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Article: The Supreme People's Court and the Political Economy of Judicial Empowerment in Contemporary China

TitleThe Supreme People's Court and the Political Economy of Judicial Empowerment in Contemporary China
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherColumbia University, School of Law. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/asiaweb/
Citation
Columbia Journal of Asian Law, 2011, v. 24 n. 2, p. 367-435 How to Cite?
AbstractThis article explores the transformation of the Chinese Supreme People’s Court (“Court”) from a state security agency into a relatively autonomous policy-making organization. Beginning in the mid-199os, the Court has reinterpreted virtually every major legislative act, made rules in numerous substantive law and regulatory fields, instructed lower judges to suspend ultra vires local enactments, appointed its own justices, and initiated nationwide judicial reform. This article addresses questions of why this court came to exercise such expanded powers and how this happened without the encouragement of the Leninist state. It argues that the Court’s empowerment originated from the entrepreneurial choices of senior justices. A new judicial ideology that combines activist and professional values emerged under the auspices of entrepreneurs. By encouraging pro-empowerment preferences within the Court, supporting the interests of influential business actors, and reforming local courts in line with its ideology, the Court succeeded in constructing support bases for judicial empowerment. Increasingly fragmented political authority, breakneck economic development, and considerable legislative underperformance have all furthered the Court’s aggrandizement. However, Chinese judicial empowerment is qualified by the inter-subjective perceptions of China’s rulers regarding the proper boundaries of judicial power.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233891
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorIp, Eric C.-
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-29T03:15:45Z-
dc.date.available2016-09-29T03:15:45Z-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationColumbia Journal of Asian Law, 2011, v. 24 n. 2, p. 367-435-
dc.identifier.issn1094-8449-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233891-
dc.description.abstractThis article explores the transformation of the Chinese Supreme People’s Court (“Court”) from a state security agency into a relatively autonomous policy-making organization. Beginning in the mid-199os, the Court has reinterpreted virtually every major legislative act, made rules in numerous substantive law and regulatory fields, instructed lower judges to suspend ultra vires local enactments, appointed its own justices, and initiated nationwide judicial reform. This article addresses questions of why this court came to exercise such expanded powers and how this happened without the encouragement of the Leninist state. It argues that the Court’s empowerment originated from the entrepreneurial choices of senior justices. A new judicial ideology that combines activist and professional values emerged under the auspices of entrepreneurs. By encouraging pro-empowerment preferences within the Court, supporting the interests of influential business actors, and reforming local courts in line with its ideology, the Court succeeded in constructing support bases for judicial empowerment. Increasingly fragmented political authority, breakneck economic development, and considerable legislative underperformance have all furthered the Court’s aggrandizement. However, Chinese judicial empowerment is qualified by the inter-subjective perceptions of China’s rulers regarding the proper boundaries of judicial power.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherColumbia University, School of Law. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/asiaweb/-
dc.relation.ispartofColumbia Journal of Asian Law-
dc.titleThe Supreme People's Court and the Political Economy of Judicial Empowerment in Contemporary China-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailIp, Eric C.: ericcip@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityIp, Eric C.=rp02161-
dc.identifier.volume24-
dc.identifier.issue2-
dc.identifier.spage367-
dc.identifier.epage435-

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