128 documents
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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TitleCheng An zhiyi 成案質疑 [Inquiring about Doubtful Points in Leading Cases]
Short titleB3850700-00
Topic2.1 Judicial cases: general casebooks
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorHong Hongxu 洪弘續, Rao Han 饒翰
Publication typeWoodblock

A massive compilation of over 4,300 leading cases covering the first hundred years of the Qing (the work is bound in 80 fasc.). The names of the two compilers, both legal private secretaries with a long experience, appear in the chapter captions, but only Hong Hongxu features on the cover-leaf. Hong also authored a revised version of Shen Zhiqi’s Da Qing lü jizhu (q.v.). At the time of his pref. Pan Siju (1695-1752, js. 1724), who had started his distinguished career in the Ministry of Justice, where he became a bureau director, was Zhejiang administration commissioner (he was appointed Anhui governor in the 5th month of 1746). Pan calls the two compilers his “friends” (友人). He emphasizes in his pref. the crucial importance of consulting leading cases in administering justice, noting that in order of priority, leading cases come after statutes and substatutes to decide whether a criminal can be pardoned or benefit from the doubt (凡罪有可矜可疑者,首按律,次以例,終援成案). The documents are arranged according to the order of the Code (with a few rearrangements explained in the fanli), the 30-chapter structure of which is likewise preserved. (Some chapters are relatively short; others, e.g. on violence and robbery [賊盜], extend over several fascicles.) An extra chapter has been added for cases concerning fugitives (逃人). Cases not yet concluded by the Ministry of Justice have been included, the conclusions (查明) to be inserted in future engravings. The authors have also included the cases already published in such works as Chuxu leibian 初續類編 (possibly Cheng’an huibian and Cheng’an xubian [qq.v.], or, alternatively, Benchao zeli leibian and its sequel [qq.v.]), Dingli cheng’an [hejuan], and Li’an quanji (qq.v.). Each juan is preceded by a detailed list of the cases therein, with captions indicating contents. The title of the relevant statute is written at the bottom of the central margin. Hong Hongxu also added comments alongside cases where he felt the judgments were not fully consistent with the relevant articles in the Code. In terms of the number of cases included, Cheng’an zhiyi can probably be matched only by Xing’an huilan and its two sequels. It is also of special value for preserving some of the earliest Qing leading cases, which are missing in most extant anthologies, including the three Xing’an huilan.

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