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Jian Sheng Li

Date of Award


Author's School

School of Law

Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Degree Type



Since the start of the economic reform of I 979, the economy of China has seen rapid growth leading to a tremendous increase of the supply of kinds and quantity of goods. The increased availability of goods has rapidly raised the Living standard and working conditions of the Chinese people. However, because China's economy, which ~as a planned-economy before the economic reform, was in the early stages of the development of a market economy and thus many requirements for protecting or ensuring the fair competition in the market were not yet or not totally met, the prevalence of fake and inferior products became a serious social problem accompanying the ever-increasing availability of goods on the market. To raise the quality of Chinese goods, to curb the production and sale of fake and inferior-quality goods, to protect consumers and end-users, and to protect the social and economic order, China, beginning from the early l 980's, promulgated a number of laws and regulations concerning product-quality inspection and product liability. During this process, China reformed her system of administrative supervision of product quality, created new criminal responsibilities, and established systems of remedies such as administrative review, administrative litigation, and state compensation to resolve administrative disputes, to supervise the performance of administrative authorities, and to protect legitimate interests of individuals and organizations including product manufacturers and sellers. Also, by adopting experience of foreign countries, China set up a number of new civil-law institutions such as product warranties, product strict liability, punitive damage, mental distress, and the concept and measuring-methods of "product defects". After tremendous effort over twenty years, China has developed a relatively comprehensive legal system governing product quality supervision and product liability. This treatise, through the introduction and the analysis of related legislation and regulations, court decisions, comments of Chinese scholars, and statistics, attempts to show the structure, the current main provisions, the evolution, the characteristics, and the effectiveness of the Chinese legal system on product quality supervision and product liability, and to draw a comprehensive picture of it. In some parts of this treatise, certain comparisons of product legal schemes and theories concerning product liability between China and the United States have been made to help readers more easily understand China's system and to show the characteristics, advantages, flaws, and the possible direction of improvement of the system in the future. In the last part of this treatise, the author provides some suggestions for the correction of certain flaws existing in current Chinese legislation and judicial practices.

Chair and Committee

William C. Jones, Supervision Professor, Chairperson; Dorsey D. Ellis, Examining Professor; Frances H. Foster, Examining Professor.

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