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Legal Nihilism—State Of Exception

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the rise and fall of legal nihilism in Maoist China. Then it surveys both those juridical mechanisms available in times of emergency and those used to counter less severe threats. While the former are primarily grounded in constitutional law, the latter exist in criminal legislation. Indeed, legal reform has posed significant limits to sovereign power. Nevertheless, the boundaries set by the law can still be removed and adjusted at will. Having veiled itself in the curtain of the law, sovereign power can now face public health emergencies and repress deviant behaviors and atypical groups by suspending rights according to internal law. The legal system displays a built-in potential to induce a suspension of legal rights. Legal exceptionalism exists in constitutional provisions about the state of exception, legislation on emergency response, and the criminal and criminal procedure law.

Keywords: constitutional law; criminal legislation; criminal procedure law; legal Nihilism; maoist china



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