East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents
“Rights Claims in Authoritarian Courts: Administrative Litigations in China”
PhD Student, Political Science
University of Chicago
4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.
*Food will be provided*
The existing studies found that the administrative litigations in China are limited because of possible political interference, the court’s lack of law-making power, and the narrowly-defined jurisdiction. However, there is only a limited understanding of the specific types of cases that usually stay out of the court’s reach due to such limitation. Based on the literatures on the authoritarian legal system and Chinese politics, this paper hypothesizes that the cases that meet the purpose of the establishment of the legal system in China would be within the court’s reach, whereas the cases that can threaten the stability would less likely to be so. The empirical analysis of 2,200 administrative litigation cases in China finds mixed results. Although the hypothesis largely works, the study finds both sensitive and non-sensitive cases can be diverted outside the court when a plaintiff claims its rights that are not specified in the law. With these findings, this paper contributes to both the literatures on the administrative litigation in China and the authoritarian legal system in general. In addition, the data analysis portion of the study not only provides systematical analysis on the empirics that can be useful for future research on China’s administrative lawsuits, but also suggests a new type of approach to understand the court results by categorizing results into within versus outside the court’s reach.
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