Evidence and Truth: Bureaucratic Justice in Qing Dynasty Homicide Cases

Date
Thu May 10th 2012, 4:15pm
Event Sponsor
Center for East Asian Studies
Location
Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall East, 3rd Floor
Admission Information
Free and open to the public.
Evidence and Truth: Bureaucratic Justice in Qing Dynasty Homicide Cases
Speaker:

CEAS Colloquium

Bradly W. Reed Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Virginia

Drawing from palace-level reviews of homicide cases (刑科题本), this paper illuminates the manner in which truth was constructed by the judicial system of the Qing dynasty in cases involving homicide. Focusing on the collection and evaluation of evidence, followed by the assertion of offence and requisite punishment, the paper demonstrates how, out of multiple interpretations of fact, a particular truth was derived that reinforced not only a normative social order, but also a bureaucratically conditioned definition of justice that was often at variance with popular conceptions and the lived realities of those upon whom it was imposed. sdfs