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Professor Zhu Jingwen Gave a Lecture at the 100th “Jurisprudence Forum”:"a Few Questions About Evaluating the Rule of Law"

At 2:30p.m. March 17th , 2017, The 100th Jurisprudence Forum, hosted by was held at the conference room 602 in Mingde Law Building. Professor Zhu Jingwen, also doctoral supervisor, Law and director of the center for the study of globalization, chief editor of English journal Frontiers of Law in China, gave an excellent lecture on some theoretic question concerning how to evaluate the rule of law. Besides, Professor Zhang Zhiming, Professor Ma Xiaohong, Professor Shi Tongbiao, Professor Feng Yujun, Assistant Professor Wang Zhendong, Assistant Professor You Chenjun, Assistant Professor Zhangyan, Assistant Professor Meng Tao, Assistant Professor Yu Luxue attended the forum as guests.

At the beginning of the forum, Professor Zhang Zhiming gave a brief introduction about Professor Zhu, and gave an primary explanation on the theme of this forum.

Then Professor Zhu started his lecture. Firstly he introduced his academic experience in researching on the evaluation of rule of law, and mentioned a few remarkable achievements. Later, he pointed out that the essences of evaluating the rule of law includes the composition and evaluating system of rule of law.

To evaluate rule of law, the priority is to understand what id rule of law, which is most essential in evaluating rule of law. Rule of law asks for ruling by provisions, restraining the abuse of power, protecting basic rights and maintaining social order and security., so the evaluation of rule of law must consider different perspectives. In the recent decade, the world also evaluate on Rule of Law from various aspects, for example, its basic principle was interpreted from the governments and individuals legal responsibilities, right protection, legal activities and judicial resources. Besides, rule of law is a both universal and special concept, rule of law in different countries have different meanings. The evaluation should base on the situation of each country.

Professor Zhu then explained the evaluation system from these aspects: social science evaluation methods, the qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis, indicators of evaluation, and who should be evaluating.

Firstly, Professor pointed that a complete evaluation criteria needs to include provision standards, value standards and social standards, which are common standards used in social science. Provision standards requires legal system to be consistent, not confronting each other. The value standards requires law to be connected with ethics and justice. Social standards requires the social effects of rule of law. These three standards needs to be combined, but the last is the most important.

Subsequently, Professor Zhu introduced qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. He pointed out that qualitative analysis is the basis of analysis, and quantitative analysis works in areas lacking trustworthy data. These two methods are complementary.

Next, Jules professor introduced some indicators of evaluating rule of law: objective indicators and subjective indicators, positive, negative, neutral and fuzzy indicators, input and output indicators. He stressed that the objective standards are associated with researchers interest or officials promotion, and thus maybe cant be trust. Subjective indicator are inaccurate, but sometimes can be trusted, and thus can be used to correct subjective indicators. Professor Zhu explained this by using criminal rate and corruption rate as example.

Finally, evaluation of rule of law can be divided in to official evaluation and third party evaluation according to evaluating subjects. Official evaluation is authorized with first-hand materials, but can be faked because it links to officials working assessment. The evaluation by a third party is neutral, but can be inaccurate since their limited data and materials. We should focus on combing these together in the future.

In questioning and commenting section, Professor Zhang said that Professor Zhu had done great job, in which he considers all aspects of evaluating rule of law. He also changed opinions with Professor Zhu over the practical definition of rule of law, the choice and division of indicators, and whether the evaluation was subjective or objective. Professor Shi phrased Professor Zhu,s work, saying that statistics are more clear and convincing.Professor You believed that a crucial problem was how to implement domestic and foreign evaluation system, as our system was largely inspired and influenced by foreign evaluation system.

As the last part of the forum, the host took a photo with all the guests presented. And this more than two-hour long forum finally ended in applauds.

(Editor: Hong Siying)

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