The Chinese Communist Party and People's Courts: Judicial Dependence in China

37 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2015 Last revised: 23 Oct 2015

See all articles by Ling Li

Ling Li

University of Vienna - Department of East Asian Studies

Date Written: January 16, 2015

Abstract

By tracing the historical development of the relation between the Chinese Communist Party and China’s courts, this article finds that in order to subjugate the state as a whole to its superior power, the Party has confined judicial power to a ranking order which it has determined and administered. It follows that courts can compel compliance with the law by non-state actors or state actors of lower rank but not by state actors of equal or higher rank than theirs. These arrangements are essential for the Party to maintain its control over judicial affairs of political significance without preempting the capacity of courts to regulate social and economic activities of low or no immediate interests to the Party. These arrangements also contribute to both the authoritarian and paternalistic roles that the Party has assumed in its relation with courts, which explains the puzzling nearly schizophrenic character that courts have displayed in the course of their activities.

Keywords: Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Comparative Politics, Asian Law, Chinese Law, Chinese Studies, Courts, Communism, Comparative Constitutional Law, Judicial independence, Judicial Politics, Judicial Reform, Democracy, Comparative Politics, Democratization, Authoritarian Regimes

JEL Classification: K1, K00, K2, K3, K4

Suggested Citation

Li, Ling, The Chinese Communist Party and People's Courts: Judicial Dependence in China (January 16, 2015). Forthcoming, American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2551014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2551014

Ling Li (Contact Author)

University of Vienna - Department of East Asian Studies ( email )

Campus-Altes AKH
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2, Eingang 2.3
Wien, 1090
Austria

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