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By Philip C. C. Huang

The fruits of 20 years of analysis, this crucial booklet completes individual historian Philip C. C. Huang's pathbreaking trilogy on chinese language legislation and society from overdue imperial occasions to the current. Huang exhibits how, on the point of ideology and idea, conventional chinese language legislation has been rejected again and again long ago century via China's personal lawmakers, first within the overdue Qing and the republic, then within the progressive and Maoist classes of the People's Republic, and at last back within the present reform period. contemplating felony concept on my own, smooth chinese language legislation can purely be Western legislations, and earlier chinese language law—traditional or Maoist—can haven't any function below the leadership's present preoccupations with modernization and marketization.

But what has really occurred traditionally on the point of judicial perform and the day-by-day lives of universal humans? In exploring this critical query, Huang attracts on a wealthy array of court docket documents and box interviews to demonstrate the remarkable power of conventional chinese language civil justice. Albeit a lot altered, its legacy may be traced in casual and semiformal group justice (e.g., societal and cadres mediation), in addition to in a number of spheres of court-administered formal civil justice, together with estate rights, inheritance and old-age upkeep, and debt responsibilities. He additionally identifies the effect of Maoist justice, particularly its divorce and civil courtroom mediation practices. ultimately, regardless of the reform era's monstrous importation of Western legislation, criminal reasoning hired in judicial perform has proven awesome continuity, with significant implications for China's destiny felony system.

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Extra resources for Chinese Civil Justice, Past and Present (Asia Pacific Perspectives)

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Here social differentiation of the countryside was more pronounced. , the highest examination degree); and the nearby village of Duanxin actually counted twenty-four degree-holders, including five jinshi—Xiong Yuanbao, 2003: 169–70). The village also had large numbers of low-status “tenant-servants,” dianpu. And it differed in the landholding system: here there was the so-called one-field-three-owners (yitian sanzhu) system, more complex than Jiangnan’s one-field-two-owners (yitian liangzhu) system, and resembled the “big rent” and “little rent” system of Taiwan.

But Zhao, who was a semi-stranger to the village, insisted on building his house over the easement, since it was perfectly legal, or else he would demand that Zhuyan concede the entire sales price of 100 yuan. Zhuyuan, of course, refused. The mediation therefore failed. It was clear that while Guang’en was clearly morally in the right, Zhuyuan and Zhao had the law on their side. Confronted with the dilemma, the mediators asked Li Ruyuan, the most respected elder in the Li kin group, to come forth to try to resolve the problem.

And he got seventeen local individuals of high repute (including Zhou Shutang of Shajing village) to come forth, ostensibly to “mediate,” employing the standard rhetoric, to the effect that “the two sides have met and followed the appropriate courtesies . . 6; Huang, 1996: 69). Such case examples show us that the community mediation system worked best among people of roughly equivalent power. If the positions of the two sides were too unbalanced, then there was room for the kind of abuse shown above.

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