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
Date Written: 2015
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
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