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15 Court Mediation in China, Past and Present

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Chapter Summary

This chapter establishes under what conditions Chinese court mediation has been effective and under what conditions not. In Weber's terms, Qing civil law is substantive or instrumentalist, more preoccupied with the ruler's concern to maintain social order than with a guarantee of individual rights. Shiga Shūzō's construction of Qing court actions aside, the Confucian representations outlined above are at once revealing and misleading about the real nature of Qing justice. In China, at least in the kinds of disputes between individuals examined in the chapter, such cost considerations have yet to figure prominently. The Qing-Republic and contemporary China are alike in that mediation has played a large role in the total justice system of both. The practice and logic of court mediation in contemporary China are largely predicated on an epistemological approach that gives priority to facts over universalized principles.

Keywords: Chinese court mediation; Confucian representations; epistemological approach; Qing-Republic; Shiga Shūzō; total justice system



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