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Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 17612618
Project Title(English) : Eminent Domain in Chinese Courts: An Empirical Study 
Project Title(Chinese) : 中國法院征收裁判的實證研究 
Principal Investigator(English) : Dr Qiao, Shitong 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Law
Institution : The University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2018 / 19
Fund Approved : 450,653
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2021
Abstract as per original application
(English/Chinese):
I will investigate how courts in China adjudicate eminent domain (i.e., land and housing expropriation) cases. With a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, I will explore what are the key factors contributing to the decisions of courts at all levels, and whether there are any different approaches taken by them respectively. My hypothesis is that judicial behaviours are subject to three constraints: power, expertise and information—the higher the court, the more power and expertise it has, but less information with the increased distance from local governments which exercise the eminent domain power. The overall role and general approach of the judiciary, in light of the balance/tension between economic development and individual property right protection, will be statistically tested and qualitatively observed in answering the practical question, i.e. to what extent can Chinese courts, in adjudicating eminent domain cases, protect individual property rights and how can the courts play a better role? Theoretically, an individual property owner can challenge a government’s eminent domain decision under the current legal regime. However, property right of individuals might still be under risk if the protections provided by the judicial branch are weak. This seems to be the case as the assumption of weak courts has been widely taken in studies concerning the role of the judiciary in Chinese law and development. I will examine how Chinese courts review local governments’ eminent domain decisions and whether the problem of weak courts has indeed incurred. I employ the data on eminent domain cases published in the China Judicial Decisions Website (中国裁判文书网), which was fully launched on January 1, 2014. I plan to investigate cases at all levels of the courts, including the Supreme People's Court (SPC), the High People's Courts, the Intermediate People's Courts at the city or prefecture level, and the Basic People's Courts at the county or urban district level. By coding and analyzing these judicial decisions, I plan to generate the pattern of adjudication of Chinese courts and find the similarity and differences therewith. Apart from quantitative studies, my team and I will also conduct qualitatively interviews with judges of different levels of courts with the aim of facilitating and verifying our observation. The final research output would include two articles published in first-tier international law journals and a book published by a first-tier university press.
一般認為中國的法院是弱勢法院,在產權保護方面起到的作用很少。本項研究將會檢驗這一在學術研究中普遍存在的判斷,并更好地理解中國法院在產權保護中的作用和局限,以及背後的制度因素。本研究項目將通過定量和定性研究分析中華人民共和國各級法院如何裁判行政征收和拆遷案件。司法權力的運用會受到多方因素的影響,本文將通過縱向比較各級法院和橫向比較各地法院來探討司法權力是否在能經濟發展與產權保護之間起到協調和平衡的作用。不同法院之間是否存在差異?是什麼原因導致了這種差異?本文數據來源主要是中國裁判文書網和對從事行政審判的法官的訪談。
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
Not yet submitted

  SCREEN ID: SCRRM00542