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Volume 53 Issue 2

Article

Judicial Legitimation in China

Benjamin Minhao Chen & Zhiyu Li

26 Oct 2021

Courts have emerged as vital policymaking bodies of the People’s Republic of China. Chinese courts do not only adjudicate individual cases; they also operate as quasi-legislative bodies by promulgating interpretations on a wide range of fields and subjects. These judicial interpretations—issued in the absence of a live case or controversy— have come to acquire the force of law despite their initial lack of a constitutional or statutory basis. In some instances, they do not merely elaborate the statutory code at issue but also supplement it.

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Assistant Professor of Law, University of Hong Kong.

Assistant Professor in Chinese Law and Fellow at the Durham Research Methods Centre, Durham Law School.