Petitioners’ Framing of Disputes in Chinese Courts
Dr. Yuqing Feng
Date: Jan 30, 2019 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Venue: A723,7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Drawing on empirical data collected from judges and petitioners in Chinese courts, this talk analyzes how the regime’s political concern for social stability transforms petitioners’ disputes and shapes the evolution of their legal consciousness. First-time petitioners often address their complaints within a legal paradigm. In response, judges divert them into lengthy and fruitless legal and extra-legal procedures with the purpose of relieving their grievances temporarily. Fully aware of the futility of legal arguments, the veteran petitioners take advantage of judges’ political concern for social stability and present their disputes as potentially threatening social stability. They complain against the judges’ mishandling of their case ; they petition courts during “sensitive periods;” they employ innovative tactics to draw official attention; and they seek to secure government stability-maintenance funds as a substitute for legal remedies. However, in framing a legal dispute as a political problem, the veteran petitioners risk retaliation. This talk will provide insights into the operation of the court petition system and the evolution of petitioners’ legal consciousness in China.
About the speaker:
Yuqing Feng is associate professor of law at Southeast University, China. He currently serves as the vice director of the Judicial Big Data Research Centre of the Supreme People’s Court of China. He obtained his Bachelor of Art and LL.M. degree from Nanjing University, another LL.M. degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. degree from City University of Hong Kong, where he was HKPFS fellow. His recent works appear in China Journal, Law & Social Inquiry, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and Hong Kong Law Journal. His research focuses on legal consciousness, Chinese legal system, and judicial big data.
ALL ARE WELCOME