Military law emerges and evolves against a backdrop where the Chinese rule of law is in urgent need of a guiding theory. In order to carry out the principle of governing the military according to law, and providing powerful intellectual support to the cause of building up strong armed forces, the CUPL set up the Institute for Military Law Studies (IML) within the Law School in 2003. Soon after the establishment of this institute, the CUPL played a pioneering role in ushering in the first Doctoral and Master programmes in Military Law. In June 2007, Military Law studies was marked by the university as one of the newly approved key subjects and was soon evaluated as featuring field of study. Aiming to further propel Military Law research, the CUPL subsequently formed the IML as a permanent body within the Law School.
The IML comprises five members: 1 professor, 3 associate Professors, and 1 assistant Professor. As of 2013, the IML has employed five special-term professors.
To date, the IML has provided undergraduate students with an elective module on Military Law, which is the first of its kind in China. For graduate students, the IML offers Fundamental Theories of Military Law, Military Administrative Law, Military Criminal Law, Armed Conflict Law, Foreign Military Law, and Military Science etc. For doctoral students, the IML provides programs of study, such as Frontier Issues of the Military Law.
The IML is now focusing on the following areas: Fundamental Theories of Military Law, Military Administrative Law, Military Criminal Law, and Armed Conflict Law, as well as novel research areas, such as the emerging subject of Civil-military Integration. In recent years, the IML has held a prestigious national symposium on Military Law every year, and on the basis of this, the IML has successfully set up the “Chinese Frontier Forum of Military Law”. Moreover, as well as publishing the textbook Military Law, which is being used for nation-wide undergraduate and graduate teaching, the IML is operating The Chinese Military Law Review as a primary academic front. The legal journal comes out every year and is having a big impact on military development. On the whole, in an honest and pragmatic spirit, the IML of the CUPL is sticking to the principle of openness, and by promoting academic exchange and collaboration, the IML is striving to make contributions to the theories and practice of Chinese Military Law.