Law, Justice and Codification in Qing China. European and Chinese Perspectives. Essays in History and Comparative Law : [11] Collection home page

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The present collection of five critical essays is a companion volume to the republication of the rare 1812 Italian translation of the Da Qing lü li (Ta Tsing Leu Lee in the English original transliteration), the Qing ‘penal code’, which was first translated into English by the British Sinologue and East India Company employee George Thomas Staunton in 1810. Staunton’s text served as the basis for later European translations, including the Italian one. The digital reprint of the 1812 Italian edition is a publishing enterprise undertaken by EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, the Trieste university press. Staunton’s translation and the later versions in other European languages can no longer be considered reliable tools for understanding Chinese imperial law, as demonstrated by specialized translation studies. All these translations nevertheless belong to a crucial phase of Western discourse on China’s institutions, law and civilization, which is the main reason for the present reprint and the accompanying critical essays.

This volume is intended to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue and to contribute to a better understanding of institutions and the law as central to the discourse on China in comparative law and in the history of ideas and cultural history. It tries to achieve this by assuming both a European and a Chinese perspective and moving from eighteenth-century perceptions and representations to the reform initiatives and theoretical discussions that continue to this day. The final result is hopefully an enhanced awareness of the extremely important role that Sino-Western encounters and comparisons have played, not only at a cultural level in global history over several centuries, but also in today’s global politics and economics in which we are coping daily with concrete, pressing issues of reciprocal understanding in our efforts to achieve an enduringly peaceful and fruitful coexistence.

Guido Abbattista, Chinese Law and Justice: George Thomas Staunton (1781‑1859) and the European Discourses on China in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Li Xiuqing, Nineteenth-Century Western Perspectives on Chinese Justice: An Analysis of The Chinese Repository (1832-1851) and The China Review (1872-1901)

Li Xiuqing, Nineteenth-Century Western Perspectives on Chinese Justice: An Analysis of The Chinese Repository (1832-1851) and The China Review (1872-1901)

Zhang Lihong, Dong Neng, The Great Qing Code in Comparative and Historical Perspective)

Marina Timoteo, Of Old and New Codes: Chinese Law in the Mirror of Western Laws

Giulia Iannuzzi, The Cruel Imagination: Oriental Tortures from a Future Past in Albert Robida’s Illustrations for La Guerre infernale (1908)