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“First Class of the Semester”|Attend a Lecture of the Master, Feel the Charm of Criminal Law

At 8:00 am, September 13th 2018, First Class of the Semester for the freshmen of Renmin Law School was held at the Academic Lecture Hall 601, Mingde Law Building. Professor Gao Mingxuan, the honorary first-grade professor of Renmin University of China, doctoral supervisor of Renmin Law School, major founder and pioneer of P.R.China's criminal law, was invited to attend. With the topic of "The Achievements, Experiences and Prospects of China's Criminal Legislation", Prof. Gao gave a vivid and meaningful First Class" for the freshmen of Renmin Law School.

Prof. Gao Mingxuan is not only a major founder and pioneer of P.R.China's criminal law, but also a major witness and participant in the establishment and development of the criminal legislation. He has made great contributions to Chinese legal education and enjoys a high reputation in Chinese and even international jurisprudential circle. Prof. Gao is over 90 years old this year, but he still stands on the front line of teaching and delivers a lecture to the freshmen born after 2000. On behalf of all the teachers and students of Renmin Law School, Dean Wang Yi expressed his great respect to prof. Gao. He encouraged the students to learn from Prof. Gao's rigorous academic spirit and wished this class a complete success.

Afterwards, Prof. Gao analyzed the issue of "China's Criminal Legislation" from three aspects: legislative achievements, basic experience and future prospects. Prof. Gao first fully affirmed the legal significance and historical value of Chinese Criminal Code 1997. From his perspective, it scientifically sums up the basic spirit of criminal law and expressly stipulates the three basic principles of criminal law, which is the principle of legality, the principle of equality and the principle of compatibility of crime, responsibility and punishment. It embodies that China's criminal law has been on the orbit of modern rule of law while building the legal foundation of human rights protection in China. During the drafting and revision of Chinese Criminal Code 1997, Chinese Criminal Code 1979 and all the single criminal law and subsidiary criminal law were studied, revised and integrated. At the same time, new criminal behaviors that needed to be prosecuted for criminal responsibility were added to the specific provisions, which has a remarkable feature of connecting the past with the future and keeping pace with The Times. Chinese Criminal Code 1997 clears the boundary of different crimes and balances different statutory sentence, the promulgation of which lays the foundation of the internationalism of Chinese criminal law.

Later on, Prof. Gao pointed out that Chinas criminal legislation has made remarkable achievements since the reform and opening-up. The precious historical experience has taught us that it is imperative to adhere to Chinese Communist Partys leadership, to ensure the correctness of the criminal legislative direction, to make good use of the criminal policy to guide the legislative amendment, to keep pace with The Times and lead the legislative progress and to create a new pattern of coordinated development between legislation and theoretical practice.

Finally, Prof. Gao talked about several thoughts on the future legislative trend of China's criminal law. First, the mode that revising the criminal code with amendments should be continued to maintain the unity and integrity of criminal code. Second, we should fully implement the central committee's instructions on gradually reducing the number of crimes subject to death penalty, and gradually abolish death penalty for non-violent and economic crimes. Third, we should adhere to the principle of clarifying the amount of fine punishment, and determine the proportion or multiple of the fine punishment according to the specific circumstances. Fourth, the scientific development of the criminal law system and legislation technology should be further promoted. In the general provisions, the criminal responsibility of special groups such as pregnant women, minors, the elderly and people with mental disorders should be centralized. In the specific provisions, on the other hand, a single chapter should be set up for information network crimes related to big data and cloud computing.

After the lecture, Prof. Gao signed books as gifts to the students on the scene, expressing his hope and blessings to the freshmen. Amid warm applause from all the teachers and students, the "First Class of the Semester" for the freshmen of Renmin Law School was successfully concluded.

(Editor: Yinsheng Qu)

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