1st Edition

The Power of the Supreme People's Court Reconceptualizing Judicial Power in Contemporary China

By Ding Qi Copyright 2020
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the recent development of the Supreme People’s Court of China, the world’s largest highest court. Recognizing that its approach to exercising power in an authoritarian context has presented a challenge to the understanding of judicial power in both democratic and non-democratic legal settings, it captures the essence of the Court through its institutional design as well as functional practice. It argues that regardless of the deep-seated political and institutional constraints, the Court has demonstrated a highly pragmatic interest in fulfilling its primary functions and prudently expanding judicial power in the context of reform-era China. This notwithstanding, it also discusses how the Court’s incompetence and reluctance to challenge the bureaucratism and politicization suggests that the call for an impartial and authoritative judicial power will continue to be jeopardized while the Court operates in the shadow of Party authority and lacks meaningful checks and balances. Drawing on the experience of the Court, this book reflects on some deep-rooted misunderstandings of legal development in China, providing a source of inspiration for reconceptualizing the internal logic of a distinct category of judicial power.

    1. Introduction;

    2. The Power of the Court from an Institutional Perspective;

    3. The Judicial Practice of the Court;

    4. The Extrajudicial Practice of the Court;

    5. The Power of the Supreme People’s Court: Rethinking and Reinterpretation;



    Dr. Ding Qi is Senior Research Fellow at the Research Center for Legal Services of Xiamen University, China. Her research focuses on the recent development of the Chinese legal system and judicial reform, law and policy making, alternative dispute resolutions (ADR), and online dispute resolutions (ODR) from a comparative perspective. Dr. Ding Qi also works as a legal consultant to study, test, and design online platforms and digital legal products for a wide range of court and government users in China.