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  Equality, still a long way to go

by Wang Zhenyu

Thanks to the capitalized revolution, equality evolves into a feature of law from that of theology. As a kind of legal rights, equality means rights and obligations are equally distributed among the people while acknowledging the individual differences. However, we should treat these differences with special caution, because equality is the foundation on which a society of freedom, justice and security is built. “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”, as “the Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens” by the French National Assembly in 1789 stated, “It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All the citizens are entitled to honor, status and work according to their capabilities. There should be no differences except those caused by their merits and capabilities.”

 

Damage to equality can originate from either the system or our innermost beings. Paying due respect to rights, either those of your own or others, is the key to achieving equality.

 

 

The sticking points of impact litigation  can be concluded as lack of legal entity, dissimilation of legal entity, unclear identification of legal entity, imbalance between rights and obligations of legal entity…..All are related to legal entity, especially entity of public power. We know that one of important approaches that exclude rule of men from rule of law is to divide different parts of power/rights structure into legal entity, and then identify their scopes respectively and make regulations of actions that have binding force on all of them.

 

But laws treat subject of public power and that of private right differently. It is because that public power comes from release of individual right in the process of signing social contracts and people have reasons not to trust it and to be cautious, which demands that public power can only be obtained through delegation---no delegation, no power; since people believe in natural rights and limitless private rights, the outskirt of private rights is “prohibition”--- all rights until prohibition. Of course, no matter in the process of delegating or depriving rights, legal entity should follow legal procedures---if validity, origin and scope of legal entity are defined, we are approximating constitutional politics.

 

We find that many institutions in our country that have public power are not arranged into legislation system, and thus they are not legal entity. When we say that certain institution should observe market norms,it argues that it is administrative institutions; when we ask it to fulfill its administrative responsibilities, it argues that it is subject of market---such a confusion has ever existed from the early stage of reform and opening up to now. Some groups and institutions are outside the scope of laws and regulations for ever, but simultaneously for ever they play important roles; when citizens exercise their rights, they have to pass numerous regulations; when citizens need protection of their rights, they find it very difficult to seek help from those regulatory institutions.

 

The Ministry of Health, the Civil Affairs Bureau, police, taxpayers……all these legal entity have confused us so much in the recent three months. It seems that the greatest impediment for us to realize rule of law is the problem of legal entity.

 
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