Data-Driven Approaches to Studying Chinese Judicial Practice: Opportunities, Challenges, and Issues
The China Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019, 1-14
14 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2019 Last revised: 24 Jun 2019
Date Written: January 10, 2019
This is the introduction to a special issue of The China Review Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019, that discusses data-driven approaches to studying Chinese judicial practice. The mass digitization of Chinese court decisions and in particular the establishment of an open access database for court decisions of the Supreme People’s Court provide new opportunities and challenges for legal and social science scholars. What insights on the processes, strategies, and preferences of the Chinese courts can be drawn from the newly accessible data? What do the data tell us about the dynamics between the Chinese courts and the broader ideological, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts in which they operate? What are the methodological limitations and pitfalls of drawing inferences from these data, and what remedial strategies can be adopted to overcome them? What are the most promising areas for interdisciplinary collaboration to harvest the full potential of the ongoing digitalization of Chinese court decisions?
Keywords: Big Data, Court Decision Database, Chinese Courts, Chinese Judicial Practice
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