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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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Description
documentTypeBook
TitleBo'an xinbian 駁案新編 [A New Collection of Rejected Cases]
Short titleB3851900-00
Topic2.1 Judicial cases: general casebooks
Historical periodLate Qing (1740-1911)
CountryChinese
Year1781
Reprint (year of)1968
AuthorQuan Shichao 全士潮
Volume32
PublisherReprint by Chengwen
Place of publicationTaipei, Taiwan (ROC)
Publication typePress
Abstract

A massive collection of penal cases which have been rejected by the Ministry of Punishments, due to inadequation of the verdict proposed by the provincial authorities. These are sort of "leading cases " (cheng'an 成案), but the reverse of them, not "misleading cases",  but examples of mistakes that should be avoided when adjudicating a case of reporting it up. This is also the aim of the preface, author of which is an old hand of the "codification bureau" Lüliguan 律例館. All the cases are from the Qianlong period, and are preceded of the name of the department which treated them.

Comment

A large collection of “rejected cases” (bo’an) assembled by a group of six Ministry of Justice officials led by Quan Shichao. Each entry reproduces the original memorial of the governor who forwarded the case to the central government with a judgment proposal, as well as more or less full quotations of the memorials of the various agencies that intervened in the discussion and of the imperial edicts that answered them, “so that the reader can know at a glance all the reasons why a certain case has been rejected or rectified and why a certain substatute has been changed [based on the case]” (俾閱者知某案因何駁正并某條例因何改定之處一目了然,源委悉得). Besides such “rejected memorials” (提駁), concerning capital cases, there are “rejected communications” (咨駁) concerning cases incurring exile, for which governors directly addressed the ministry without memorializing the emperor. The practical value of the work is emphasized in the pref., composed by a censor who spent ten years as a supervisor (提調) of the Bureau of the Code (律例館) in the ministry, according to whom it should be acquired and read by local officials (司牧者) so that they will be able to find the proper balance between law and circumstances (通乎情法之準) and concentrate on understanding the sources of the laws and ordinances (究心律令之源). According to the cover-leaf of the original ed., the period covered by the cases is “from 1736 to the present year”; according to the fanli, it is 1736-84; according to the fanli of Xuzeng Bo’an xinbian, it is 1736-82. There are eds. covering more years. Each case is signaled by the classifier yiqi 一起, preceded by the name of the ministry department that treated it and sometimes by other details on the nature of the case. The presentation follows the order of the relevant statutes in the Penal Code (319 categories in all; there is nothing concerning the part on “Works,” gonglü 工律); the most important sections are violence and robbery (賊盜), homicides (人命), and affrays (鬥毆). For each case the name of the criminal and the nature of the crime are indicated in the central margin, making the work easier to browse. There are occasional commentaries in the upper margin.

Keywordboan 駁案, cheng'an 成案, leading cases collections, Qianlong
SubjectLaw
Place of eventBeijing
LanguageChinese
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