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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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TitleDingli cheng'an hejuan 定例成案合鐫 [A Combined Engraving of Regulations and Leading Cases]
Short titleB3850200
Topic3.1 Regulations collections: general regulations
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorSun Lun 孫綸(ed.)
Publication typeManuscript

The work features a combination of regulations (as found in Xianxing zeli 現行則例), leading cases (成案), and a variety of edicts and regulations on sanctions (處分) covering the first four decades and a half of the Kangxi reign, through spring 1707, in the earliest ed., and expanded in the later eds.: the date to which the contents have been expanded is indicated on the right of the cover-leaf with the formula “Before such-and-such year, such-and-such quarter,” then in smaller characters, “New precedents and leading cases will be subsequently printed each quarter” (後有新例成案按季續刻). Most copies bear the mention “facsimiles will be pursued” (翻刻必究), suggesting a serious commercial operation, as confirmed by the number of new eds. Only precedents or regulations still in effect at the time of publication are included. The text also includes the different ministries’ replies to provincial governors, which according to the compiler constitute “established rules” (定例) as well. It is organized according to the parts and sections of the Penal Code and follows the same outline in 30 chapters, plus one chapter on fugitives (逃人定例) appended. The chapters are of widely variable length. In each section the leading cases (not limited to penal matters) are placed after the regulations and other materials and printed in smaller characters, as a complement; they feature only the minimum of detail necessary to explain the final decision, or why it was rejected. The fanli claims that despite the precision of the laws and regulations it is necessary to read many leading cases to avoid making ungrounded judgment proposals. It also insists that documents must be written with care to avoid rejection. The work is in part intended as a guide to writing memorials and reports; it actually includes rejected cases as examples of errors to guard against. The prefs. emphasize that contrary to other similar compilations, this one is most detailed on military administration and includes documents culled from Zhongshu zhengkao 中樞政考. The sections of special interest for the daily operations of local officials—those on personnel, financial, and judicial affairs—are more developed and include a particularly large number of non-penal regulations. In this sense, the work has also the character of a generalist administrative handbook. Depending on the ed., there is a general mulu at the beginning (following the structure of the Penal Code) and a detailed mulu at the beginning of each chapter (listing every entry in it), or alternatively, a detailed mulu for the entire work in two (sometimes three) opening fascicles. The supplement titled Dingli cheng’an hejuan xuzeng (with a separate cover-leaf) features entries covering a period from 1707 through variable years depending on the ed. (up till the mid-1740s); the arrangement is similar, including the detailed mulu, but without juan separation; in the mulu the regulations are signaled by the supplement to which they belong (presumably compiled by the same publisher), namely xu 續, zaixu 再續, sanxu 三續 and so forth, all the way to baxu 八續, xinbian 新編, and an erbian 二編 published in 1740. Like Cheng’an zhiyi, this anthology is valuable because of its comprehensive coverage and its preservation of a large number of legal cases and rules from the Shunzhi and Kangxi eras.

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