In the Name of Harmony: The Erasure of Domestic Violence in China's Judicial Mediation

International Journal of Law, Policy, and the Family, No. 1, 2013, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2012

See all articles by Xin He

Xin He

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Law, Visiting

Kwai Hang Ng

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Based on observations of court trials and extensive interviews with judges, this article explores how judicial mediation in China undermines the rights of the battered women in divorce cases. We find that even if the judges are able to establish that domestic violence is committed, it is often erased in the stage of judicial mediation. This is because judicial mediation inevitably focuses on settlement arrangements. Lingering reference to domestic abuse would simply invite new denials or refutations from the abuser. It thus risks ruining the mediation efforts made by the judge. Our findings raise important questions with regard to the compulsory practice of mediation in family cases in China. It also sheds light on hidden problems created by judicial mediation or conciliation in general.

Keywords: domestic violence, China, Judicial Mediation

Suggested Citation

He, Xin and Ng, Kwai Hang, In the Name of Harmony: The Erasure of Domestic Violence in China's Judicial Mediation (2012). International Journal of Law, Policy, and the Family, No. 1, 2013, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2187892

Xin He (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon
Hong Kong

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Law, Visiting

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Kwai Hang Ng

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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