Gary Locke

China’s future success depends on rule of law, says Locke

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 7:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 7:08pm


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China’s future success will depend on the fair application of its laws, says United States ambassador to China Gary Locke.

“China has a bright future, but this success depends on the implementation of rule of law,” Locke stressed in Beijing on Monday, reported.

Locke made the remarks while opening the Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition at the Renmin University of China. The student debating competition was a simulation of a dispute between countries before the international court of justice.

Locke said that for any modern government to rule effectively, it has to do so in accordance with the rule of law. It also has to continuously update its laws – as society changes.

In his speech, Locke discussed the development of laws and legal ideas in the United States. But he noted that China had a much longer history of this than America.

Citing an old Chinese proverb: “A prince who commits a crime will endure the same penalty as a plebeian,” Locke credited China for introducing the idea of “equality before the law” more than 2,000 years ago.

He also acknowledged China’s recent progress in modernising its legal system and training its lawyers.

“Thirty years ago, China had six law schools and about 2,000 lawyers. Today, China has over 600 law schools and more than 230,000 law practitioners,” Locke noted.

Other speakers opening the competition were German ambassador Michael Schaefer and his Canadian counterpart Guy Saint-Jacques.

Teams from 39 schools in China participated in the competition. The winning teams will take part in an international competition in Washington in the end of March.