“Sino-Polish Perspectives on the Theory and Practice of Contract Law”
The Scholar Publishing House 2020
Editors: Piotr Grzebyk, Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk, Chen Su
This monograph is a collection of studies presented during the 4th Sino-Polish Seminar on Comparative Law, which took place on April 25, 2019, in Beijing at the Institute of Law Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The seminar was hosted by prof. Chen Su – the director of the Institute.
Scientific collaboration between the Institute of Law, CASS and three Polish faculties of law (University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University, and University in Silesia in Katowice) is based on the cordial relations between prof. Xie Zengyi and dr hab. Piotr Grzebyk and their common scientific interest in labor law. Those two have met for the first time in January 16/17, 2014 in Helsinki and took part in the conference ILO Fundamental Labor Rights in China: Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic, organized by the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture. Joint discussions and similar research interests resulted in participation in several international projects carried out by the Institute of Law, CASS, with the joint efforts of both Institute of Law CASS and the Polish faculties of law.
On March 2, 2016, inspired by the model of cooperation between the Institute of Law, CASS and the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, Piotr Grzebyk has initiated the establishment of the Polish Research Center for Law and Economy University of Warsaw, which today coordinates the organization of Sino-Polish seminars in Poland. The seminars themselves are modeled on the Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminars on Comparative Law which are held in China and Finland alternately, once a year.
In 2017 we have published together the book summarizing the 3rd Sino-Polish Seminar on Comparative Law (Piotr Grzebyk, Franciszek Longchamps de Berier, Chen Su eds., Theory and Practice of Codification: the Chinese and Polish Perspectives, Social Sciences Academic Press 2019, pp. 303, ISBN 978-7-5097-7987-3). By publishing the book, we want to follow the good tradition of joint publications which creates an important platform for dialogue between Chinese and Polish legal scholars.
As far as the 4th Sino-Polish Seminar on Comparative Law is concerned, it is worth underlying that it has been the first seminar with the participation of the University of Silesia in Katowice (who was officially represented by prof. Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk as the Dean’s Plenipotentiary for Internationalization)that was invited by the representatives from the Institute of Law, CASS, namely by prof. Chen Su and prof. Xie Zengyi; Jagiellonian University, namely by prof. Franciszek Longchamps de Berier; and Warsaw University, namely by dr hab. Piotr Grzebyk. This seminar according to its title The Theory and Practice of Contract Law was focused on various (general and more specific) issues of contract law from both historical and current perspectives. The topic concerning contracting has been determined for the 4th Sino-Polish Seminar for two main reasons. Firstly, contracts are very vital in international relations and regulate many fields of various legal entities’ activities (what means in particular private persons, entrepreneurs). In other words, contracts are the most important base for creating legal relationships. From the perspective of Sino-Polish relations research concerning contracts by employing comparative method is very valuable not only for scientific reasons. It enables better understanding of legal and cultural context to both sides and may play an important role for the practice also. Secondly, in the time the seminar has been held (April 25, 2019), China had been on its last step towards the New Chinese Civil Code. From this perspective, Polish or European approach to various contractual issues and legal solutions might be valuable for Chinese academics to the extent of: firstly, the methodology of law interpretation and application that is preferred in the legal culture that differs from Chinese one, secondly, particular legal solutions, and thirdly, some problematic issues that were identified in Polish law (what creates European perspective) or in private international law sensu largo under the example of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
The book that handed over to the readers is divided into two parts that were structured to reflect the idea: from the past to the present. The first part is focused on comparative approach of contract law in historical context and covers the input of one Polish representative - prof. Tomasz Giaro (The Law of Contract Viewed from the Historical Context of the Civil Law Tradition), and two Chinese representatives: prof. Zhu Guangxin (On the Re-codification of Specific Provisions of Contract Law), and prof. Xia Xiao xiong(“Codification” of Commercial Law: A Historical Investigation and System-Analysis with the Codification of Commercial Law in Western European Countries in the 19th Century as its Core). The second part presents various aspects of contracting from Chinese and Polish perspectives. The contributors (two Chinese academics and four Polish academics) take into consideration various issues (some of them are more general and others are rather of specific nature) that are regulated in general part of civil law, contract law, labor law, commercial and finally private international law sensu largo, namely: prof. Yi Jun (Contextual Relations Between Basic Principles of the Civil Law), dr hab. Piotr Grzebyk (Distinguishing Between Employees and the Self-Employed; Contract of Employment vs. Civil Law Contracts), prof. Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk (The Significance of Trust and Reasonable Expectations in Commercial Contracts (From the Perspective of Polish Law, with Some References to Chinese Law and Culture)), prof. Xie Hongfei (Re-systematisation of the Guarantee Rules in the Chinese Civil Code-Taking the Second Drafts of the Code’s Various Books as the Objects of Analysis), Ph.d. Małgorzata Pohl-Michałek (The Remaining Chinese State Reservation under the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), and Ph.d. Anna Lichosik (The Legal Classification of Bitcoin in Polish Law).
The 4th Sino-Polish Seminar and the previous seminars were found by all participants and contributors from Poland and China as a very effective event worth continuing. There is a lot of scientific space for the continuation of these research in the future. The most vital reason for that is connected with the New Chinese Civil Code (《中华人民共和国民法典》), which was adopted on May 28, 2020, and will be in force on January 1, 2021. Polish academics are very much interested in the solutions inserted in the New Chinese Civil Code and Chinese are very much interested in Polish experience, in particular to the extent of Polish approach to the most problematic issues and methodology of law interpretation and application that enables to overcome them.
This book gives the hope that mutual Sino-Polish scientific cooperation between academic partners is worth continuing. We are writing these words in time of COVID-19. However, we do believe that pandemic is not to be seen as a permanent obstacle in mutual meeting in the real world (on-line meetings are always possible, however for obvious reasons they do not guarantee the same values of social life, relations etc.). Considerable values – including friendships and good relations between the academics from CASS and Polish universities – that have been created thanks for these four seminars allow us to endure the time of difficulty.
Finally, we like to thank all the contributors for their interesting papers, Professor Xie Zengyi and dr hab. Piotr Grzebyk who are the contact persons for the collaboration of both sides including this publication project, and Ms Shen Qian from CASS who also has been involved in the preparation for this publication.
July 29, 2020 Warsaw, Katowice, Beijing
Chen Su, Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk, Piotr Grzebyk