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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators, Handbooks and Anthologies for Officials in Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography, 2 vols., Leiden: Brill, 2020
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TitleJia Jian cheng'an xinbian 加減成案新編 [New Compilation of Leading Cases Concerning Increases and Reductions of Sentences]
Short titleB3854000-00,B3851100-00
Topic2.1 Judicial cases: general casebooks
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorLi Fengchen 李逢辰
Publication typeWoodblock

This twin compilation includes two sorts of leading cases: those that had to use analogy (比附) because of the lack of a specific statute or sustatute (in the former work); and those that could not even use analogy because they featured contradictory circumstances (情涉兩歧) leading to contradictory assessments (事經兩擬), and necessitated a balanced decision (in the latter work). Li Fengchen explains that in his capacity of acting Sichuan surveillance commissioner he was able to see the large proportion of cases responding to such descriptions. The work features cases, dating mostly to the Jiaqing and early Daoguang reigns (to 1823), from which Li copied extracts while at the Office of Scrutiny for Justice (刑科) in the Censorate. The entries, which indicate the provincial bureau of the Ministry of Justice to which the case was referred as well as the date, are short summaries focusing on the statute or substatute used for analogy, or (in Liangqi cheng’an xinbian) on the divergences in the judgment propositions. In Jiajian cheng’an xinbian they are arranged according to the order of the statutes in the Penal Code, summed up in the general mulu and in the detailed mulu at the beginning of each juan (the statutes on “Justice” 刑律 cover j. 2-6, with those on “Public Works” 工律 at the end of j. 6). Comparison with the 1834 Xingbu bizhao jiajian cheng’an (q.v.) reveals that the cases in Jiajian cheng’an xinbian are identical (but often arranged in a different order within the same section); however, the former work has no cases from 1823. They may have used a common manuscript source. In Liangqi cheng’an xinbian the cases are arranged according to eight categories of crime—dealing with people related by mourning (服制), homicides (人命), affrays (鬥毆), sexual crimes and abduction (姦拐), violence and robbery (賊盜), forcible robbery (搶奪), fraud and cheating (詐偽), and miscellaneous crimes (雜犯). Li insists that all these materials can help jurists (i.e., legal muyou) enlarge their knowledge (皆足為申韓家擴其識見). Shao Shengqing was entrusted by Li with assembling and collating the texts and printing them; he stresses in his first pref. that even leading cases that have not been publicly circulated (通行) and cannot therefore be cited in a judgment may help judges reach a proper decision. Four cases are appended to j. 6, referring to the “Articles on analogy” (比引律條), “Regulations on catching fugitives” (督捕則例, 2 cases), and “Mongol regulations” (蒙古則例).

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