Judicialization of the Chinese Constitution Revisited: Empirical Evidence from Court Data
The China Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019
25 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 13, 2019
With the repeal of Qi Yuling (齐玉苓) vs. Chen Xiaoqi (陈晓琪) in 2008, China’s judicialisation of the constitution seemed to have officially ended for the time being. The application of the Chinese constitution has since been banned from judicial practice, while legal disputes that would entail a constitutional argument had nevertheless continued to be argued before Chinese courts. This Article is based on a study of more than 900 court cases between the years of 2014 and 2016 retrieved from the China Judgements Online (中国裁判文书网) database, in which judges referred to the constitution for their legal reasoning. In this article, I will demonstrate the mechanism and effects of this low-key constitutional jurisprudence in three different case groups that depict different understandings of the constitution at the local level.
Keywords: Chinese Judicial Practice, Chinese Constitution, Judicialization, Court Decision Database
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