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Spirit of Traditional Chinese Law

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Februar 1996

Beschreibung

Beschreibung

By the end of the eighth century A.D. imperial China had established a system of administrative and penal law, the main institutions of which lasted until the collapse of the Ch'ing dynasty in 1911. The Spirit of Traditional Chinese Law studies the views held throughout the centuries by the educated elite on the role of law in government, the relationship between law and morality, and the purpose of punishment. A study of the spirit of the law in imperial China is particularly appropriate, says MacCormack, for a number of laws in the penal codes on family relationships, property ownership, and commercial transactions were probably never meant to be enforced. Rather, such laws were more symbolic and expressed an ideal toward which people should strive. In many cases even the laws that were enforced, such as those directed at the suppression of theft or killing, were also regarded as an emphatic expression of the right way to behave. Throughout his study, MacCormack distinguishes between "official", or penal and administrative law, which emanated from the emperor to his officials, and "unofficial", or customary law, which developed in certain localities or among associations of merchants and traders. In addition, MacCormack pays particular attention to the laws' emphasis on the hierarchical ordering of relationships between individuals such as ruler and minister, ruler and subject, parent and child, and husband and wife. He also seeks to explain why, over nearly thirteen centuries, there was little change in the main moral and legal prescriptions, despite enormous social and economic changes.

Portrait

Geoffrey MacCormack is a professor of jurisprudence at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of "Traditional Chinese Penal Law."
EAN: 9780820317229
ISBN: 0820317225
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UNIV OF GEORGIA PR
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 1996
Seitenanzahl: 280 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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