The History and Theory of Legal Practice in China

Toward a Historical-Social Jurisprudence


The History and Theory of Legal Practice in China: Toward a Historical-Social Jurisprudence goes beyond the either/or dichotomy of Chinese vs. Western law, tradition vs. modernity, and the substantive-practical vs. the formal. It does so by proceeding not from abstract legal texts but from the realities of legal practice. Whatever the declared intent of a law, it must in actual application adapt to social realities. It is the two dimensions of representation and practice, and law and society, that together make up the entirety of a legal system. The assembled articles by the editors and a new generation of Chinese scholars illustrate a new “historical-social jurisprudence,” and explore the possible conceptual underpinnings of a modern Chinese legal system that would both accommodate and integrate the unavoidable paradoxes of contemporary China.

Prices from (excl. VAT):

Add to Cart
Philip C.C. Huang taught at UCLA from 1966 to 2004, advancing to “Professor, Above-Scale” in 1991, and has taught at the Renmin University of China, in the Law School and the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, since 2005. His major publications are his trilogy on rural China: The Peasant Economy and Social Change in North China, 1985; The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350- 1988, 1990; and Beyond the Left-Right Divide: Searching for a Path of Rural Development in China from the History of Practice, in Chinese only, 2014; and his trilogy on Chinese civil justice: Civil Justice in China: Representation and Practice in the Qing, 1996; Code, Custom, and Legal Practice in China: The Qing and the Republic Compared, 2001; Chinese Civil Justice, Past and Present, 2010.

Kathryn Bernhardt is Professor Emerita of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Rents, Taxes, and Peasant Resistance: The Lower Yangzi Region, 1840-1950 (Stanford University Press, 1992; awarded the 1992 John K. Fairbank prize of the American Historical Association) and Women and Property in China, 960-1949 (Stanford University Press, 1999) and co-editor (with Philip C. C. Huang) of Civil Law in Qing and Republican China (Stanford University Press, 1994). She has served as the coeditor of Modern China: An International Journal of History and Social Science from 1998 to the present.
"All contributors to the volume […] have done a great job of connecting their research to the proposed paradigm of historical-social jurisprudence in studying Chinese legal history. Their essays are highly welcome additions to the emerging field of empirical Chinese legal history. The volume offers a wealth of detailed case studies of the legal practices of the Qing, Republican and PRC eras from the Chinese perspective that will not only be of interest to scholars of Chinese legal history, but also to anyone concerned with the ongoing legal reform and transplantation process in contemporary China."
Michael H.K. Ng, University of Hong Kong, Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, 64. 2, December 2016
Author Biographies
Series Foreword

Editor’s Introduction

      Philip C. C. Huang

Part One: Women and the Law

1. A Ming-Qing Transition in Chinese Women’s History? The Perspective from Law
      Kathryn Bernhardt
Scholarship on Women in the Late Ming and Qing
      The Ming-Qing Present
     The Past
     The Future

The Perspective from Law

The Peasantization of Law

2. Women’s Choices under the Law: Marriage, Divorce, and Illicit Sex in the Qing and the Republic
      Philip C. C. Huang
Part 1: The Qing
      The Legal Categories and Pertinent Laws
     Qing Constructions
     Variant Concepts in Legal and Social Practice
     Women as Victims
     The Burdens of Passive Agency

Part 2: The Republic
      Women’s Agency in Guomindang Law
     Women’s Agency in Practice

3. Marriage, Law, and Revolution: Divorce Law Practice in the Shaan-Gan-Ning Border Region
      Liu Yang
Evolution of Marriage Legislation
Divorce Suits in the Context of Revolution
Women in Divorce Litigation
     Peasant Women

Peasant Husbands in Divorce Litigation
      Tiaobo and Peimi
     A Peasant Husband Battles to Save His Marriage


4. 从事实别居到法律别居: 清代到民国时期夫妻别居的权利和义务 (From De Facto Separation to Legal Separation: Rights and Obligations in Husband-Wife Separations from the Qing to the Republic)
     李红英 ( Hongying Li)
一 问题的提出
二 从清代到民国:事实别居的权利和义务的变化
三 民国时期:法律别居的权利和义务的扩大和明确
四 别居现象与妇女权利的关系
     (一) 生存理性与妇女权利
     (二) 别居与离婚的利益比较
     (三) 事实别居与法律别居的比较

5. Representation and Practice in “Privately Settling Illicit Sex Offenses,” with Attention to the “Third Realm” from the Late Imperial Period to the Present
      Fenghua Jing
Research from Contemporary Case Records of “Privately Settling Illicit Sex Offenses”
“Privately Settling Illicit Sex Offenses” in the Qing Code
“Privately Settling Illicit Sex Offenses” in Qing Legal Practice
      Private Settlement before the State Was Aware of the Matter
     Private Settlement after the State Was Aware of the Matter

Changes in the Modern Conception of Illicit Sex Crimes
      A Substantive Split in “Privately Settling Illicit Sex Offenses”
     Rape Cases and Public Prosecution

Private Settlement of Rape Cases under the Public Prosecution System
      Private Settlement in the Absence of Prosecution
     Withdrawing a Complaint

Rape and Complaint by the Victim Herself

Part Two: Custom, Mediation, and Law

6. Between Informal Mediation and Formal Adjudication: The Third Realm of Qing Civil Justice
      Philip C. C. Huang
Three Stages in a Qing Lawsuit
      The Initial Stage
     The Middle Stage
     Resolution in the Middle Stage
     The Final Stage: The Court Session

Justice in the Third Realm
      The Court as Catalyst Prompting a Settlement
     The Role of Court Opinion
     The Xiangbao

Sources of Abuse in the Third Realm
      Xiangbao Power and Abuse
     Runner Power and Abuse

Formal, Informal, and Third-Realm Justice
State and Society Seen through the Judicial Process

7. 近代中国“法律渊源”中的“习惯法” (“Customary Law” as the “Source of Law” in Modern China)
     余盛峰 ( Shengfeng Yu)
一 “习惯法”语词的创制:与诸国民法典的比较
二 “风土人情、习俗土例”与“习惯法”
三 “习惯法”,抑或“亚欧礼教之殊”?
四 继受法与固有法的冲突
五 民初大理院的司法实践:“习惯法”的成立要件
六 国民党时期习惯法理论的内在矛盾
七 结语:在古今中西之间

8. 尸体危险的法外生成: 以当代中国的藉尸抗争事例为中心的分析 (Extralegal Origins of the Dangers of a Corpse: An Analysis of Case Examples of “Protesting with a Corpse” in Contemporary China)
     尤陈俊 ( Chenjun You)
一 从 “蔡发旺事件” 谈起
二 “事件的类型学”再思考:藉尸抗争行为的反法治性
     (一) 1980年以来藉尸抗争事例的广泛分布
     (二) 法外收场:事件类型学的另一面
三 尸体危险的生成机制/观念
     (一) “图赖得利” 的社会记忆
     (二) “丧葬” 礼仪的社会功能
     (三) “非理死” 中的 “冤抑” 生成
四 尸体危险与法治框架下的国家权力强化

Part Three: The System of “Turning Oneself In” in Criminal Justice

9. The System of “Turning Oneself In” in Qing and Contemporary China: Some Reflections on Legal Modernism
      Zhengyang Jiang
Indigenous Characteristics and Continuity
Changes in the System
      Changes in the Conception of Legal Subject
     Changes in the Evaluation of Motive
     Changes in Terms of to Whom One Could Turn Oneself In
     Changes in the Outcome of Turning Oneself In

Reflections on Modernism
      Rational Formalism
     Instrumental Rationality

Part Four: Administration and Law

10. Centralized-Minimalist Government: The Lake Weishan Issue and the Chinese Mediatory System of Government
      Lei Tian
The Lake Weishan Issue: Background
How the Policy of the Central Government Was Thwarted
      A Working Group is Sent to the Lake Area
     The Inter-Ministerial Report and Its Plan
     The Xuzhou Meeting
     A Review

How the Central Government Worked Out a Decision
      Cui Naifu’s Little Solution Plan
     Wherever There’s Trouble, Give It to Shandong
     The Central Government Drops the Gavel
     Why THREE Documents?

Centralized-Minimalist Government
      The Structure of Centralized Authority
     The Daily Model of Minimalist Governance

Part Five: International Law

11. Sovereignty and “Civilization”: International Law and East Asia in the Nineteenth Century
      Junnan Lai
“International Society” in Nineteenth-Century International Law

Different Responses of China and Japan
      China: “The Just Law of All Nations”
     Japan: Bunmei kaika

The First Sino-Japanese War: “Civilization” and “Barbarism”
      Japan: A Warpath toward “Civilization”
     Japan: A Big Show
     China: A Feeble Voice

The West: Evaluating Students
      Japan: Earning a High Score
     China: Flunking Out


Part Six: Theoretical Explorations

12. 以实践逻辑再阐释象征资本—基于象征资本的多重面向与运用 (Using the “Logic of Practice” to Explicate “Symbolic Capital” — Based on the Multiple Faces and Uses of Symbolic Capital)
     王海侠 ( Haixia Wang)
一 布迪厄的学术与政治
二 象征资本的概念梳理
     (一) 象征资本的载体与依附性
     (二) 象征资本的建构与转化
     (三) 象征资本的双重获致与积累
三 象征资本在实践中的多重运用
     (一) 内向性的正向作用
     (二) 外向性的正向运用
     (三) 否定性运用
四 象征资本解构之中有建设

13. Reconstructing Max Weber’s “Sociology of Law”: The Power of Idealism and the Limits of Objectivity
      Junnan Lai
Reconstructing Concepts: “Form/Substance”
      The Categories of “Legal Thinking”
     “Substantive Rationality”
     The Power of Dualism: Form/Materie
     “The Anti-Formal Tendencies in Modern Legal Development”

Reconstructing the Theses: Law and Capitalism
      Weber’s Hypotheses
     Weber’s Anxiety and Decision
     A Reconstruction of the Relation between Law, Capitalism, and “Rationality”

All interested in the history, theory, and practice of law in China, both past and present, as well as in a new approach to such called “historical-social jurisprudence.”