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Law as an Instrument: Sources of Chinese Law for Authoritarian Legality

ISBN13: 9781009152563
Published: July 2022
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00

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How can the law be employed pragmatically to facilitate development and underpin illiberal principles? The case of contemporary China shows that the law plays an increasingly important role in the country's illiberal approach to both domestic and China-related global affairs, which has posed intellectual challenges in understanding it with reference to conventional, Western legal concepts and theories. This book provides a systematic exploration of the sources of Chinese law as pragmatically reconfigured in context, aiming to fill the gap between written and practised law. In combination with fieldwork investigations, it conceptualises various formal and informal laws, including the Constitution, congressional statutes, supreme court interpretations, judicial documents, guiding cases and judicial precedents. Moreover, it engages a theoretical analysis of legal instrumentalism, illuminating how and why the law works as an instrument for authoritarian legality in China, with international reflections on other comparable regimes.

Other Jurisdictions , China
1. Introduction: Emergence of Chinese law?
2. A Dual constitution with Illiberal characteristics
3. Judicial interpretation as a de facto primary statute for adjudication
4. Judicial document as informal state law
5. Guiding cases as a form of statutory interpretation
6. Bureaucratization of judicial precedents
7. Concluding reflections: Chinese law, authoritarian legality and legal instrumentalism