In March 2022, The Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (CCLCJ) and the Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP) welcomed Dr Grace (Yu) Mou (SOAS, University of London), who presented research from her new monograph: The Construction of Guilt in China: An Empirical Account of Routine Chinese Injustice.
Drawing on insights from Dr Mou's own empirical data obtained from systematic observation of the daily routines within Chinese criminal justice institutions, this ground-breaking research examines the functional deficiency of the criminal justice system in preventing innocent individuals from being wrongly accused and convicted. Setting within a broad socio-legal context, this research outlines the strategic interrelationships between key legal actors, the deep-seated legal culture embedded in practice, the deficiency of integrity of the system and the structural injustices that follow. Dr Mou follows the investigative dossier in the criminal process – how it is constructed, scrutinised and used to dispose of cases and convict defendants in lieu of witnesses' oral testimony – as its focal point. The research illustrates that the Chinese criminal justice system as a state apparatus of social control has been framed through performance indicators, bureaucratic management and the central value of collectivism in such a way as to maintain the stability of the authoritarian power.
Watch the recording Dr Mou's talk
View Dr Mou's Slides from the seminar.
Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law, SOAS, University of London
Dr Grace (Yu) Mou is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law at SOAS, University of London where she teaches Criminal Justice, Race and Rights, Tort law, and Law and Justice in Contemporary China. Her research examines the on-going criminal justice reform in China, provides a rich description of the criminal process in action, and stimulates debate about the difficult legal issues concerning the way China deals with matters relating to criminal justice and human rights.