Sinica Podcast

07.17.17

Jerome A. Cohen on Human Rights and Law in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Professor Jerome A. Cohen began studying the law of what was then called “Red China” in the early 1960s, at a time when the country was closed off, little understood, and much maligned in the West.Legal institutions were just developing at that time...

China’s New Civil Code Light on Individual Rights Reforms

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
China’s Communist leaders will this week introduce sweeping new laws that codify social responsibilities for the country’s 1.4 billion citizens while also providing some modest new protections.

Depth of Field

01.17.17

House Calls on the Tibetan Plateau, Children of Divorce, Celebrity Secrets

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In the final galleries of 2016, the publishing juggernaut Tencent again shows its leadership in the documentary photography space, but iFeng’s choice to publish a personal photo gallery by Zhou Xin is also worth a good look, especially since...

Hong Kong Human Rights Situation ‘Worst Since Handover to China’

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Amnesty International report says rule of law, freedom of speech, and trust in government all deteriorated in 2016

Michael Jordan Owns Right to His Name in Chinese Characters, Too, Court Rules

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
Michael Jordan has pulled out a victory in an arena long known as unfriendly to visitors: the Chinese legal system

China’s Top Court Exonerates Man 21 Years After Execution

Shan Yuxiao, Xiao Hui & Li Rongde
Case puts spotlight on accusations that judges accept coerced confessions and that police torture is rampant, activists say

Sinica Podcast

11.30.16

The Intersection of Chinese Law and Politics

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China’s legal system is much derided and poorly understood, but its development has, in many ways, been one of the defining features of the reform and opening-up era. Rachel Stern, a professor of law and political science at the University of...

Drug Giant Faced a Reckoning as China Took Aim at Bribery

David Barboza
New York Times
China sought to make an example of GlaxoSmithKline in a case that involved bribery of doctors and investigators and ended with guilty pleas and record penalties

How the Party’s Absolute Power Undermines its Efforts to Strengthen China’s Rule of Law

Cary Huang
South China Morning Post
While Chinese leaders support the need for a credible legal system, it is their iron-clad grip that is the stumbling block to its development

When China Began Streaming Trials Online

Stephen McDonell
BBC
Boot up your laptop or turn on your smartphone and take a peek inside legal proceedings

Viewpoint

08.11.16

The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

Caixin Media

06.21.16

Mother’s Fight to Exonerate Executed Son Highlights Gaping Holes in Justice System

More than two decades after a young man in the northern province of Hebei was executed for the alleged rape and murder of a woman, his mother is anxiously awaiting a retrial to clear his name.Zhang Huanzhi’s only son, Nie Shubin, was executed in...

Viewpoint

02.25.16

A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System

Jerome A. Cohen
In China, politics continues to control law. The current leadership has rejected many of the universal legal values that China accepted—at least in principle—under communist rule in some earlier eras. Today, for example, to talk freely about...

Viewpoint

12.30.15

No, Pu Zhiqiang’s Release Is Not A Victory

Hu Yong
Pu Zhiqiang is a well-known Chinese human rights lawyer and outspoken intellectual who has taken on many precedent-setting cases defending freedom and protecting civil liberties. But his outstanding contributions in the judicial realm and his...

Viewpoint

11.30.15

Court in China Adds Last-Minute Charge Against Rights Leader During Sentencing

Yaxue Cao from China Change
On August 8, 2013, Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong) was arrested and then indicted on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The heavy sentence came as a shock to everyone following the case. More shockingly, the...

Caixin Media

09.08.15

Amnesty As a Stepping Stone to Rule of Law

A recent amnesty declaration affecting convicted criminals deemed no threat to society was a poignant reminder of China’s tradition of prudent punishment, support for human rights, and progress toward of rule of law.The recent decision by the...

Media

06.11.15

Zhou Yongkang’s Mask of Fear Falls Quietly Away

David Wertime
Zhou Yongkang—erstwhile oil czar, former chief of China’s dreaded state security apparatus, a man once swaggering and fit enough to perform 50 to 100 pushups in front of fawning onlookers—has completed his transformation into a sad historical...

Viewpoint

05.19.15

Hong Kong’s Not That Special, And Beijing Should Stop Saying It Is

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
As political wrangling in Hong Kong continues over changes to how the city’s chief executive will be selected in 2017, Beijing marks the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Hong Kong Basic Law—the Special Administrative Region’s...

Features

05.06.15

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Yaqiu Wang
On the morning of March 16, 48-year-old Huang Shunfang went to her local hospital located in Fanghu Township in the central Chinese province of Henan. Her doctor diagnosed her with gastritis, gave her a dose of antacids through an IV, and sent her...

Viewpoint

01.16.15

The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers

Frances Eve
As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending...

Viewpoint

01.15.15

Chinese Lawyers to Chinese Lawmakers: Let Us Defend Our Clients

Joshua Rosenzweig
Legal Opinion on Article 35 of the Ninth (Draft) Amendment to the Criminal Law: "We are a group of legal professionals who care about the rights of lawyers and reform of the judicial system and who have taken note of the draft for the Ninth...

China’s Unstoppable Lawyers: An Interview with Teng Biao

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Teng Biao is one of China’s best-known civil-rights lawyers, and a prominent member of the weiquan, or “rights defenders,” movement, a loosely knit coalition of Chinese lawyers and activists who tackle cases related to the environment, religious...

Viewpoint

10.15.14

How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law

Carl Minzner
Last week, as the world watched the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, China’s Politburo announced the dates for the Communist Party’s annual plenary session would be from October 20-23. As in previous years, top leaders will gather in Beijing to...

Media

09.25.14

An Internet Where Nobody Says Anything

David Wertime
Here is what a court in Urumqi, the capital of China’s western Xinjiang region, concludes Ilham Tohti, a balding, thick-set, 44-year-old professor, did: “Using ‘Uighur Online’ as a platform, and taking advantage of his role as a university professor...

Sinica Podcast

08.30.13

The Trial of the Century

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The spectacular trial of Bo Xilai seized the media’s attention last week as the fallen politburo member—still widely admired in Chongqing and Dalian and heavily connected among the Party elite—defended himself with unexpected vigor against charges...

Media

08.27.13

The Surprise Loser of China’s Trial of the Century: Its Corruption Watchdog

It seems like everybody has something to gain from Show Trial 2.0, a.k.a. the semi-live tweeting of fallen politician Bo Xilai’s day in court.Bo Xilai the showman takes a bow with a flourish; Gu Kailai, the scorned wife, exacts sweet revenge;...

Books

06.25.13

Civil Society in China

Karla W. Simon
This is the definitive book on the legal and fiscal framework for civil society organizations (CSOs) in China from earliest times to the present day. Civil Society in China traces the ways in which laws and regulations have shaped civil society over the 5,000 years of China’s history and looks at ways in which social and economic history have affected the legal changes that have occurred over the millennia.This book provides an historical and current analysis of the legal framework for civil society and citizen participation in China, focusing not merely on legal analysis, but also on the ways in which the legal framework influenced and was influenced in turn by social and economic developments. The principal emphasis is on ways in which the Chinese people—as opposed to high-ranking officials or cadres—have been able to play a part in the social and economic development of China through the associations in which they participateCivil Society in China sums up this rather complex journey through Chinese legal, social, and political history by assessing the ways in which social, economic, and legal system reforms in today’s China are bound to have an impact on civil society. The changes that have occurred in China’s civil society since the late 1980’s and, most especially, since the late 1990’s, are nothing short of remarkable. This volume is an essential guide for lawyers and scholars seeking an in depth understanding of social life in China written by one of its leading experts. —Oxford University Press

Will Chinese Courts Refuse to Accept Suits Involving Internet Censorship?

David Wertime
As the Chinese Internet hurtles headlong into an uncertain future, the country’s legal system struggles to catch up. Pressed for time, the government’s reaction may be to fashion the legal equivalent of a blunt axe, rather than a finely crafted...

The World's Toughest Job: Pu Zhiqiang

William J. Dobson
Slate
It wasn’t safe for Pu Zhiqiang to go home. Or, to be more precise, he could go home, but once there he might not be able to leave again. Over the previous 48 hours, Chinese authorities had detained more than a dozen lawyers and activists. More than...

Out of School

02.22.12

Chinese Law: Using the Past to Escape the Present

Glenn D. Tiffert
Amid the skyscrapers, bullet trains and brio of contemporary China, the Mao era may seem remote. Discussions of Chinese law, for instance, typically consign it to a squib if they acknowledge it at all. But this is a grave mistake. Legal reformers...