Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-jxkh9 Total loading time: 0.436 Render date: 2023-01-30T01:28:14.314Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The Judicial Cadre Evaluation System in China: From Quantification to Intra-state Legibility

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2015

Jonathan J. Kinkel
Affiliation:
PhD in government, University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Email: jjkinkel@gmail.com.
William J. Hurst
Affiliation:
Northwestern University. Email: william.hurst@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

Performance evaluation systems fundamentally shape the behaviour of Chinese judges, but scholarship on the concrete implementation of these institutions is scarce. Relying on nearly 15 months of fieldwork in six cities in China, we explain how the judicial cadre evaluation system, as unified by the 2011 “Guiding opinion of the Supreme People's Court,” has been implemented. Over 30 indices quantitatively measure Chinese courts’ “fairness” (gongzheng 公正), “efficiency” (xiaolü 效率) and “impact” (xiaoguo 效果), incentivizing court leaders to pressure their subordinate judges to resolve disputes as quickly as possible without unduly angering litigants or other actors. Under the hyper-quantified conditions of cadre evaluation, systemic praising and shaming bring about what we call “intra-state legibility,” which leads to a variety of informal worker reactions to these tactics. This study not only uses interviews and new documentary evidence to add necessary detail to our understanding of cadre evaluation systems, it also engages debates in comparative law and politics regarding bureaucratic influence on authoritarian judicial behaviour.

摘要

干部考核制度对中华人民共和国法官的行为的影响很重要, 而关于这两方面的社会科学研究到现在并不多。本文章根据所在中国六个城市、将近十五个月的实证调研说明 “案件质量评估体系” 在 2011 年最高人民法院指导意见下实践中的过程。在中国法院定量分析 “公正” 、 “效率” 和 “效果” 的程度时, 有超过 30 个指标激励法院领导和压力下级官员在解决纠纷时尽快判决、不过分激怒当事人或其他公民。干部考核制度也利用赞扬和批评方法激励下级法官, 同时从超定量 (hyper-quantified) 条件带来所谓的 “政府内部的易读性” (intra-state legibility), 该导致各种非正式的反应和工人战术。这项研究不仅采用访谈和新的书面证据提高我们干部考核体系的意识, 同时其对专政下的法官行为、官僚主义和政法的动态也有所涉及。

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The China Quarterly 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Baum, Lawrence. 2006. Judges and their Audiences: A Perspective on Judicial Behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Brødsgaard, Kjeld Erik. 2012. “Cadre and personnel management in the CPC.” China: An International Journal 10(2), 6983.Google Scholar
DiFederico, Giuseppe, and Guarnieri, Carlo. 1988. “The courts in Italy.” In Waltman, J.L. and Holland, K.M. (eds.), The Political Role of Law Courts in Modern Democracies. Hong Kong: Macmillan, 153180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edin, Maria. 2003. “State capacity and local agent control in China: CCP cadre management from a township perspective.” The China Quarterly 173, 3552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garoupa, Nuno, and Ginsburg, Tom. 2009. “Guarding the guardians: judicial councils and judicial independence.” The American Journal of Comparative Law 57(1), 103134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guo, Nan. 2013. “Shanghai fayuan sifa gongzheng zhishu he touming du quanguo pai ming jushou” (Shanghai courts’ judicial fairness index and transparency level are highest in the country), Jiefang ribao, 20 April, http://www.chinacourt.org/article/detail/2013/04/id/939740.shtml. Accessed 29 September 2015.Google Scholar
Hazard, John N. 1969. Communists and their Law: A Search for the Common Core of the Legal Systems of the Marxian Socialist States. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
He, Xin. 2009. “Administrative law as political control mechanism.” In Balme, Stephanie and Dowdle, Michael (eds.), Building Constitutionalism in China. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 143162.Google Scholar
Hendley, Kathryn. 2012. “The puzzling non-consequences of societal distrust of courts: explaining the use of Russian courts.” Cornell International Law Journal 45(3), 517567.Google Scholar
Hendley, Kathryn. 2013. “Too much of a good thing? Assessing access to civil justice in Russia.” Slavic Review 72(4), 802827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hilbink, Lisa. 2007. Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, David Yau-fai. 1976. “On the concept of face.” American Journal of Sociology 81(4), 867884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, Weixin. 2014. “Zuigao renmin fayuan zhaokai dangzu huiyi jueding quxiao dui quanguo ge gaoji renmin fayuan kaohe paiming” (The Supreme People's Court decides in a meeting of the Party core group to cancel the all-country high court performance rankings), Renmin fayuan bao, 27 December.Google Scholar
Hurst, William. 2009. The Chinese Worker after Socialism. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurst, William. 2010. “Cases, questions, and comparison in research on contemporary Chinese politics.” In Carlson, Allen, Gallagher, Mary, Lieberthal, Kenneth and Manion, Melanie (eds.), Contemporary Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 162177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landry, Pierre F. 2008. Decentralized Authoritarianism in China: The Communist Party's Control of Local Elites in the Post-Mao Era. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, Ling. 2012. “The ‘production’ of corruption in China's courts: judicial politics and decision making in a one-party state.” Law & Social Inquiry 37(4), 848877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lubman, Stanley. 1999. Bird in a Cage: Legal Reform in China after Mao. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Manion, Melanie. 1985. “The cadre management system, post-Mao: the appointment, promotion, transfer and removal of Party and state leaders.” The China Quarterly 102, 203233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCubbins, Mathew D., and Schwartz, Thomas. 1984. “Congressional oversight overlooked: police patrols versus fire alarms.” American Journal of Political Science 28(1), 165179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merry, Sally Engle. 2011. “Measuring the world: indicators, human rights, and global governance: with CA comment by John M. Conley.” Current Anthropology 52(S3), S83S95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merton, Robert King, Lowenthal, Marjorie Fiske and Kendall, Patricia. 1990. The Focused Interview: A Manual of Problems and Procedures. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Miceli, Thomas J., and Cosgel, Metin M.. 1994. “Reputation and judicial decision-making.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 23(1), 3151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Minzner, Carl F. 2009. “Riots and cover-ups: counterproductive control of local agents in China.” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 31(1), 53123.Google Scholar
Minzner, Carl. 2011. “Judicial disciplinary systems for incorrectly decided cases: the imperial Chinese heritage lives on.” In Woo, Margaret and Gallagher, Mary (eds.), Chinese Justice: Civil Dispute Resolution in Contemporary China. New York: Cambridge University Press, 5890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Brien, Kevin J., and Li, Lianjiang. 1999. “Selective policy implementation in rural China.” Comparative Politics 31(2), 167186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peerenboom, Randall. 2002. China's Long March to the Rule of Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peerenboom, Randall. 2006. “Judicial independence and judicial accountability: an empirical study of individual case supervision.” The China Journal 55, 6792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peerenboom, Randall. 2010. “Judicial independence in China: common myths and unfounded assumptions.” In Peerenboom, Randall (ed.), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion. New York: Cambridge University Press, 6994.Google Scholar
Personnel Department. 2007. “Renshibu, caizhengbu guanyu shixing faguan shenpan jintie de tongzhi” (Personnel department and finance department circular regarding implementation of judicial adjudication bonuses), 31 July, Personnel Department document No. 105.Google Scholar
Scott, James C. 1999. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Shapiro, Martin. 1981. Courts: A Comparative and Political Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
SPC (Supreme People's Court of China). 2005. “Renmin fayuan erwu gaige gangyao” (The second five-year reform plan of the Supreme People's Court of China), document No. 18.Google Scholar
SPC. 2007. “Zuigao renmin fayuan zhuanfa renshibu, caizhengbu ‘guanyu shixing faguan shenpan jintie de tongzhi’” (Supreme People's Court circular sent to personnel department and finance department regarding the circular on the trial implementation of judicial adjudication supplemental pay), 7 August, SPC document No. 26.Google Scholar
SPC. 2008. “Zuigao renmin fayuan yinfa ‘zuigao renmin fayuan guanyu kaizhan anjian zhiliang pinggu gongzuo de zhidao yijian (shixing)’” (Circular of the Supreme People's Court on issuing the “Guiding opinion of the Supreme People's Court on carrying out case quality assessment work (for trial implementation)”), SPC document No. 6.Google Scholar
SPC. 2011. “Zuigao renmin fayuan guanyu kaizhan anjian zhiliang pinggu gongzuo de zhidao yijian” (Guiding opinion of the SPC regarding the launching of case quality assessment work), March.Google Scholar
Stern, Rachel E. 2010. “On the frontlines : making decisions in Chinese civil environmental lawsuits.” Law & Policy 32(1), 79103.Google Scholar
Su, Fubing, Tao, Ran, Xi, Lu and Li, Ming. 2012. “Local officials’ incentives and China's economic growth: tournament thesis reexamined and alternative explanatory framework.” China & World Economy 20(4), 118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whiting, Susan H. 2000. Power and Wealth in Rural China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whiting, Susan H. 2004. “The cadre evaluation system at the grass roots: the paradox of Party rule.” In Naughton, Barry J. and Yang, Dali L. (eds.), Holding China Together: Diversity and National Integration in the Post-Deng Era. New York: Cambridge University Press, 101119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agency, Xinhua News. 2013. “Quanguo 31 ge diqu gongwuyuan gongzi baoguang” (The salaries of civil servants in all 31 of China's provinces revealed), 11 October, http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2013-10/11/c_125512066.htm. Accessed 30 September 2015.Google Scholar
Xuzhou Intermediate Court. 2014. “Xuzhou fayun: zanting shenpan zhixiao kaoping hou women zuode geng hao!” (Xuzhou Court: suspending court performance evaluations makes us better!), Dongfang fayan, 27 December, http://www.dffyw.com/sifashijian/sw/201412/37711.html. Accessed 20 September 2015.Google Scholar
Ying, Yong. 2011. “Zunxun sifa guilü, youhua pinggu tixi, renzhen linghui he shishi zuigao fayuan xin anjian zhiliang pinggu tixi” (Comply with judicial regulations, improve the assessment system, diligently lead and implement the SPC's new case quality assessment system). Shanghai shenpan shijian 228(12), 34.Google Scholar
Zhang, Jianguo. 2011. “Bawo pinggu tixi jingshen, tisheng anjian zhixiao shuiping” (Grasp the assessment system spirit, raise the level of case quality and efficiency)(internal document). Shanghai shenpan shijian 228(12), 1213.Google Scholar
Zhou, Liping. 2011. “Toushi zhibiao shuju, cujin shenpan xiaoneng” (Thoroughly look at index statistics, promote adjudication efficacy). Shanghai shenpan shijian 228(12), 1415.Google Scholar
Zhu, Suli. 2010. “The Party and the courts.” In Peerenboom, Randall (ed.), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion. New York: Cambridge University Press, 5268.Google Scholar
Zhuang, Guobo. 2010. Lingdao ganbu zhengji pingjia de lilun yu shijian (Theory and Practice of the Evaluation System for Leading Cadres). Beijing: Zhongguo jingji chubanshe.Google Scholar
28
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Judicial Cadre Evaluation System in China: From Quantification to Intra-state Legibility
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Judicial Cadre Evaluation System in China: From Quantification to Intra-state Legibility
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Judicial Cadre Evaluation System in China: From Quantification to Intra-state Legibility
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *