Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Deng Yujiao case: a follow-up report

Here's a fascinating follow-up report on the Deng Yujiao case from the Southern Metropolis Daily (南方都市报) [Chinese | English]. It shows, among other things, the essential seamlessness between the worlds of law and politics and between the state and the Party. It also demonstrates why I disagree with attempts to distinguish between "political" or "sensitive" cases on the one hand and other kinds of cases on the other, with the further claim that we can have much more confidence in the system in the latter type of case. The problem is that this claim becomes true by tautology, because any case in which we see political interference becomes, by definition, a political case, regardless of how it might have started out. Any case, under the right circumstances, can become a political or a sensitive case. The issue, then, is not the abstract one of whether the case involves advocacy of a multi-party system or the Falun Gong, but rather whether channels for interference exist and whether there is something about the case in question that makes it probable that they will be used.

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