The legal education and research of Jilin University (Northeast People’s University, one of the former names of the University), started in 1948, have been experiencing rapid development since the era of the reform and opening-up in 1980s. In 1988, with the approval of the former State Education Commission, the Department of Law, Jilin University was transformed into the School of Law, Jilin University.
After 70-year endeavor and development, Jilin University School of Law has become a leading base of Chinese legal education and legal personnel training, and is commonly referred as one of the Four Most Prestigious Law Schools in China. Jilin University School of Law is also the only Chinese law school that has not suspended the career of legal talents education during the Cultural Revolution period. It witnessed the history of legal education in China and continued the bloodline of Chinese legal education career.
Furthermore, in the past several decades, Jilin University School of Law has always been home to many legal innovations, most importantly the initiation and development of the rights-based school of thought. It gave top priority to researching legal issues with Chinese characteristics and committed to continuously innovating theories and systems relating to the Socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics. The initiation of the rights-based legal idea symbolizes that the level of modernization of Chinese jurisprudence has achieved qualitative improvement, which has also laid the foundational position of Jilin University School of Law in the field of Chinese legal theory research. For decades, scholars at Jilin University School of Law have made continuous efforts in developing the “rights-based” theory. These scholars have been committed to the reconstruction of Chinese legal theory system, the renewal of the concept of the rule of law and the study on the changes of legal research methods. They have successively conducted research on major projects such as “the basic categories of law”, “the spirit of modern law”, “knowledge economy and legal system innovation”, “the study of socialist jurisprudence theoretical system with Chinese characteristic”, “the study of the socialist judicial theory system with Chinese characteristics” and “the study of newly-emerging rights” and came up with new legal proposals including “reconstructing China’s legal theory system with rights and obligations as its basic category” , “innovating the Chinese legal system with the spirit of modern law as its core”, “achieving the right-based paradigm shift of contemporary Chinese legal philosophy study” and other important theoretical claims. These efforts continue to expand Jilin University School of Law’s influence on China’s legal theory research community.
In 2017, Jilin University School of Law emerged from 6 hundred Chinese law schools in the appraisal of “First Class Discipline” held by the Ministry of Education of China. It was rated as one of the “First Class Law Schools” in China, which means that the Chinese government would fully support Jilin University School of Law’s development and endeavors to make it a world-class law school in the coming years. It also means that Jilin University School of Law would work even harder to enhance our competitiveness in the context of globalization, establish stronger cooperation links with various overseas universities and academic institutions and strive to achieve the internationalization of legal personnel training. We have established the academic development strategy of “taking jurisprudence as core and taking right-based theory as foundation” and persist in conducting research and studies on socialist jurisprudence theory with Chinese characteristics, political civilization and legal civilization and judicial theories based on China’s great practice of promoting the rule of law in all-round way and the background of globalization. Our research keeps focusing on real problems happened in Chinese society and the thought of Marxism is our general guideline. At the same time, in response to the demands of legal adjustments caused by the development of modern science and technology, we have actively promoted the innovation of socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics and the advancement of the rule of law and the development of the discipline of law so as to continue to add new elements to Chinese culture and contribute to China’s wisdom for the rule of law.
The present outstanding achievements of the School of Law are the results of perseverance, vigor and struggle of several generations. The achievements would encourage the law faculty to be more innovative, pioneering, and progressive in the future!