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Political and Legal Systems

Political and Legal Systems

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Political and Legal Systems

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  1. Political and Legal Systems Justin & Jill

  2. Agenda • People’s Republic of China (PRC) • Hong Kong (SAR) • Japan

  3. People’s Republic of China • Historical Legal/Political System • Today’s Legal/Political System • Current Government Structure • Executive • Legislative • Judicial • Current Political Dynamics

  4. Historical Legal System • Rule under emperors • Emphasis on authority • Opposed dissenting views • Tang Dynasty Legal Codes • Foundation of successive dynasty and neighboring countries’ legal structures • Oldest surviving and comprehensive legal codes • Mostly criminal laws, but applied them to some civil matters • Rule by Law - Control people and achieve social order by promulgating general commands backed up by punishments

  5. Modern Legal/Political System • Overthrowing of the last dynasty • Competing ideologies • Communism/Socialism from Soviet Union • Fascism from Germany • Democracy/Capitalism from United States • World War II, Civil War • China splits into two entities • People’s Republic of China • The Republic of China (Taiwan)

  6. PRC Legal System Today • Source of Law is constitution • Government structure includes executive, legislative, and judicial branches • Efforts were made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law • Emphasis not on checks on balances, but on subordination, unification and supervision

  7. Constitution • The fundamental law of the state • Adopted for implementation by the 5th National People’s Congress in 1982, with amendments made thereafter • “The Communist Party of China is the country’s sole political party in power” • “The socialist system led by the working class and based on the alliance of the workers and farmers is the fundamental system of the PRC” • “All citizens enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, or assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration”

  8. Executive Branch • President - Hu Jintao • Promulgation of laws • Proclamations of martial law and states of war • Vice President - Zeng Qinghong • Aid the President in carrying out his/her duties • State Council • Carries out the principles and policies of the Communist Party of China • Prime Minister – Wen Jiabao

  9. Legislative Branch • National People’s Congress • Deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities • Approx. 3000 deputies currently • Elects military commanders / Chairman • Elects President and vice President • Amends the constitution • Propose and pass bills • Decides questions of War or Peace • Lower people’s congresses

  10. Judicial Branch • Responsible for interpreting law • People’s courts, Supreme People’s Court • Tries cases, gives explanation of law • Only allows 2 trials • No Jury • People’s Procuratorates, Supreme People’s Procuratorate • Safeguards the unity of the country, maintain public order, protect socialist property, and to protect citizens rights

  11. Political Dynamics • One party system - Communist Party of China (CPC) • Central Military Commission • Commands National Armed Forces (People’s Liberation Army) • Chairman – Hu Jintao • Theoretically there are other parties (known as “democratic parties”), but they have only advisory roles • Control of Party is top priority • Stability vs. Progress • Suppression of organized groups • Falun Gong • Usual Topics • Economic Reforms • US Imperialism • Chinese Nationalism • Taiwan (ROC) – Anti-Secession Law

  12. Hong Kong • Background / History • Government Structure • Political Parties • Legal System

  13. Background / History • Special Administrative Region (SAR) • British Colony until 1997 • High Degree of Autonomy, except foreign and defense affairs • Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 • For 50 years after reversion Hong Kong will retain its political, economic, and judicial systems and unique way of life and continue to participate in international agreements and organizations as a dependent territory • “Hong Kong, China” Olympic team

  14. Government Structure • Common Law • Legal Structure based on British Common Law • Executive Branch • Chief Executive • Head of SAR: Tung Chee-Hwa – recently resigned • Essentially appointed by PRC • Signs bills, budgets • Decides government policies • Implements laws • Legislative Branch • 60 members • 30 elected directly, 30 indirectly • Judicial Branch • Court of Final Appeal

  15. Political Parties • Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong • Pro-Beijing • Democratic Party • Pro-Democracy • Liberal Party • Pro-Finance / Economy, considered moderates

  16. Legal System • Retains autonomy • Operates independently except w.r.t defense and diplomatic relations • Follow common law tradition (British) • Consider courts to be more “honest”

  17. Japan • New Constitution • Imperial Family • Government Structure • Legislative • Executive • Judicial • Local

  18. New Constitution • Post World War II - 1952 • Controlled by U.S. Allies • Establish democracy • Enact new Constitution (1947) • Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary government • Transfers power from Emperor to people • Renunciation of war • 1952 • Japan regains full sovereignty

  19. Imperial Family of Japan • Constitution establishes Imperial Family • No Governmental Powers • Ceremonial role • Promote Goodwill • 1989, 125th Emperor Akihito

  20. Government Structure

  21. Government StructureLegislative Branch • Diet • House of Representatives • House of Councillors • Pass laws • Elect Prime Minister The south wing is occupied by the House of Representatives and the north by the House of Councillors.

  22. Government StructureExecutive Branch • Responsible to Diet • Select Cabinet • Perform Executive functions. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi meet with the press after a dinner in Tokyo during the first stop of the President's trip to Asia and Australia Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003. White House photo by Paul Morse. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi March 19 in Tokyo.

  23. Government StructureJudicial Branch • Court system interprets law • Supreme Court and lower courts • Justices appointed by Cabinet • Chief Justice appointed by Emperor. • No jury system • Judges held accountable • Two appeals The Supreme Court building in Tokyo (above). The grand bench of the Supreme Court (below).

  24. Japanese Law • Administrative Law • Limited power in the absence of Diet legislation • Use “directions” & “warnings” • Imply non-compliant parties will be obstructed • Contract Law • Ambiguous • Work out complications as they arise • Prosecutory system • 99% criminal defendants are convicted • Almost all confess • Prosecutors tend to charge only confessors • True level of criminal activity difficult to ascertain • Punishments • Death Penalty • Hard labor • Detention • Fine

  25. Japanese Law - 2 • Tort Law • Fees based on amount of damages sought in suit • Decided by judges • Sue for low damages in order to win • Legal Education • Very low pass rates • Law Enforcement • National Police Agency reports to Prime Minister • Most policing by prefectural

  26. Government StructureRecap

  27. Government StructureLocal • 47 Prefectural Governments • 12 Cities • 3300 Municipal cities • Perform non-national services Map of 47 Prefectures

  28. Bibliography • Embassy of Japan website. (www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/faq/13/government.htm#1) • U.S. Embassy, Japan website. (www.state.gov) • Wikipedia. (www.wikipedia.com) • Fischer, Susanna Frederick, 2003, "A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM OF CHINA", <http://faculty.cua.edu/fischer/ComparativeLaw2002/bauer/China- • main.htm> • United States. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html> • Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington D.C. General Introduction to the Est. • <http://asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/countries/china/chinalegal.html> • "Mainland China", 1998-2004, <http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery? • method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=Mainland+China&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1> • "Politics of Hong Kong Information From Answers_com", 1998-2004, • <http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery? • method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=Hong+Kong&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1>