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Ma Xiaohong : Defining the ¡°Soft Law¡±: Seeking Consensus of Law from the Tradition of ¡°Rule by Rite and Law¡±

Abstract: Proposing and researching on the viewpoint of ¡° soft law is law¡± will provide us a new perspective for analyzing ¡°rule by rite and law¡± of ancient China and help us use the experience and wisdom for reference from our predecessors. Additionally, it also offers us a new path for finding the basic consensus on the legal concept not only between ancient and modern China but also between the Orient and the Occident. The social governance of the ancient Chinese society embraced ¡°rule by rite¡± at the very beginning, then evolved to the ¡° rule by law¡± and its indispensable role in Chinese legal system. History tells us that the soft law, coming into existence from the bottom up, is society-oriented, which consists of organic part of the growth of the rule of law, as well as a critical portion in the formation of mainstream value and consensus of the rule of law.

Keywords: Soft Law; Rule by Rite; Consensus

(Editor: Liu Xiaoling)

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