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Author: Zhaoyang Zhang
How did people solve their disputes over debt, compensation, inheritance and other civil matters in early China? Did they go to court? How did the authorities view those problems? Using recently excavated early Chinese legal materials, Zhang Zhaoyang makes the compelling argument that civil law was not only developed, but also acquired a certain degree of sophistication during the Qin and Han dynasties. The state promulgated detailed regulations to deal with economic and personal relationships between individuals. The authorities formed an integral part of the formal justice system, and heard civil cases on a regular basis.
Law-Making and Local Normativities in Iberian Asia, 1500-1800
Volume Editor: Manuel Bastias Saavedra
Norms beyond Empire seeks to rethink the relationship between law and empire by emphasizing the role of local normative production. While European imperialism is often viewed as being able to shape colonial law and government to its image, this volume argues that early modern empires could never monolithically control how these processes unfolded. Examining the Iberian empires in Asia, it seeks to look at norms as a means of escaping the often too narrow concept of law and look beyond empire to highlight the ways in which law-making and local normativities frequently acted beyond colonial rule. The ten chapters explore normative production from this perspective by focusing on case studies from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

Contributors are: Manuel Bastias Saavedra, Marya Svetlana T. Camacho, Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva, Rômulo da Silva Ehalt, Patricia Souza de Faria, Fupeng Li, Miguel Rodrigues Lourenço, Abisai Perez Zamarripa, Marina Torres Trimállez, and Ângela Barreto Xavier.
Author: Ka-Chai Tam
In Justice in Print: Discovering Prefectural Judges and Their Judicial Consistency in Late-Ming Casebooks, Ka-chai Tam argues that the prefectural judge in the judiciary of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) became crucial to upholding justice in Chinese society.

In light of two late Ming casebooks, namely the Mengshui zhai cundu (盟水齋存牘) by Yan Junyan and the Zheyu xinyu (折獄新語) by Li Qing, Ka-chai Tam demonstrates that the late Ming judges handled their cases with a high level of consistency in judicial reasoning and practice in every type of case, despite their differing regions and literary styles. Equipped with relative institutional independence and growing professionalism, they played an indispensable role in checking and guaranteeing the legal performance of their subordinate magistrates.
The 1,165 entries of Handbooks and Anthologies for Officials in Imperial China by Pierre-Étienne Will and collaborators provide a descriptive list of extant manuscript and printed works—mainly from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties—created with the aim to instruct officials and other administrators of imperial China about the technical and ethical aspects of government, and to provide tools and guides to help with the relevant procedures. Both generalist and specialized texts are considered. Among the latter, such disciplines as the administration of justice, famine relief, and the military receive particular attention. Each entry includes the publishing history of the work considered (including modern editions), an analysis of contents, and a biographical sketch of the author.
Using the UNGPs on Business and Human Rights in Mainstreaming Indigenous Land Rights in the Tourism Industry
Mary Kristerie A. Baleva’s Regaining Paradise Lost: Indigenous Land Rights and Tourism uses the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as its overarching legal framework to analyze the intersections of indigenous land rights and the tourism industry. Drawing from treatises, treaties, and case law, it traces the development of indigenous rights discourse from the Age of Discovery to the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The book highlights the Philippines, home to a rich diversity of indigenous peoples, and a country that considers tourism as an important contributor to economic development. It chronicles the Ati Community’s 15-year struggle for recognition of their ancestral domains in Boracay Island, the region’s premiere beach destination.
Homicide Law and Criminal Justice in Qing and Republican China
In A Question of Intent: Homicide Law and Criminal Justice in Qing and Republican China, Jennifer M. Neighbors uses legal cases from the local, provincial and central levels to explore both the complexity with which Qing law addressed abstract concepts and the process of adoption, adaptation, and resistance as late imperial law gave way to criminal law of the Republican period. This study reveals a Chinese justice system, both before and after 1911, that defies assignment to binary categories of modern and pre-modern law that have influenced much of past scholarship.
The Allied Struggle for Justice, 1946-48
Volume Editor: Kerstin von Lingen
While the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg has been at the centre of scholarly attention, the Tokyo Tribunal has for decades been largely neglected. This is surprising insofar as this tribunal was a well-organized Allied endeavour and prefigured the international courts and tribunals of our day. Eleven national teams were sent to Tokyo between 1946 and 1948 to bring about justice in the aftermath of the Pacific War. This volume offers an innovative approach to the Tokyo Tribunal as an arena of transcultural engagement. It contextualizes legal agents as products of transnational forces, constituted through dialogues about legal concepts and processes of faction-making. The endeavour was challenged by different national policies, divergent legal traditions, and varying cultural perceptions of the task ahead.
Contributors are Milinda Banerjee, Anja Bihler, Neil Boister, David M. Crowe, Kerstin von Lingen, Narrelle Morris, Hitoshi Nagai, Valentyna Polunina, Ann-Sophie Schoepfel, Lisette Schouten, James Burnham Sedgwick, Yuki Takatori and Urs Matthias Zachmann.
In this book Sita van Bemmelen offers an account of changes in Toba Batak society (Sumatra, Indonesia) due to Christianity and Dutch colonial rule (1861-1942) with a focus on customs and customary law related to the life cycle and gender relations. The first part, a historical ethnography, describes them as they existed at the onset of colonial rule. The second part zooms in on the negotiations between the Toba Batak elite, the missionaries of the German Rhenish Mission and colonial administrators about these customs showing the evolving views on desirable modernity of each contestant. The pillars of the Toba patrilineal kinship system were challenged, but alterations changed the way it was reproduced and gender relations for ever.
Sharīʿa and Cultural Change in Russian Central Asia
Author: Paolo Sartori
Visions of Justice offers an exploration of legal consciousness among the Muslim communities of Central Asia from the end of the eighteenth century through the fall of the Russian Empire. Paolo Sartori surveys how colonialism affected the way in which Muslims formulated their convictions about entitlements and became exposed to different notions of morality. Situating his work within a range of debates about colonialism and law, legal pluralism, and subaltern subjectivity, Sartori puts the study of Central Asia on a broad, conceptually sophisticated, comparative footing. Drawing from a wealth of Arabic, Persian, Turkic and Russian sources, this book provides a thoughtful critique of method and considers some of the contrasting ways in which material from Central Asian archives may most usefully be read.

Publication in Open Access was made possible by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.