms to remove ambiguity and contradiction and reduce the state’s influence over contractual relations. Without significantly enhanced judicial independence, from the party as well as from the state, anychanges to the text of the law itself will, however, only scratch the surface of reform.

(2007) 9(2) Asian Law 289

   
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