Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 5

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Volume 5 is the fifth work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law which bring together the work of recognized scholars from China, offering a window on current legal research in China.
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Chapter 13: United States Court for China: an alternative mode of extraterritoriality

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 5

Li Yang


The consular court, as the initial judicial institution of extraterritoriality, which aimed to issue regulations for protecting the Americans who lived in China, was not able to demonstrate the entire practice and intention of extraterritoriality. As an amended mode, the United States Court for China, which was constructed by the Western professional judicial system and designed to reform the consular court system, formed an alternative mode of extraterritoriality and acted in an outstanding role among those Western judicial institutions. According to Congress, special acts and professional judges, adhering to the basic principles of rule by law and following the judicial philosophy of sentence, depended on law rather than bias in favor of domestic concerns, while the practice of the professional judiciary mode achieved another goal and contributed to the ideology of legal imperialism spread throughout modern China. This may be considered as a homogenization of the judicial mode that relies on the rule of law. However, it is impossible to evade the fact of colonization in law. Keywords: United States Court for China; consular court; extraterritoriality; legal imperialism

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