Abstract: Rule of law is China’s basic strategy of governing the country and China’s century- long political choice to conform to the world trend and to move to a more advanced social form. For a long time，scholars，in face of opportunities and challenges in the rule-of-law process，tend to attribute all problems to institutions and overlook the dialectical relationship between institution and ethics，witch is rooted in humanity. Since the late 1970s， under the impact of highly materialized market economy and commercialized values，rule of law in China has presented a state of imbalance between institution and ethics，revealing the fundamental frailty of modern professional ethics which is based on the baseline of fairness. As the embodiment of institution and ethics in the context of judicial profession，the basic approach of China’s judicial reform was to build an institutional system that guarantees the judicial authorities to perform their duties in accordance with the law. However，this reform still separated the relationship between the two. Institutional system and professional ethics are the two sides of justice and both cannot be neglected. Judicial professional ethics can make up for the shortcomings of judicial institutions and can direct，evaluate，and regulate judicial acts. Therefore we must not over rely on institutions，instead，we must place equal emphasis on both institution and ethics. The construction of judicial professional ethics can promote judicial fairness and become a forerunning project of judicial reform and rule-of-law strategy.
Key words：rule of law；judicial reform；judicial absence；judicial professional ethics
The Chinese version appeared in Jianghan Academic, 2019(04).