Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 2

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Volume 2 is the second work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law, which bring together the work of recognised scholars from China, offering a window on current legal research in China.
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Chapter 3: A new approach to distinguishing between extensive interpretation and analogy

Qu Xinjiu


For a long time, in terms of Chinese criminal law theory and practice, there has been no great need (or pressure) to define the boundary between interpretation and analogy, because legally, the Criminal Law of the PRC (1979) allows the existence of analogy, and judicially, the Supreme People's Court of the PRC is entitled to approve analogical conviction and sentencing. One of the two authorities can make the judicial interpretations. However, since the Criminal Law of the PRC (1997) establishes the principle of legality, and, in particular, the Constitution states that 'the State should respect and safeguard human rights' and lays down the principle of governance or the 'rule of law' that stresses that the State should be administered in accordance with law, the necessity, urgency and reality of distinguishing between extensive interpretation and analogy has been increasingly recognized. How do we distinguish between extensive interpretation and analogy? First of all, this depends on the concept of analogy and then on the concept of extensive interpretation. It is relatively easy to determine the concept of analogy because of the instances of legislation in Article 79 of the Criminal Law (1979) and of many judicial precedents. How do we define the extensive interpretation? No consistent views are yet agreed upon in the theoretical field of criminal law.

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