Field Expert Suggests Adding New Regulations to China's Marriage Law

January 14, 2015
Editor: Arnold Hou
Field Expert Suggests Adding New Regulations to China's Marriage Law
Xue Ninglan, a researcher at the Institute of Law of the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) [iolaw.org.cn]

A marriage and family law research expert has suggested in her research monograph that new regulations should be added to the Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China in order to safeguard couples' property and assets as well as their human rights.

"For example, both a husband and a wife bear equal rights with respect to child-bearing, but only the wife bears the right to decide whether to terminate pregnancy or not," said Xue Ninglan, a researcher at the Institute of Law of the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), at a press conference held in Beijing on January 13, 2015 to discuss the research results of the rule of law series launched by the CASS.

"Because personal relationships between married couples, family members and other relatives, especially when it regards to matters such as a property, are based on their love and affection, law can intervene only so much when it comes to these types of relationships," added Xue.

"The current property regulations that exist between married couples cover common property, personal property and exceptional marital property," Xue said.

Xue suggested that if a regulation were introduced to cover the personal property of a married couple, the exact breakdown of their individually owned property could be recorded in their marriage registration file. "A personal-property regulation should be introduced, whereby couples be required to sign a written agreement to be recorded in their marriage registration file. With this new regulation, those who sign the property agreement upon getting married would go through the process of recording their personal property and providing this information to the original marriage registration authority."

In an academic-journal series named A Propositional Version with Reasons for Civil Code Draft of China, which was released at the press conference, some CASS experts also suggested that the range of both the inheritance and the statutory successors in the current inheritance law — the Law of Succession of the People's Republic of China — should be expanded. The first successors, in order, are the spouse, children and parents; the secondary successors, in order, are brothers and sisters, then grandparents; and the third successors, in order, are 4th degree relatives.

The research results of the rule of law series constituted a major part of the research results achieved by the academy in 2014. The press conference promoted two major innovative findings by the CASS Institute of Law, including the research report on the promotion of rule of law in a comprehensive way and the series book named A Propositional Version with Reasons for Civil Code Draft of China.

Xue is currently head of the Social Law Department of the CASS Institute of Law, a graduate school professor at CASS, deputy director of the CASS Center for Gender and Law Studies, and also holds several other titles. She has been a visiting scholar at the Norwegian Institute of Human Rights in Oslo and at various other research institutes and universities in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Thailand and the Republic of Korea. She has been the author of two monographs, editor-in-chief of five books, and has published over 40 articles in various academic journals and written over 10 investigative reports.

(Source: Beijing Morning Post/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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