Construir un Rechtsstaat chino

HONG KONG – Rápidamente aumenta el consenso en China sobre la necesidad del imperio de la ley como la precondición más importante para la paz y la prosperidad inclusivas, sostenibles y de largo plazo. Vale la pena entonces considerar las diferencias entre el imperio de la ley y los arreglos institucionales chinos actuales.

Si bien el imperio de la ley se ha definido de diversas maneras, la mayoría de las autoridades coincide en ciertas características clave. Como indica Kenneth W. Dam, de la Universidad de Chicago, en su libro The Law-Growth Nexus (El nexo entre la ley y el crecimiento), el imperio de la ley excluye la ley secreta y la impunidad legal, al tiempo que protege a las personas contra la discriminación legal y aplica a favor de ellas leyes que las benefician.

Thomas Bingham, expresidente del Tribunal Supremo y juez superior de apelaciones del Reino Unido, propuso una definición un tanto más amplia, aunque claramente compatible. Para Bingham, la ley debe ser accesible y –en la medida de lo posible– inteligible, clara y predecible. Todos deben ser gobernados según la ley, aislados de la discreción personal de quienes detentan el poder, y las disputas legales deberían resolverse sin costos prohibitivos ni demoras desmesuradas. Debe existir la igualdad ante la ley junto con una protección adecuada de los derechos humanos fundamentales.

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