What is this website, and how to use it
This website is the product of the Legalizing Space in China project, endowed by the French National Agency for Research (ANR) which allowed the collaboration of an international Team & partners for five years (2011-2015). The grant is over, but the project is still going on.
This website aims at providing students in Chinese legal history with basic materials for research (section 1), as well as with up-dates about our research work on the making (section 5). It also presents the progresses of our translation of Qing code (section 2), in relation with practice and space (sections 4 and 5)
These materials fall under five main categories:
1. Resources on Chinese legal tradition
The Sources documents section is an E-library of around 450 titles on Chinese legal history of imperial times. Each title is provided with a chart giving references (author, date and place of publication, etc.) and, most frequently, a short presentation of the content. The chart includes a link for downloading the book, or to read it on line with a possibility of selective download or print. The most important translations and essays in Western languages are also included (works under copyrights are not open to public).
The library is accessible in its whole (All documents) or split into the following categories
- Codes and commentaries in official or private editions.
- Judicial cases collections for the whole empire or for particular districts, including pieces of unpublished judicial archives.
- Collections of administrative Regulations, for the whole empire or particular places
- Treatises in Chinese law, intended for Magistrates , or their legal advisers. “Secret books” for illegal pettifoggers are also included
2. Ming and Qing codes with translations
LSC project aimed at providing online successive editions of the Ming and Qing codes, in order to follow and construe legal changes from 15th to late 19th century. A first requisite was to give translations more reliable and complete that those currently available. Translations are based on the 1740 edition of the Qing code, or Da Qing lüli, but we also used earlier and later editions (i.e. the ca 1870 version of the code used in in the Duli cunyi) to check the changes in the sub-statutes. By contrast with published translations, the focus is not on the static part of the code — the “statutes” 律— but on the dynamic part —the “sub-statutes” 例, or 條例— which changed from an edition to the next.
Our translations, in English and French, are inserted in the 1740 Da Qing lüli Da Qing lüli 1740 /all online edition (Work in progress); other editions running from 1610 Da Ming lü jijie fuli (the first edition with substatutes appended to statutes) to the latest versions of ca. 1870 included in Duli cunyi, and the 1899 Huidian shili-Xingbu part
We focus on the 1740 code as the epochal version that gave prevalence to dynamic substatutes over static statutes. Our challenge is to follow, analyse and partly translate the growing flow of new substatutes from 1610 to 1900. For that we created the Virtual Synoptical code , which allows us to locate the changes from former to later versions of substatutes.
Most importantly, our translations yield legal terms and notions, which are systematically inserted in a reasoned Glossary, with links from one term to other of the same categories, textual references, and doctrinal comments when needed.
3. Judicial Cases:
a second requisite of our project is to link codified laws with judicial practice. More than 3000 Cases have been drawn from notorious penal compendia or judicial archives, and turned into charts providing basic information about convicts, victims, penalties, and the article in the code that grounded the judgment, along with the case Location, all information useful for statistics and mapping. In principle, each case chart is linked to the original case in one of the volumes kept in Judicial cases : general.
4. Mapping Legal space
“Legalizing space” is our way to draw attention on the organic relationship between law and territory. Law deal with space when circumscribing territories, or evolve to match local conditions or to give way to ethnic diversity http://lsc.chineselegalculture.org/Maps/Regional_special_law . Space itself was used as punishment, through exiles or transportation sentences Exile maps; the spatial distribution of the harshest kind of executions talks about the imperial grip over its lands Lingchi sentences
5. Research on the making
Reports on seminars and workshops, past, present, and future: this is a “living site”, constantly enriched by new workshops and seminars, not least 6 years of the Paris EHESS seminar materials and discussions are provided, the last being Legal studies 2016/2017. See also other Announcements, and the cycle of workshop past, and future...
Last update on Saturday 5 August 2017 (16:54) by J. Bourgon