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

See all articles by Björn Ahl

Björn Ahl

Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne

Lidong Cai

Faculty of Law, Jilin University

Chao Xi

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date Written: January 10, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ahl, Björn and Cai, Lidong and Xi, Chao, Data-Driven Approaches to Studying Chinese Judicial Practice: Opportunities, Challenges, and Issues (January 10, 2019). The China Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019, 1-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3313326

Björn Ahl (Contact Author)

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

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

Lidong Cai

Faculty of Law, Jilin University ( email )

Guilin Road
Chaoyang, Changchun 130021
China

Chao Xi

The Chinese University of Hong Kong ( email )

Hong Kong
+ 852 2696 1142 (Phone)
+ 852 2994 2505 (Fax)

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