Saturday, December 1, 2007
When Enlightenment Europeans such as Voltaire first encountered Chinese civilization, they were impressed by its rationality. Later visitors during and after the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion were horrified by what they witnessed. Here's an interesting eyewitness account of late 19th-century Qing criminal procedure I recently ran across in a book published in 1877. It is on the whole quite sympathetic - although one wonders whether the author would have recommended the same system for his own country.