- In the Name of Mediation: An empirical inquiry into the Chinese court mediation practices
L.E. de Groot-van Leeuwen
- Award date
- 2 December 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
The statistics on the numbers of cases handled through mediation in Chinese courts show remarkable ups and downs. A strong downturn before 2004 was followed by a sharp upturn in the years 2004-2011. The return of mediation has drawn the attention of various scholars who provide different readings of this trend. This study seeks to understand the nuanced various Chinese courts’ roles under the umbrella of "court mediation". Based on the above theoretical framework, this study shows that behind the rapidly rising number of mediations is a complex diversity of mediation practices in or by courts, through original in-depth fieldwork and interviews in two basic People's Courts in 2011 and 2013. The empirical data show that Chinese court mediation can be used as an umbrella for various activities which substantively differ from the incentives of promoting mediation. The classic criticisms of courts promoting ADR in the literature unfortunately come true in China, as it challenges both the dispute resolution function of the courts and their function in the rule of law. This study attributes the cause of the phenomenon to the rise of courts’/judges’ interests in the process. Those interests mirror the top-down policy’s preference for mediation and the courts’ and judges’ struggles between law and politics in contemporary China.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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