China's legal response to the global financial crisis: increasing certainty in contractual disputes to boost market confidence

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The recent global financial crisis has compelled China to make significant changes to its legal system, not least in the area of contract law. In 2009, China's Supreme People's Court issued a Judicial Interpretation and Guiding Opinion modifying the uniform contract law passed in 1999. These deal with issues such as the validity, performance and breach of contracts, and were issued in direct response to the economic downturn. This article focuses on the modifications the new Interpretation and Opinion have made to the governance of contractual relations in China, as well as considering what their impact will be for businesses operating in China. By addressing these issues, this article offers a clear overview of the current state of contract law in China and considers whether there will now be more certainty in the outcome of contractual disputes as a result of the recent changes and a consequent rise in market confidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-500
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Corporate Law Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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