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Criminal Reconciliation in Contemporary China

An Empirical and Analytical Enquiry Jue Jiang, Visiting Scholar (honorary), The Centre for Rights and Justice, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Criminal reconciliation, a special procedure stipulated in PRC’s 2013 Criminal Procedure Law, allows the alleged perpetrators and victims of certain crimes to resolve criminal cases through reconciliation or mediation. Based on empirical studies on pilot practices of this mechanism in three cities in China, this book argues that criminal reconciliation enables abuses of power and infringement of the parties’ access to justice. This programme further throws light on certain fundamental problems with the wider criminal justice system.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78536 310 8
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  • Law - Academic
  • Asian Law
  • Law and Society
In China the process of criminal reconciliation allows the alleged perpetrators and victims of certain crimes to resolve criminal cases through reconciliation or mediation. Based on empirical studies, which include case file examination and interviews with judges, prosecutors, lawyers and individual parties in three cities in mainland China, this important book provides a comprehensive description and in-depth analysis of the operation.

Criminal reconciliation has been a key feature in the reform of China’s judicial system and as part of her analysis of it Jue Jiang relates flaws in the criminal reconciliation programme to wider problems in the Chinese criminal justice system.

Students and scholars of law and related subjects, especially those focussing on Asian studies, will find this book to be of interest. It will also be of use to associations and organisations working on restorative justice, mediation and reconciliation.
‘This is an excellent book that provides us with important insights into a central, but so far insufficiently studied aspect of China's criminal justice through its in-depth studies of how “criminal reconciliation” works on the ground. It is well-grounded in empirical research and critical analysis, and its argument is persuasive. This book is of great value to readers interested in the criminal justice system, judicial reforms, and human rights in China.’
– Eva Pils, King’s College London, UK

‘This detailed ethnographic study of “criminal reconciliation” (xingshi hejie) in China’s criminal process uncovers a major contradiction between the formal rules and lived reality. In place of voluntary admissions of guilt, education and correction, the author found enforced “reconciliation“ driven by criminal justice officials seeking to meet official performance evaluation criteria. This insightful study demonstrates how informal rules may be accorded primary importance in practice mirroring the Party’s promotion of the “rule of law with Chinese characteristics“ as it extends its authoritarian grip on everyday life.’
– Mike McConville, Emeritus Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Contents: 1. The criminal reconciliation (xingshi hejie) system in China: background, pilot projects and debates 2. A comparative look at criminal reconciliation: a transplant of restorative justice? 3. Criminal reconciliation in practice: evidence from official case files 4. The process of criminal reconciliation programmes: evidence from interviews 5. The participants of criminal reconciliation programmes: evidence from interviews 6. Understanding wider problems with the Chinese criminal justice system through the lens of criminal reconciliation 7. Conclusion Bibliography Index