Until the late eighteenth century, the Chinese capital case review system was one of the most stable criminal systems in the world. The highly developed codification and the multiple levels of judicial review had stunned several European observers. Yet, primarily since the height of the Qing Empire (1636–1912), China embarked on an ambitious program to sweep away criminals by heavily legalizing the practice of summary execution. Focusing on how summary execution was enforced, challenged and manipulated, this talk analyzes the dialectical process of legal formation of empire and the symbiotic relationship between empire building and judicial expediency.
arnaud.nanta [at] ens-lyon.fr (arnaud[dot]nanta[at]ens-lyon[dot]fr)