Dr John Zhuang Liu
DEPARTMENT OF LAW
LLB, MPhil, PhD, Peking University
LLM, JSD, The University of Chicago
Zhuang (John) Liu’s interests include the role of the courts and judicial behavior, as well as law and development. He is one of the leading scholars in applying quantitative methods to study Chinese law. His present research projects include work that takes advantage of a large dataset of judicial opinions in China to examine and predict judges’ decisions and public reactions; using statistical methods to estimate judicial transparency in China; studying law and development with a combination of court data and economic data in China; and performing experimental studies to reveal the hidden behavioral patterns of judges. His work has appeared in a number of top-tier academic journals that specialize in law and in China studies, including Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Legal Analysis, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, American Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of Comparative Economics, China Quarterly, and Journal of Contemporary China. He also writes in Chinese and publishes in leading law journals in China.
He received a Bachelor of Laws and a Ph.D. in Law from Peking University, as well as an LLM and a JSD from the University of Chicago. Before joining HKU, he was at the School of Management and Economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. He helped establish the legal big data group at the Shenzhen Research Institute of Big Data, which conducts research using mass judicial decision data from China.
He is now developing a structural database of Chinese court decisions in contract cases and criminal cases, aiding scholars who seek to conduct empirical studies of the Chinese legal system. Along with this line of work, he is also constructing indices to measure judicial transparency and judicial performance in China at the county or district level, which is the first of its kind.
His teaching expertise is in two main areas: i) Chinese law and China’s economic development; ii) the application of quantitative methods in the law. He teaches Economic Law and Market Regulations in China, Introduction to Chinese Law, Rule of Law and China’s Economic Miracle, Economic Analysis of Law, and Introduction to AI and Law.
Journal Publications in English
Is Trial Fairness Affected in Live Broadcast? Preliminary Evidence from a Court in China. China Review (2022 forthcoming) (with Yingmao Tang).
The Internet Echo Chamber and the Misinformation of Judges: The Case of Judges’ Perception of Public Support for the Death Penalty in China. International Review of Law and Economics 69(2022).
Judicial Transparency as Judicial Centralization: Mass Publicity of Court Decisions in China. Journal of Contemporary China (2021 in press) (with Lei Chen and Yingmao Tang).
Authoritarian Transparency: China’s “Missing Cases” in Judicial Opinion Disclosure. Journal of Comparative Economics (2021 in press) (with T.J. Wong, Yi Yang, Tianyu Zhang).
Precedent and Chinese Judges: An Experiment. American Journal of Comparative Law 69(1) (2021) (with Lars Klöhn and Holger Spamann).
Are There Common/Civil Law Differences and Precedent Effects in Judging Around the World? A Lab Experiment. Journal of Legal Analysis 13 (1) (2021) (with Holger Spamann, Lars Klöhn, Christophe Jamin, Vikramaditya Khanna, Pavan Mamidi, Alexander Morell, Ivan Reidel).
Public Support for the Death Penalty in China: Less from the Populace but More from Elites. China Quarterly 246 (2021).
The Jury Trial and Public Trust in the Judiciary: Evidence from Cross-countries Comparison. Asia Pacific Law Review 28(2) (2020) (with Lei Chen).
Legal Techniques for Rationalizing Biased Judicial Decisions. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 16(3) (2019) (with Xueyao Li).
Ownership and Political Control: Evidence from Charter Amendments. International Review of Law and Economics 60 (2019) (with Angela Huyue Zhang).
Mass Publicity of Chinese Court Decisions: Market-Driven or Authoritarian Transparency? China Review 18(2) (2019) (with Yingmao Tang).
Does Reason Writing Reduce Decision Bias? Experimental Evidence from Judges in China. Journal of Legal Studies 47(1) (2018).
Journal Publications in Chinese
矯飾的技術，《中國法律評論》2022年第2期（與李學堯合著）。(Legal Techniques That Rationalize Biased Decisions, China Law Review [Chinese], 2 (with Yingmao Tang).)
庭審直播是否影響公正審判，《清華法學》2021年第4期（與唐應茂合著）。(Does Live Broadcast Affects Decision Fairness. Tsinghua Law Review (2021) 4 (with Yingmao Tang).)
政府放權意願、混合所有制改革與雇員效率，《世界經濟》2021年第5期（與易陽、蔣朏、辛清泉合著）。(Government Delegation of Power, Mixed Ownership Reform, and Firm Efficiency. World Economy (2021) 5 (with Yang Yi, Zhuo Jiang, Qingquan Xin).)
法學中的實驗方法，《中國法律評論》2018年第6期。《高等學校文科學術文摘》2019年第2期轉載。(An Introduction to Experimental Methods in Legal Studies. China Law Review [Chinese], 6)
影子銀行的第三類風險，《中外法學》2018年第1期。(Moral Hazard in Shadow Banking. Peking University Law Journal [Chinese], 1 .)
司法信任與經濟發展，《法律和社會科學》2015年第1期。(Judicial Trustworthiness and Economic Development. Law and Social Sciences [Chinese], 1 .)
法學教育與法律決策的內在一致性，《法律和社會科學》2013年第2期。《中國社會科學文摘》2014年第6期轉載。(Legal Education and Internal Consistency in Legal Decision Making. Law and Social Sciences [Chinese], 2 . Reprinted by Social Sciences in China Digest [Chinese], 6 .)
合理性及其限度：再論優先購買權和同意權的並存，《金融法苑》2012年第1期（CSSCI）。(A Study of the Co-existence of the Right of Preemptive Purchasing and the Right of First Refusal in Corporate Law. Financial Law Forum [Chinese], 1 ).
主權財富基金不應被特殊對待——對規制理論基礎的研究，《金融法苑》2010年第2期（CSSCI）。(Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Not Be Treated Differently: A Study of the Theory of Regulation. Financial Law Forum [Chinese], 2 ).
Book Chapters & Book Review
Book Review on China Netizens’ Opinion on the Death Penalty. China Quarterly (2022 forthcoming).
Computational Legal Studies in China, in Ryan Whalen ed., Computational Legal Studies: The Promise and Challenge of Data-Driven Research, Edward Elgar (2020) (with Yingmao Tang).
Work in Progress
Data Privacy and Consumer Vulnerability (with Michael Sockin and Wei Xiong). Under review.
Does Live Broadcasting Influence Judges and Litigants? An Experiment in the Field (with Yingmao Tang).
The Puzzle of the Bimodal Age-crime Relationship in China (with Ming Li).
Estimating Judicial Transparency at the County/District Level in China (with Tianxiang Wang and Yuxia Zhang)