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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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TitleCheng’an beikao 成案備考 [Reference Materials on Leading Cases]
Short titleB3853300 (10)
Topic2.1 Judicial cases: general casebooks
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
Publication typeWoodblock

Not to be confused with the 1808 printed work by the same title (q.v.). These are clearly copies, with variable page settings and a few variants, of the same collection of several hundred leading cases, many decided by analogy (i.e., in the absence of a staute or substatute directly applying), emanating from the Ministry of Justice. Each entry indicates the name of the provincial department which treated the case and the year (only occasionally, and never in the Columbia version, which only gives the reign name, Jiaqing or Daoguang), followed by a concise presentation of the case with the ministry’s conclusion, and in some cases by the final decision in the form of an enforceable imperial rescript marked by the words qinci 欽此. The cases span the period 1813-23 (a few are undated). (The single case dated 1826 in the copy at Faxue suo obviously results from a copying error, as it is dated 1822 in other sources, including Xing’an huilan sanbian 刑案匯覽三編 [Beijing: Beijing guji chubanshe, 2004], 359.) The margins feature the category of crime discussed. The order followed is that of the statutes in the Qing Code. Comparison with Xingbu bizhao jiajian cheng’an and Jiajian cheng’an xinbian (qq.v.) shows a similarity of purpose and in the nature of the cases included, even though the language and format may vary in the case reports: for example, in Cheng’an beikao the entries are not introduced by the mention of the official or agency that submitted the original memorial (奏 or 題) or memorandum (咨) discussed.

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