Criminal Justice Reform in the Xi Jinping Era

Sarah Biddulph, Elisa Nesossi, Susan Trevaskes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reviews current criminal justice reforms that have been initiated in recent years under the governance platform Governing the Nation in Accordance with the Law [yifa zhiguo].1 These initiatives are helping to reframe criminal justice processes to correspond with the broad governance intentions of President Xi Jinping: finessing center-local power relations, making the authorities in the justice system more accountable for their decision-making, and improving procedures that aim to bring about greater fairness and efficiency. We examine these ongoing reforms in two main areas: the handling of minor crimes and the punishment of serious offenses. We find that yifa zhiguo and the reforms made in its name continue to reflect a highly legalist and instrumentalist vision of law whose goal is to enhance Party-state governance to control dissent and crime more effectively through criminal law, to enhance politico-legal institutional credibility, and, ultimately, to sustain Party supremacy and social stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-128pp
JournalChina Law and Society Review
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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