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Building the Rule of Law at the Local Level, with an Analysis of its Evaluation Mechanisms

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.11, 2014

 

Building the Rule of Law at the Local Level, with an Analysis of its Evaluation Mechanisms

(Abstract)

 

Fu Zitang and Zhang Shangen

 

Rising above the analytical model of the holistic state in rule of law, we can classify the rule of law into national and local on the basis of its stages and incremental progress. Constructing a socialist country under rule of law is inseparable from the concrete practice of the rule of law at the local level. The phenomenon of the local rule of law is an expression of the stages and progress of building a China based on rule of law; it has an immediate social foundation and an underlying jurisprudential foundation. Comprehensively promoting the rule of law necessarily requires encouragement and support for the rule of law at the local level, using “going ahead and trying it out” to explore and innovate a developmental model of the rule of law for socialism with Chinese characteristics. Rule of law at the local level manifests the three dimensions of “text—action—concept,” or realizing the rule of law in local institutional systems, action systems, and conceptual systems, accompanied by the corresponding evaluation mechanisms and indicators. The building of the rule of law at the local level should be synchronized with evaluation systems. This requires that we optimize top-level design, conduct evaluations of local legislation, improve the performance assessment system, and use rule of law indicators to evaluate local rule of law across the board. Provided that we adhere to the unity of the rule of law at the national level, strengthening construction of the rule of law at the local level and optimizing a local evaluation system for this purpose are not only concrete actions for developing the new situation of governing the country with law, but also a necessary requirement for governing the ultimate goal of rule of law in China as a whole.