“The Chinese Judiciary under the Japanese Occupation: Criminal and Civil Justice in Jiangsu, 1938-1945”
Xiaoqun Xu, Christopher Newport University
The Chinese Historical Review 22, no.2 (2015): 120-140.
Sitting at the intersection of Chinese legal-judicial history and the history of wartime occupation and collaboration, this study examines how Chinese judiciary functioned in Jiangsu under the Japanese occupation during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It finds that judicial institutions and procedures established prior to 1937 were carried forward, and the judicial system operated, and Chinese legal culture manifested itself, in a fashion similar to those in the prewar period. It argues that Chinese life under the occupation had multiple dimensions, and multiple shades in each dimension, including but not limited to: tremendous sufferings from the war destruction and the Japanese atrocities; actions of resistance and collaboration; and a majority of the population trying to survive and go about their lives as normally as possible. In the end, the continuity in the judicial field resulted from the interactive dynamics of the long-term effect of the judicial reform and the near-term impact of the Japanese occupation and Chinese collaboration.