This book provides a unique empirical study of criminal trials in China. Western observers such as the media, politicians and the legal scholars alike, have rarely had the exposure to the vast majority of the ordinary criminal trials in China.
A number of legal reforms have been implemented in Chinese criminal courts in recent years, but there has been little research on whether these reforms have been effective. This book fills that gap, by unveiling the day-to-day reality of criminal cases tried by the lowest level courts in China. The data used in this study include hundreds of criminal trial observations, complete criminal case dossiers, and a comprehensive questionnaire survey of criminal justice practitioners from one large province located in China's Southeast coast. These data were collected over a two-year period, with a generous research grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, by scholars already working in the Chinese legal system.
The work opens with a historical framework of the Chinese criminal justice system, both Western and Chinese interpretations, and an overview of the current state of the system. It will provide unique analysis of how criminal trials are being carried out in China, with a useful context for scholars with varying levels of familiarity with the current system. The research framework for gathering data discussed in this book will also provide a useful basis for studying the criminal justice system in other regions.
Introduction.- Chinese Legality: Western Perspectives.- Chinese Legality: Chinese Perspectives.- The Rule of Law Overview.- Overview of Recent Reforms.- Everyday Justice and Chinese Legal Reforms.- Chinese Interpretations of Justice.- Conclusions._
From the book reviews:
"He's study provides a comprehensive examination of the system with both historical length and empirical breadth. ... it is one of the few social science inquiries on Chinese criminal justice that combines a survey of law practitioners with content analyses of case files and trial observations. The original data reported in the book are worth the attention of both students of Chinese law and observers of China's troubled criminal justice system and its rapidly changing legal profession." (Sida Liu, Crime Law and Social Change, Vol. 62, 2014)
What sets this book apart are the focus on lower-level criminal trial courts, where most criminal law business is done in all legal cultures, and excellent placement of the data in historical context.
--Steve Russell, Asian Journal of Criminology (10.1007/s11417-014-9186-6)
Ni He's book makes a significant contribution to the larger project of rule of law in China. It is a carefully focused, elegantly versed, historically rooted, and reasonably compact monograph on criminal trials in China.
--Liquin Cao, Journal of Contemporary Asia (10.1080/00472336.2014.913432)
Introduction.- Chinese Legality: Western Perspectives.- Chinese Legality: Chinese Perspectives.- The Rule of Law Overview.- Overview of Recent Reforms.- Everyday Justice and Chinese Legal Reforms.- Chinese Interpretations of Justice.- Conclusions.¿
Reveals the findings of unprecedented, large-scale, empirical research on the Chinese criminal justice system
Provides unique insight into the Chinese criminal justice system by native Chinese legal scholars
Explores a model for studying the criminal justice system with applications for other large-scale national studies¿