Modern Chinese Court Buildings, Regime Legitimacy and the Public

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique, Vol. 28, p. 603–626, 2015

30 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2016

See all articles by Björn Ahl

Björn Ahl

Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne

Hendrik Tieben

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This study investigates the interrelation of outer appearance and spatial configuration of modern Chinese court buildings with the party-state’s strategy of building regime legitimacy. The spatial element of this relation is explored in four different court buildings in Kunming, Chongqing, Shanghai and Xi’an. It is argued that court buildings contribute to the empowerment of individuals who appear as parties in trials. Courthouses also facilitate the courts’ function of exercising social control and the application of an instrumentalist approach to the principle of public trials. Both the grounding of court buildings in the past and their compliance with international models of a modern independent judiciary are aspects of consolidating regime legitimacy.

Keywords: Chinese Architecture, Court Buildings, Rule of Law, Regime Legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Ahl, Björn and Tieben, Hendrik, Modern Chinese Court Buildings, Regime Legitimacy and the Public (2015). International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique, Vol. 28, p. 603–626, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2830207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2830207

Björn Ahl (Contact Author)

Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany
+492214705421 (Phone)

Hendrik Tieben

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

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