Over the past twenty years, China has drawn up an extensive system of laws and regulations to protect against economic, environmental and health risks. Benjamin van Rooij will discuss the role that citizens can play as regulators to ensure compliance with these laws is increased
Over the past twenty years, China has drawn up an extensive system of laws and regulations to protect against economic, environmental and health risks. This is meant to counter the negative effects of rapid economic growth and industrialisation. The effects of these laws are limited because many companies violate them that and state enforcement of these laws is weak and fragmented. This causes problems such as environmental pollution, illegal land practices, poor working conditions and unsafe food. Benjamin van Rooij will discuss the role that citizens can play as regulators to ensure compliance with these laws is increased. He will outline two broad trends. On the one hand, Chinese citizens have received more scope to play a supervisory role in supporting the implementation of legislation in the last two decades. On the other hand, citizens have only assumed this role to a limited extent and where this has been done, the effects on compliance have been limited. The reason for this is that the essential conditions for effective monitoring of regulation compliance by civilians, including a degree of independence, organisation, cohesion and knowledge, are often not developed sufficiently. In this respect, it is alarming that the Chinese party-state has actually restricted the newly created legal and political scope for citizen activism. Van Rooij argues that in order to avoid further turmoil, the Chinese party-state needs to create more scope for citizens as regulators along with the corresponding freedom of association, press and expression, and an independent judiciary. Rooij will also discuss the role of the Netherlands China Law Center with regard to the studies and training of researchers in the field of regulatory law and its implementation.
Admission is free