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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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TitleQiuyan zhi 秋讞志
Topic4.2 Magistrates handbooks: Handbooks for legal experts
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorHui budushu zhai 悔不讀書齋(comp.)
Publication typeWoodblock
CommentThe work can be described as a commentary to the rules edicted by the Ministry of Justice regarding the use of analogy to decide on the capital cases examined at the Autumn assizes, that is, either immediate execution (litt. “case confirmed”, qingshi 情實) or deferment (huanjue 緩決). Its aim was to help the provincial authorities make correct propositions for the Autumn Assizes. The rules, which were established for the first time in 1767 (for their history through the end of the Qing see Shen Jiaben’s preface to his Qiushen bijiao tiaokuan fu an [q.v.]), are organized as follows: (1) Crimes by officials and crimes against people related by mourning (zhiguan futu men 職官服圖門, 1 and 21 entries); (2) homicides (renming men 人命門, 64 entries); (3) sexual crimes, robbery and theft (jian [jiandao in other editions of these rules] qiangqie men 姦[盜]搶竊門, 65 entries); (4) various crimes (zaxiang men 雜項門, 33 entries); (5) rules on analogy to decide on deferment or pardon (qiushen jinhuan bijiao tiaokuan men 秋審矜緩比較條款門, 13 entries). An “entry” corresponds to a particular type of crime. One finds separate editions of these rules, e.g. one printed in 1879 in 5 j., entitled Qiushen shihuan tiaokuan on the coverleaf and Qiushen bijiao tiaokuan at the head of the chapters [Columbia], or one entitled Qiuyan zhi 秋讞志 in 4 j. engraved in 1880 by the Hui budushu zhai 悔不讀書齋 with upper-margin commentaries [Faxue suo]. They are also reproduced (with minor variants) at the beginning of several compilations of decisions related to the Assizes (see under Qiushen shihuan bijiao cheng’an and Qiushen shihuan bijiao hui’an). In the present work each entry is followed by a commentary in small characters quoting various precedents and imperial edicts dating from the Qianlong, Jiaqing and early Daoguang periods, called cheng’an in Xie’s preface even though they are not full cases but rather short summaries inserted in a general discussion. The prefaces describe the work as a synthesis of the regulations on the Autumn Assizes (秋讞條款) and of a compilation of cases emanating from the Ministry, entitled Qiulu bi’an 秋錄比案, to which the compiler added his own views. (Shen Jiaben [see below] mentions a late-Daoguang and a Sichuan 1872 ed. of a Qiushen bi’an which seems to be the same thing, as well as a 1866 Peking ed. with many additions.) The idea was to check the regulations against the cases and use the cases to “compromise” with the regulations (由條款而參考比案,由比案而折衷條款). The work was compiled at the beginning of the Daoguang period while Xie was a private secretary working for the Zhili Provincial Judges from whom he had obtained copies of the sources mentioned above. It was not printed until 1878, after Xie’s death, when the Jiangsu provincial judge took an interest in the manuscript, then in the possession of Xie’s son-in-law. For a compilation following the same model see Shen Jiaben’s Qiushen bijiao tiaokuan fu an (q.v.). [phtgr. préf. et section 姦搶竊門, phtc. préf.]
Call Numberoki B3862900
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