Position:   Overview >> Introduction

The Institute of Legal History of CUPL is one of the state-level key research bases of humanities and social sciences affiliated to China’s Ministry of Education. The Institute was originally known as China Legal History Research Academy founded by Prof. Zhang Jinfan in 1985, who was lifelong professor of CUPL. Legal history research in CUPL, as a major, was named one of the first state-level key disciplines by State Education Commission in 1998, and the title was renewed by the Ministry of Education in the year 2000. CUPL Legal History Research Center was formed on the basis of the original China Legal History Research Academy in October 2002, and formally chosen as one of the key research bases of humanities and social sciences by Ministry of Education in December 2004, and was renamed as the Institute of Legal History CUPL in 2006.


Prof. Zhang Jinfan and Prof. Zhu Yong are currently the honorary deans of the institute, with Prof. Gu Yuan and Associate Prof. Wang Yinhong as the deputy deans. The institute now consists of 25 full and part-time researchers, 13 of them serving as full-time members including 9 professors (containing 7 PhD supervisors), 1 lifelong professor, 2 second-level professors, 2 Qian Duansheng Scholars included, 4 associate professors. Besides, 2 secretaries and 1 book & network information staff work full-time for the faculty. The institute has now three research departments, namely the Department of Legal History, the Department of Legal Culture History, and the Department of Comparative Legal Cultural History. Other affiliations include Office of Research Data, Office of Online Data, General Office, and Office of Information Exchange. The Academic Board of the institute is composed of renowned experts and scholars home and abroad with Prof. Zhang Jinfan acting as the chairman.


Led by Prof. Zhang Jinfan, the institute (originally the academy or the center) undertook and completed dozens of scientific research programs at national or the provincial level, and presented a lot of research contributions with comparatively high academic value and influence, e.g. General History of Chinese Legal System (ten volumes in total), General History of Chinese Minorities’ Law (ten volumes), The History of Judicial Civilization in Ancient China (four volumes), Overview of Chinese Minorities’ Legal History (five volumes), Traditions of Chinese Law and Its Modern Transition, and Research Studies on Patriarchal Clan Law in Qing Dynasty, etc. So far, more than 10 achievements won various awards, among which General History of Chinese Legal System (ten volumes in total) was awarded the first-rank prize in the Chinese Book Award, Development of Chinese Legal Civilization and the Chinese Higher Learning Institution Humanities and Social Sciences Excellent Research Achievement Prize, while Progression of Chinese Legal Civilization, and Comparative Studies on Chinese and Japanese Legal Cultures Exchange were awarded respectively the second prize in the Chinese Higher Learning Institution Humanities and Social Sciences Excellent Research Achievement Prize and Identify History and Clarify Present won the second prize of Beijing Philosophy and Social Science Outstanding Achievement Award. Currently, more than 20 research projects led by the institute and its full-time research members are underway, including The Study of the Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Innovation and Development of the Rule of Law. Full-time researchers of the institute have published more than 180 academic works, over 40 textbooks, more than 20 reference books, and over 800 academic papers, more than 90 of which were published overseas.


A distinctive feature of the legal history research has been formed in the institute, that is to emphasize both the history and the reality, a combination of theoretical study on legal history with legal culture inheritance, promoting both the domestic studies and overseas exchanges, and exploring research frontiers thus contributing to the contemporary legal construction and legal cultural exchange with excellent research fruits. Our institute also offers Post-PhD, PhD (including overseas students), masters and undergraduates programs. More than 300 candidates have already acquired their doctoral degree, and hundreds of students have already gained their master's degree till now, among whom some have grown up as the elite of academic field, and some have held important positions in the government departments.

The institute has been taking the academic study as its essential duty all the time. Since 2009, it has been ranking first in contributing to 15 China Legal Science Citation Index (CLSCI) in the specialty of legal history. Besides, it holds various academic activities frequently, including a high-level international and national academic conference at least every year. The institute now has four series of publication, namely Academic Annual (Chinese legal system), Papers and Presentations for PHD, Academic Libraries and Overseas Collection of Translations. The institute is an open-minded academic organization and maintains exchange and cooperation with many domestic and foreign academic organizations with high-quality scientific research and working conditions as well as books and reference materials, it will try its best to provide the best research platform to domestic and abroad scholars.


All in all, Institute of Legal History of CUPL will take Double First Class University Plan as the central emphasis, and continue to bring its advantages into full play by the Platform of Key Research Institute in University, solidify academic colleagues and make great efforts to build it as a top-ranking academic research base of legal history.





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