In The Limits of the Rule of Law in China, fourteen authors from different academic disciplines reflect on questions that have troubled Chinese and Western scholars of jurisprudence since classical times. Using data from the early 19th century through the contemporary period, they analyze how tension between formal laws and discretionary judgment is discussed and manifested in the Chinese context.
The contributions cover a wide range of topics, from interpreting the rationale for and legacy of Qing practices of collective punishment, confession at trial, and bureaucratic supervision to assessing the political and cultural forces that continue to limit the authority of formal legal institutions in the People’s Republic of China.
Introduction: The Problem of Paradigms
1. Conceptions and Receptions of Legality: Understanding the Complexity of Law Reform in Modern China
2. Law, Law, What Law? Why Western Scholars of China Have Not Had More to Say about Its Law
3. Using the Past to Make a Case for the Rule of Law
4. Rule of Man and the Rule of Law in China: Punishing Provincial Governors during the Qing
5. Collective Responsibility in Qing Criminal Law
6. True Confessions? Chinese Confessions Then and Now
7. Law and Discretion in Contemporary Chinese Courts
8. Equality and Justice in Official and Popular Views about Civil Obligations: China and Taiwan
9. Language and Law: Sources of Systemic Vagueness and Ambiguous Authority in Chinese Statutory Language
10. The Future of Federalism in China
11. The Rule of Law Imposed from Outside: China's Foreign-Oriented Legal Regime since 1978
Epilogue: The Deep Roots of Resistance to Law Codes and Lawyers in China
A skillful, multidisciplinary collection by China specialists, this volume treats fazhi (the rule of law) as it relates conceptually and practically to historical and contemporary China.