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The Third "Frontier Issues of the Legal History of China" Seminar

From November 25th to 26th, 2017, the Third ¡°Frontier Issues of the Legal History of China¡± Seminar was held in Xiamen University. Convened by Professor Zhou Dongping, the seminar had been held in Xiamen for two sessions (2011 and 2013). Many scholars at home and abroad had been invited to participate in this seminar, and had heated discussions and exchanges. Coinciding with the publishing of the Legal History Studies (the Fifth Volume), Renmin Law School, School of Law, Xiamen University, and Academic Monthly jointly held the third session, which opened a new cooperative mode. More than fifty scholars from home and abroad were invited to attend the seminar.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Professor Zhou Dongping from School of Law, Xiamen University. Guo Jinxing, the deputy party secretary of School of Law, Xiamen University, attended the ceremony and gave a speech. Later, Professor Ma Xiaohong from Renmin Law School, who was the vice president of Dong Biwu¡¯s Legal Thought Research Society, and Researcher Wu Yuzhang from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who was also the president of China Institute of Legal History, delivered speeches. The two-day event started in expectation and enthusiasm.

The first session was chaired by Zhou Qi, the editor of Academic Monthly. Professor Ma Xiaohong delivered a report entitled ¡°Ancient Law and Traditional Law¡ªPropriety and Law: the Historical Connection¡±, clarifying the conceptual difference between ancient law and traditional law, reflecting on the distortion of the ancient law study, proposing a new explanation of the ancient law, and constructing the connection between the traditional law and the modern law. Shinichiro Watanabe, honorary professor and former president of Kyoto Prefectural University, delivered a report entitled ¡°the Equalized Order of Ancient China¡ªthe Economic Order as the Center¡±. He focused on the equalized field law and the Liang-shui tax law, clarifying the exact meaning of ¡°Jun¡±, and explaining the mechanism of traditional equalized order. Billy Kee-long So, chair professor of Division of Humanities, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, delivered a report entitled ¡°the Legal Transplant of Modern China: from the Perspective of Comparative History of Legal Thought¡±. He cited the comparative study of constitutional concept of John Ching-hsiung Wu and Kat¨­ Hiroyuki, and integrated with the legal positivism thoughts of Justice Holmes and Axel Hägerström. Researcher Wu Yuzhang of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Chen Xiaofeng of Wuhan University School of Law, Professor Wang Zhiqiang, who was also the dean of Fudan University Law School, respectively commented.

The second session was chaired by Professor Li Li, who was also the dean of School of Law, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Professor Wang Xuemei from Institute of Chinese Ancient Legal Documents, China University of Political Science and Law, made a report entitled ¡°the Trend of Legal Stele Study: Interdiscipline and Legal Discourse¡±. She marshaled the evolution of ancient legal inscriptions, refining their contents in different times, summing up three characteristics of legal steles, and explaining the core status of official document inscriptions in the development. Professor Chen Huixin of Taiwan Politics University made a report entitled ¡°the Legal Study of the Qing Dynasty¡ªthe Relevance and Difference between Legal Viewpoint and Historical Viewpoint¡±. She expounded the inspirations of the history study for the law study, and looked forward to the dialogues of different disciplines. Associate Professor Chen Xinyu of School of Law, Tsinghua University, gave a report entitled ¡°the Worst Result? A case study in the Judicial Transition: ¡°Willful Murder Brother Case¡± in the Late Qing Dynasty¡±. In 1908 (Guangxu 34th Year), Zhao Xixi willful murdered his two brothers in Shaanxi. Using this case as an entry, Chen analyzed a paper of Shen Jiaben, who was in charge of the 1905 revision of the Qing Code, and a paper of Ji Tongjun, who was a Langzhong in Fabu of the Qing Dynasty, reproducing the dispute between Fabu and Daliyuan, and showing the worst result from the combination of the tradition and modernity in the judicial transition: an independent judiciary without authority. Professor Li Qicheng of Peking University Law School, Associate Professor Gao Yangguang of Renmin Law School, Associate Professor Shen Weiwei of South China University of Technology, made comments.

The third session was chaired by Associate Professor Ma Teng of School of Law, Xiamen University. Assistant Professor Li Qintong of Hunan University Law School gave a report entitled ¡°The Influence of Buddhism on Chinese Traditional Legal Form¡±, illustrating it from the aspects of question-and-answer form, Yi-shu form, language features, graphic forms. Professor Wang Pei of East China University of Political Science delivered a report entitled ¡°A New Textual Research on Zichan¡¯s Casting Penal Code¡±, comparing Zuo zhuan with Zi chan in the hidden bamboo slips of the warring states period (six) by Tsinghua University, which passed different judgments over the event. The different judgments manifested two kinds of ideas in the Spring and Autumn period. He revealed the essence of the dispute: legal monism and legal pluralism. Assistant Professor Li Jingrong of Hunan University Law School gave a report entitled ¡°Quantity of Crime and Penalty Principle in the Criminal Law of the Qin and Han Dynasties¡±. She summarized her study using the concept and principle of modern criminal law. Professor MIYAZAWA Tomoyuki of Bukkyo University gave a report entitled ¡°the Change of the Money Law of the Western Han Dynasty¡±. Sketching the currency situation from the Warring States to the Qin Dynasty, he detailed the monetary developments of the Han Empire which took heritage from the Qin Dynasty, and focused on the relationship between standard money and folk coins. Professor Chen Linghai of East China University of Political Science, Professor Li Li of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Lecturer Zhu Xiao of Henan University of Economics and Law, and Professor Yan Xiaojun of Northwest University of Political Science and Law made comments.

The forth session was chaired by Professor Xu Tongzhu, the dean of School of Law, Hubei University For Nationalities. Associate Professor MIZUMA Daisuke of Chuo Gakuin University delivered a report entitled ¡°the Standardization and the Story of the Posthumous Execution in Wei, Jin and Southern Dynasties¡±. He cited the stories of Cui Zhu, Gui Sheng, Wang Mang and Chen Shuling, and explaining the principles of posthumous execution for crimes of treason. Doctor Yao Zhouxia of Xiamen University made a report entitled ¡°the Influence of Economic Changes on Law in the Northern Wei Dynasty¡±. She pointed out that with the development of Northern Wei Dynasty economy from nomadic to agriculture, the law also changed: the unfilial crime and bribery crime were established; piracy crime had gradually focused on stealing public property. Professor Tsuji Masahiro of Kyoto University delivered a report entitled ¡°Seiji Yoryaku and Hui Yao¡±. He pointed out that the Hui Yao that Seiji Yoryaku (examples of the politics in the Heian period) cited was based on Su Mian¡¯s compilation during Emperor Dezong of Tang period. Seiji Yoryaku also revised Hui Yao by reference to Du You¡¯s Tongdian and other historical materials of Tang. And the revised text was compared to Wang Fu¡¯s Hui Yao. Professor Hu Xingdong of Yunnan University delivered a report entitled ¡°the Spread of Tang Liu Dian and Its Impact on the Formation of China¡¯s Legal System¡±. Elaborating Tang Liu Dian¡¯s formation, propagation, reception and application in the following dynasties, He thought it had a significant impact on such concepts as ¡°Chinese Nation¡± and ¡°China¡±, and on the formation of China¡¯s Legal System. Lecturer Cui Chao of Guizhou Normal University delivered a report entitled ¡°the Tenancy Contract of Miao People in Wendou Village, Guizhou Province¡±. Through the analysis of 325 tenancy contracts, Cui extracted the typical characteristics and main types of such contract, and clarified how contemporary legal system absorbed the related contents. Associate Professor Dong Changchun of Nanjing Normal University, Lecturer Zhong Sheng of Wuhan University, Professor Dai Jianguo of Shanghai Normal University, Professor Zhang Guoan of Huaqiao University, Lecturer Liu Shunfeng of Hubei University for Nationalities, made comments.

The fifth session was chaired by Cai Yongming, the editor of Journal of Xiamen University. Associate Professor Liu Xinjun of National Chiayi University delivered a report entitled ¡°The Tang Dynasty Court Verdict: the Interpretation of Wei Ren Xing Li Pan¡±. She introduced the activities of Tang Verdict Reading Group of Taiwan in recent three years, and showed its interpretation on Wei Ren Xing Li Pan, one verdict compiled in Wenyuan Yinghua (Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature). Researcher Liu Xiao of China Academy of Social Sciences delivered a report entitled ¡°Sources of Law and Legal System of the Yuan Dynasty¡±. At first, the Yuan Dynasty quoted the Jin Dynasty¡¯s laws and cases; Then Yuan began to build its own legal system in line with circumstances. Liu also summarized the impact of Yuan¡¯s legal system on the early Ming Dynasty. Professor Zhang Qin of Tianjin University of Finance Economics delivered a report entitled ¡°How County Yamen of the Qing Dynasty Solved Disputes¡ªA Reflection on Legal Centralism¡±. Professor Zhang Renshan of Nanjing University delivered a report entitled ¡°Verdicts of Family and Inheritance Cases in the Nanjing Nationalist Government Period: the Convergence of Emotion, Reasoning and Law¡±. Combining emotion, reasoning and law, judicial subject served as a buffer between civil law and social practice. Researcher Zhang Shaoyu of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Hu Xingdong of Yunnan University, Professor Chun Yang of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Associate Researcher Gao Hancheng of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences made comments.

The sixth session was chaired by Qian Jiqiu, the editor of Jiangsu Social Sciences. Associate Professor Thomas M. Buoye from University of Tulsa delivered a report entitled ¡°Leu is invariable, Lee is variable¡ªthe Criminal Justice System of the Qing Dynasty in the Eighteenth Century: Filial Piety¡¯s Leu Lee¡±. Taking filial piety and relevant judicial activities as examples, he illuminated the relationship of Leu and Lee. Associate Researcher Hai Dan of Sun Yat-sen University delivered a report entitled ¡°the Dissemination of Injustice Information and the Formation of Public Awareness in the Late Qing Dynasty¡±. In 1891 (the Guangxu 17th Year), magistrate of Lujiang County, Anhui Province, abused punishment and killed two people. By comparing different historical records on the case, Hai revealed how officials controlled the information dissemination; how the control effected the press presentation; and how the public reached different judgments due to the lack of complete information. Professor Chen Linghai of East China University of Political Science and Law delivered a report entitled ¡°Legal History inside Poetry: the life and Career of Qing Judges in Baochongzhai Poetry¡±. Binliang was a Manchu official who lived through the reigns of Jiaqing (1796-1820) and Daoguang (1820-1850). Because Binliang had served as both a supervisory official and a vice minister in the Board of Punishment for a long time and his poetry was more akin to diary that contained quite a few poems pertaining to communications with his colleagues, his poetry could be an excellent source for studying the careers, personal pursuits, and daily lives of Qing judges. In the Qing, with the exception of legal experts, most officials tended to pay little attention to law due to the overwhelming importance of civil service examination. In their spare times, aside from their primary interests in writing poems and drinking wines, officials in the Board of Punishment would also be intrigued by calligraphy, stone and metal carving, collection, gathering, and travel. Therefore, their knowledge on law could not be overestimated. The assertions of some scholars that Qing legal experts had high professional capabilities and enjoyed a promising life of reading statutes were merely a romantic imagination. Professor Peng-sheng Chiu of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Associate Researcher Sun Jiahong of Chinsese Academy of Social Sciences made comments.

The closing ceremony was chaired by Professor Chen Huixin of National Chengchi University. Professor Ma Xiaohong of Renmin Law School made a closing speech. Professor Ma highly appraised the significance of this seminar for the legal history study from three aspects: problematic consciousness of research contents, multiple characteristics of research methods and sincere attitude of academic confrontation. She expressed gratitude to the organizer, Xiamen University School of Law. The seminar came to a close in applause.

(Editor: CHEN Pei)

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