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YANG Songtao | The Making of Litigation: Comparison of Resources of Judicial System in Early Modern China and England

Release Date: 2017/7/31 14:55:11

 YANG Songtao | The Making of Litigation: Comparison of Resources of Judicial System in Early Modern China and England

 

It may appears to many that England is a quite litigious society, while China, anti-litigious, while the two countries’ true judicial differences have been rooted culturally and institutionally.

 

YANG Songtao | The Making of Litigation: Comparison of Resources of Judicial System in Early Modern China and England

 

On the morning of July 27, YANG Songtao from Henan University gave a talk on the differences in the resources of judicial system between the two countries from 1550 to 1800, the early modern period.

 

According to Dr. YANG, the two countries’ legal institutional resources differences are the result of their different local power structures. The local power structure in England was multi-headed, while China single-headed. Though the magistrates in Qing China and Justices of Peace in England were all in the same official level respectively, their power structures were quite different. The former was an official who are appointed by the central government, while the identity of later was a folk service. The different local power structures led to a concomitant difference in the inherent difficulty in the transference of dispute into litigation. Dr. YANG illustrated with a comparison of lawsuits numbers in Middlesex County in England and its counterpart in Qing. He said, the 'multi-headed' Power structure in England advanced the beginning stage of litigation. Its combination of mediation and trial formed a continuous spectrum. In contrast, the ‘single-headed’ power structure of Qing China led to the origination of ligation occurring relatively late, and there was no connection between mediation and trial. Consequently, the same kind of dispute taking place in England rather than China was much more likely to become a legal case which makes it easier for England than for China to generate a social atmosphere of litigation.

YANG Songtao | The Making of Litigation: Comparison of Resources of Judicial System in Early Modern China and England

YANG Songtao | The Making of Litigation: Comparison of Resources of Judicial System in Early Modern China and England

 

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