Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of the Jurist (法学家) Volume 7

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Volume 7 is the fourth work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law which bring together the work of recognized scholars from China, offering a window on current legal research in China.
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Chapter 2: On the justification of local rule of law: based on the jurisprudential interpretation of governing autonomy

Ni Fei


The rule of law practices in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces arouse scholars’ disputes on the concept of local rule of law. Scholars on one side believe that sovereignty is the foundation of the modern rule of law concept, and local units are not independent from the rule of law. Thus, the concept of local rule of law is unconfirmed. Scholars on the other side support the views put forward regarding the rule of law in advance theory, regional culture theory, regional competition theory and national trial and error theory from the subjective and objective motivating factors in the local rule of law development. But due to a lack of focus on the absence of a power basis of the local rule of law, these theories do not effectively justify the local rule of law concept. The governing power of the local is the legal basis of the concept of rule of law; the provisions of the local governing power in the constitution and legislation are institutional bases of the local rule of law; and the local governing autonomy dominated by the central authority is the practical social basis of the local rule of law; governing autonomy theory helps to ensure the subject level of the local rule of law concept, evaluate local rule of law practices and reasonably define the relationship between the national rule of law and the local rule of law.

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