Chapter 2: Law in imperial China
Chapter 2 introduces law in imperial China. It first provides a historical account of Chinese dynasties and then introduces four major Chinese schools of thought (including Taoism, Mohism, Confucianism and Legalism). In highlighting the major characteristics of imperial Chinese law, the chapter discusses the integration of li and fa, differentiated prerogatives and obligations, humanism and benevolence, impartiality and renqing, emphasis on administrative and criminal law, and patriarchal governance and mediation. The last section discusses the interaction between law and society in imperial China.
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