The Idea of Law in Classical Chinese Legalist Jurisprudence

Ip, Eric C. 'The Idea of Law in Classical Chinese Legalist Jurisprudence,' 9 Global Jurist 2 (2009). Doi: 10.2202/1934-2640.1311.

University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019/068

Posted: 27 Oct 2019 Last revised: 4 Dec 2019

See all articles by Eric C. Ip

Eric C. Ip

The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: October 27, 2009

Abstract

Being one of the most eminent schools of jurisprudence in Eastern Philosophy, Classical Chinese Legalism has a lot to offer to the understanding of the underlying forces which shaped East Asian legal systems even to the present day. I will comprehensively reconstruct the Legalist idea of law in three dimensions, (1) law and society, (2) law and politics, and (3) law and morality. I will refute the overtly negative and simplistic conventional readings that suggest that Legalism is merely a Legal Positivist blueprint of authoritarian statecraft. The long–neglected connections between Legalism and the cosmic order have grounded law on a particular political morality. Despite being plagued by some difficulties, the Legalists' contributions to social theory, anthropology, and procedural values are significant, even to researchers in a global era.

Keywords: Chinese Law; Legalism; Han Fei; law and the cosmic order; China; jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Ip, Eric C., The Idea of Law in Classical Chinese Legalist Jurisprudence (October 27, 2009). Ip, Eric C. 'The Idea of Law in Classical Chinese Legalist Jurisprudence,' 9 Global Jurist 2 (2009). Doi: 10.2202/1934-2640.1311., University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019/068, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3471531

Eric C. Ip (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

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