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June 1st, 2009
The People's Court
Vocabulary and Resources

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Cao Xianjin awaiting the verdict
photo credit: Maggie Still


disenfranchised: deprived of legal rights or privileges

habeas corpus: (Latin meaning: you should have the body) a legal order (writ) to bring a party before a court or judge; frequently used to determine if a person’s imprisonment is legal

jury trial: a legal proceeding in which a group of people (jurors) are chosen to determine the facts of a case and give a verdict

law: a community’s rules that are enforced by authorities

procedural law: the rules that determine what happens in a civil or criminal court and how parties can prosecute and defend a case

supreme court: the court that has jurisdiction over all other courts in a state or country

tribunal: a court or assembly of one or more judges

photo credit: Maggie Still


Web Sites

CIA – The World Factbook – China

Library of Congress Federal Research Division Country Profile: China, August 2006

Human Rights in China “State Secrets: China’s Legal Labyrinth” (2007)

Amnesty International “The Olympics Countdown”

John L. Thornton China Center

Books and Articles

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Hsu, Immanuel C. Y. The Rise of Modern China. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Kynge, James.  China Shakes the World: A Titan’s Rise and Troubled Future — and the Challenge for America. New York: Mariner Books, 2007.

Shirk, Susan L. China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Jim Yardley and Joseph Kahn’s series of articles for the New York Times about China’s legal system from 2005 – 2007:

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