81 documents
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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TitleShuotie bianli xinbian 說帖辯例新編 [A New Collection of Memoranda Discussing the Substatutes]
Short titleB3854400-00
Topic2.1 Judicial cases: general casebooks
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorWang Jinzhi 汪進之
Publication typeWoodblock

The aim of the author—described in one preface as a literatus with a strong interest in statecraft—was to select, edit for the sake of consistency and simplification, and rearrange according to the order of the code, the memoranda keeping track of the discussions at the ministry of Justice that were compiled annually since 1783 and existed in manuscript copies. A first version in movable type had been started in Peking in 1824 by the compiler’s son, Wang Rong’en 榮恩, but it was abandoned because the layout of the categories was unsatisfactory. During the period 1828-31 Wang Jinzhi was able to complete the work in Hubei and was about to have it printed with the help of one of his sons-in-law, Zheng Dunyun 鄭敦允, who was a prefect there, and who earlier had made it possible for him to consult the shuotie when he was head of the Autumn Assizes office at the Ministry—but again the project foundered after Zheng had been moved to another position. Eventually Wang Jinzhi was able to have the work published in his native Hangzhou with the help of a host of officials, cousins, and friends. The compilation follows the order of the statutes in the Penal Code. The very long mulu (2 fascicles) lists every entry in the work (each entry corresponds to a particular situation and includes one or more cases; there are 2,741 cases in all, covering the period 1784-1830); by far the largest proportion of the book (j. 12-47 and a part of j. 48) concerns statutes in the “punishments” section of the Code (刑律). [préf. phtc.]

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