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NCJ Number: 123333 Find in a Library
Title: Concept of Law in Post-Mao China: A Case Study of Economic Crime
Journal: Stanford Journal of International Law  Volume:24  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1987)  Pages:227-258
Author(s): D E Townsend
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 32
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note discusses the tradition of imperial Chinese law and the prevailing Western analytic model of the post-1949 Chinese legal system; examines economic crime in China, primarily as portrayed in Chinese sources; critiques how the prevailing Western analytical model accounts for the specifics of economic crime; and proposes some additional theories for examining Chinese law.
Abstract: China's traditional legal background influences all models of China's post-revolutionary legal system. The basic Confucian concept of law involves two polarities, li and fa. Li relies on moral force rather than physical coercion. Fa is a formal legal code that controls behavior through fear of sanctions. The best-known post-1949 Western analytic model for the Chinese legal system is Victor Li's internal/external model, in which Li posits two legal substructures in China that exist simultaneously and interactively. The internal substructure enforces proper behavior through lengthy and continuous education processes that allow the population to internalize norms. The external substructure has a detailed set of written rules which define legal and illegal conduct. At first glance, the internal/external model apparently describes the current Chinese campaign against economic crime. Both legal and extra-legal organs are addressing economic crimes. The model, however, fails to take into account key aspects of current Chineses legal development. A possible alternative model is Roberto Unger's tripartite concept of law: customary law, bureaucratic law, and the legal system. 181 footnotes.
Main Term(s): White collar crime
Index Term(s): China; Jurisprudence
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