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9 Police Stud.: Int'l Rev. Police Dev. 151 (1986)
An Introduction to Shanghai's Legal System

handle is hein.journals/polic9 and id is 161 raw text is: An Introduction To Shanghai's Legal
Shi Huanzhang, East China Institute of Politics and
Law, People's Republic of China

The open door policy of the People's
Republic of China invites foreign trade and in-
vestment. This policy has demanded changes
in the legal system. This article introduces the
relevant laws and legal institutions in the city
of Shanghai.
Shanghai is the biggest economic centre in
China. We welcome all foreign entrepreneurs to
come and make investments. Such investment
and cooperation will inevitably involve the pro-
tection of law. This paper serves as a brief in-
troduction to the Shanghai legal system.
First of all, as far as legislation is concerned,
a large number of statutes have been promul-
gated in our country since the adoption of the
economic open-door policy. Shanghai has
already promulgated and will continue promul-
gating many local statutes and decrees cover-
ing such fields as municipal construction,
economic development and cultural interflow.
Secondly, as for its judiciary, Shanghai is a
municipality directly under the central
authority, with subordinate twelve districts
and ten counties. Every district or county has
a basic people's court and procuratorate under
the authority of the intermediate people's
court and procuratorate. Above the inter-
mediate people's court and procuratorate are
the Shanghai High     People's Court and
Shanghai People's Procuratorate. Every court
has a criminal chamber, a civil chamber and an
economic law chamber. Every procuratorate
has a criminal investigation  section, an
economic investigation section and several
other sections. With the rapid development of
Shanghai's economic construction, the admin-
istration of economic cases is playing a more
and more important part in the work of the
court and procuratorate. In Shanghai, the
Shanghai Intermediate People's Court has

jurisdiction as court of first instance over cases
concerning foreign affairs and foreign na-
tionals. In handling such cases, the people's
court follows the principles of taking facts as
the basis and law as criterion, paying re-
spect to international practice and safe-
guarding lawful rights and interests of parties
In the new situation the Shanghai judicial
administration is trying to offer more legal ser-
vice to aid in economic construction and peo-
ple's lives. At present there are thirty-eight
law firms and lawyer's offices with about
1,000 professional, part-time and specially-
accredited lawyers all together. Shanghai
International Economic & Trade Law Firm,
Shanghai Lawyer's Office for Patent Affairs,
'Shanghai Lawyer's Office for Foreign
Economic Affairs, Shanghai Lawyer's Office
for Maritime Affairs and Shanghai Lawyer's
Office for Overseas Chinese have accumulated
a wealth of experience in handling legal prob-
lems concerning foreign affairs and foreign na-
tionals. Shanghai No.4 Law Firm is mainly
composed of jurists and scholars of the East
China Institute of Politics and Law who offer
society extensive legal services combined with
teaching and fairly deep research into all kinds
of legal problems. Besides handling cases,
lawyers in Shanghai also act as legal con-
sultants to state organs, enterprises and public
organizations. In recent years, law firms and
lawyer's offices in Shanghai have offered ex-
tensive legal services to their client units. It is
estimated that until the end of last June, all
law firms and lawyer's offices handled over
7,600 economic law affairs of various kinds,
participated into over 1,000 domestic and
international business negotiations, served as
agents in over 940 economic conflicts, settled
by consolidation over 1,400 economic conflicts
and offered over 22,400 legal services. The
above statistics show that lawyers have ex-

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