Studying Chinese law from a linguistic and communicative perspective, this book examines meaning and language in Chinese law. It investigates key notions and concepts of law, the rule of law, and rights and their evolutionary meanings. It examines the linguistic usage and textual features in Chinese legal texts and legal translation, and probes the lawmaking process and the Constitution as speech act and communicative action. Taking a cross-cultural approach, the book applies major Western philosophical thought to Chinese law, in particular the ideas concerning language and communication by such major thinkers as Peirce, Whorf, Gadamer, Habermas, Austin and Searle. The focus of the study is contemporary People's Republic of China; however, the study also traces and links the inherited and introduced cultural and linguistic values and configurations that provide the context in which modern Chinese law operates.