Professor Anne Sy Cheung’s article in the Harvard International Law Journal includes a couple of interesting findings that merit further investigation.
On page 267 of the article, Prof. Sy Cheung writes:
“While Blogging by judges may be an unusual phenomenon in common law countries, it is not unusual in China. In fact, more than half of the bloggers in this study wrote in their real names.”
Table 1 of the article breaks down the content of blog postings by Chinese judges. Nearly 34% of the blog postings related to legal research.
Appendix IV lists the most common legal research question asked by the judges:
1. Copies of laws, regulations, and rules as well as comments on them.
2. Comments and opinions on draft legislation.
3. Criticizing the Rules of Payment of Court Fees issued by the State Council in December 2006.
4. Researches on a broad range of topics, such as compensations for damages to person happened in schools, the principle of innocence, problems of the Property Law of the PRC, role of the procuratorate, land system and land reform, citizens’ rights and freedom, real estate development and house transactions, labor disputes including payment of wages and salaries, and compensation for damages to accidents at work, and introduction of the spiritual compensation to civil suits collateral to criminal proceedings (some of these researches have been published in journals by the writer, blog owner).
5. Discussions on the tradition of Chinese culture and law.
6. Copies of court decisions that have come to effect.
7. Judicial interpretations issued by the Supreme People’s Court.
8. Routine work of the courts.
9. Introduction of Western legal theory, thought, and practice.
10. Questions and answers for various post-followers.
Exercising Freedom of Speech Behind the Great Firewall : A Study of Judges’ and Lawyers Blogs in China
Harvard International Law Journal
Vol. 52 , April 2011
In you are interested in legal research issues in China, don’t forget about the Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries Conference in Philadelphia in July. Information on program sessions and speakers is available at