The New Chinese Civil Code: A Comparative Perspective. Special IECL Seminar in conjunction with the Chinese Law Discussion Group

Event date
20 February 2021
Event time
10:00 - 12:00
Oxford week
Faculty Members
Postgraduate Students
Live Online Seminar (Teams)

The Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) entered in force on 1 January 2021. As the first civil code in the history of the PRC, it has been heralded as a milestone in the evolution of the PRC legal system, especially after decades of failed attempts at codification. Bringing together separate statutes covering general provisions, property, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and tort liability, the Civil Code reflects the hybrid indigenous and foreign influences on the evolution of private law in the PRC. There are some clear traces of direct and indirect transplants from foreign sources of law. Some of these are historical, such as the influence of the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB) on China’s legal system at the turn of the 20th century. Other influences reflect an array of principles from international normative instruments, some of which are drawn from common law systems. From Chinese lawmakers and jurists’ perspective, the new code is significant in its indigenous developments that reflect a distinctive legal culture and system with ‘Chinese characteristics’. Lawmakers have also emphasised the Civil Code’s contemporary provisions that address new issues and concerns, including privacy and data protection, secure property rights, and ecological protection.

Jointly organised by the Institute of European and Comparative Law and the Chinese Law Discussion Group at Oxford Law Faculty, this seminar brings together private law scholars from China, Germany, and the United Kingdom to discuss various features of the Civil Code and its provisions from a range of comparative perspectives. There will be three presentations and the opportunity for discussion.


  • Professor Weixing SHEN, Professor and Dean of the School of Law, Tsinghua University, Beijing
  • Professor Knut Benjamin PISSLER, Senior Research Fellow, Max Plank Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg, and Professor of Chinese Law, University of Göttingen
  • Dr Mimi ZOU, Associate Professor, Reading University, and Director of Studies in Law, Regent’s Park College, Oxford University


Kindly note that IECL seminars are normally open only to researchers affiliated with the IECL and members or students of the Oxford Law Faculty. Please register using the link below. If you have a special interest in attending this event and would like to request being admitted to the seminar as an outside guest attendee, please get in touch with Professor Birke Häcker in advance of the event. Registration willl close at 4pm on Friday 19 February.

Registration Form


Found within

Comparative Law