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Jiang, Jue (2019) 'The Family as a Stronghold of State Stability: Two Contradictions in China’s Anti-Domestic Violence Efforts.' International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 33 (2). pp. 228-251.

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China’s first Anti-Domestic Violence Law that took effect in March 2016 is widely praised as progress against the misuse of public power in the area of domestic violence allegations in a patriarchal society. However, empirical research points to the first contradiction in judicial practices, namely, the informal and flexible mechanism of judicial mediation that is the norm in domestic violence cases. Victims’ rights and safety are harmed under the political requirement of ‘saving and repairing the marital relationship’ or ‘maintaining social harmony.’ Facing this weakness of the judiciary and public power, Chinese civil society has been increasingly engaging in various forms of anti-domestic violence advocacy and has achieved considerable success inside and outside the courtroom. Nevertheless, in this context, the authorities have escalated suppression of the anti-domestic violence advocacy alongside its efforts of further suppressing civil society in general. Based on an analysis of these two contradictions, this article argues that the apparent contradictions reflect the inherent coherence of deploying law as an instrument serving political ends in an authoritarian context. Alongside the intensifying tension in these two contradictions is the further setback to reform, and the shrinking of the space for civil society activism.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
ISSN: 13609939
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2022 12:04

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