March 1, 2008
Shuanggui and extralegal detention in China
Flora Sapio of the Institute for Cultural Studies, Julius Maximilian University in Germany has just published an excellent article on shuanggui (双规), a form of extralegal detention by Party disciplinary bodies. The article is very well researched; she has found lots of relevant documents, many of which are probably not, strictly speaking, public.
Shuanggui poses a challenge to our understanding of the Chinese legal system. It is frankly admitted by just about everyone involved to be unlawful - in the Chinese system, all forms of detention must be authorized by law passed by the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee, and shuanggui has no such authorization. Yet it is open - the existence of the system itself is not a state secret - and pervasive. Thus, it cannot be dismissed as a mere aberration; a proper understanding of the system has to account for shuanggui as a constitutive element, not a mistake.
February 28, 2008
Bibliography of Western-language works on Chinese law
For the last few years, Knut Benjamin Pissler of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private Law and Private International Law in Hamburg has compiled an annual bibliography of Western-language works on Chinese law. These bibliographies have been published in the Zeitschrift fuer Chinesisches Recht/Journal of Chinese Law published by the German-Chinese Lawyers Association.
Benjamin is currently working on the 2007 edition, and I will post that shortly. I recently realized, however, that I had never posted the last two years' editions. They are below.
State Council issues White Paper on rule of law in China
UPDATE: The English text posted by the Chinese government requires you to do to 21 separate web pages to view the whole thing. Here are downloadable texts in English [Word | PDF] and Chinese [Word | PDF].
Ben Read on homeowners' protests in Shanghai
Here's an interesting e-mail interview with Prof. Ben Read of the Department of Political Science, Univ. of Iowa, on homeowners' protests in Shanghai against the maglev train extension and related topics.
February 26, 2008
"Black jails" in Beijing: video report
Here's a video report on illegal jails for petitioners in Beijing, done by Britain's Channel Four.