Footnotes (176)



Confucian Jurisprudence in Practice: Pre-Tang Dynasty Panwen (Written Legal Judgments)

Norman P. Ho

Peking University School of Transnational Law

December 1, 2012

22 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 49 (2013)

Most scholarship on Chinese legal philosophy has neglected the study of Confucian jurisprudence in practice. As a result of this incomplete portrayal, scholars predominantly view the premodern Chinese Confucian legal tradition as lacking a rule of law system, which has led to blaming Confucianism for much of China’s modern and historical rule of law problems. This article seeks to complicate this view by examining Confucian jurisprudence in practice: specifically, the development of pre-Tang dynasty panwen (written legal judgments). Through analysis of specific panwen from various Chinese primary sources — many of which have never been translated into English — this article will show that even in Chinese antiquity the legal system was not solely marked by codification or the lack of the rule of law, but was far more complex and diverse than most scholars have portrayed. For example, elements of case law played an important role in Chinese legal history. Indeed, it is an especially good time to build our understanding of the use of cases and the role of panwen, in China’s legal past given the Supreme People’s Court’s recent emphasis on the role of case law in contemporary Chinese jurisprudence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: December 5, 2012 ; Last revised: November 28, 2015

Suggested Citation

Ho, Norman P., Confucian Jurisprudence in Practice: Pre-Tang Dynasty Panwen (Written Legal Judgments) (December 1, 2012). 22 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 49 (2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2185163

Contact Information

Norman P. Ho (Contact Author)
Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )
Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 802
Downloads: 149
Download Rank: 148,353
Footnotes:  176

© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 1.875 seconds