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030435 KU Criminal Justice in China and Recent Reforms (2018S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work



Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 11.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM34 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Tuesday 12.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM34 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Thursday 14.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM33 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Friday 15.06. 09:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Monday 18.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM34 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Tuesday 19.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM34 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Thursday 21.06. 09:30 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM33 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course Description:
This course examines perspectives on and core issues in China's theory and practice relating to criminal justice.

The course will first give the students an overview of China’s criminal procedure law evolution. At the seminars, the lecturer will guide the students trace the history, learn about the updated legal reforms and illustrate how a criminal case is handled by police, prosecutors and judges in China. More specifically, the course will examine how allegations of crime come to the notice of the police, how the police gather evidence, detain and question suspects, how the case for the prosecution is assembled by the police and prosecution in advance of the trial, how trials are set-up in the Chinese process; including the physical lay-out of courts and the rules that govern proceedings and the personnel of the law. The course will also explore the roles of various legal actors in Chinese criminal justice system including police, prosecutors, judges, defense lawyers and correction officers.

After the introduction to the legislative process of China’s criminal procedure law, we will turn to China’s recent criminal procedure law reform and guide the students to understand the current situation and some key issues in China’s criminal justice system such as anti-torture mechanism during investigation, legal representation, exclusionary rule of evidence, compulsory measures and special procedure.

Teaching Methodologies:
This course will take the form of seminars. For each topic, the lecturer will give a formal talk, followed by Q&A session and discussion session. The lecturer has quite a few teaching experiences in English, so dialogue is encouraged and preferred in classroom. The focus of this course will be more on Chinese institutional activities than specific rules because finding the rule is much simpler than understanding how it operates in practice. We will, however, look at specific pieces of legislation as we go along. Comparison can also be conducted between Chinese law and the Austria Law if the students are interested.

Literature Selection

Required Textbook:
Mike McConville (2012), Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry. London: Edward Elgar.

Relevant Journal Articles (see syllabus)

Learning Objectives:

There is no prerequisite for this course, and no background knowledge about China is required or expected.

By the end of the semester, students will:
(1) have an understanding of historical developments of criminal procedure law in China;
(2) understand the key features of China’s criminal justice system;
(3) understand a variety of viewpoints around core issues in China’s recent criminal procedure law reform;
(4) have a general picture of China’s criminal justice system;
(5) have an understanding of the role of law in the People’s Republic of China and the environment within which Chinese law operates.

Assessment and permitted materials


The final course grade is based on exams, assignments and attendance/participation. The distribution of grading points is as follows:
Exam I 100
Exam II 100
Two Assignments (50 points each) 100
Attendance/Participation 100
Total 400 points

The grade scale is:
A 372 or above A- 360-371.99
B+ 348-359.99 B 332-347.99 B- 320-331.99
C+ 308-319.99 C 292-307.99 C- 280-291.99
D+ 268-279.99 D 252-267.99
E 251.99 or below

Two in-class exams will be given during our regular class meeting time. All of the exams are closed-book exams.

There will be two written assignments, and specific instructions will be announced in class. The due date will be designated when it’s distributed. These assignments are worth 50 points each (for a maximum of 100 points toward your final grade). All assignments must be typed and double-spaced, with a standard Time New Roman, 12-pt font size and one-inch margin on each side.

Class Attendance & Participation:
Students are expected to attend all class meetings, read the assigned readings before class, and discuss the assigned readings and the issues raised within them. Routine attendance ensures that you participate in all class activities (e.g., lecture, class discussion) and benefit from the objectives/goals of this class. Absence from class, tardiness (e.g., 10 minutes after the class starts), leaving class early, or failure to participate class activities will lead to a lower attendance/participation score. Missing a total of 2 class meetings, regardless of excused or unexcused absences, will result in a zero grade for attendance. I will also monitor class participation in terms of the frequency and quality of your participation.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

See above!

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:28