Presentation on theme: "The Mediation of Family Disputes in Contemporary China"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Mediation of Family Disputes in Contemporary China Michael PalmerShantou University Law School and Cheung Kong Centre for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, China; SOAS School of Law and Centre of Chinese Studies, & Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London); University of Notre Dame London Law Centre; Journal of Comparative Law.University of Navarra, 7 June 20121
2 Left : A Corner of Cathay, by Adele Fielde, missionary to the Chaoshan (潮汕, cháoshàn) area. Right : A proposal of marriage in A Corner of Cathay, painting.
6 Outline ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION (A) THE CHINESE FAMILY (B) MEDIATION IN CHINA(C) INTRA-FAMILY DISPUTES(D) DIVORCE AND MEDIATIONREFLECTIONSReadings
7 Broad features of the family, mediation, and the use of mediation in family disputes Core differences between ‘Western’ and ‘Chinese’ approaches to dispute resolutionKey aspects of the treatment of family disputesAbstract of PaperFacilitative nature of ‘western’ approachesEvaluative approach adopted in China
8 INTRODUCTIONThe basic landscape of dispute resolution in mainland China since the late 1970s (post-Mao)Aims?How the approach is applied to family disputes
9 ‘ADR’ and the Chinese legal system INTRODUCTION, cont‘ADR’ and the Chinese legal systemThe late 1970sInternational influencesChinese legal cultureA ‘harmonious society’(hexie shehui: 和谐社会)
10 Rule of law or harmonious society? INTRODUCTION, contRule of law or harmonious society?Tension between mediation and adjudication1990s SPCt president XIAO YangPRC Constitution (1982)- a ‘rule of law state’ (yifa zhiguo: 依法治国)Changes in past few decades:A shift towards formal justiceResurgence of appreciation ofinformalism values
11 INTRODUCTION, contTypology of response◊ Lumping or tolerating the problem ◊ Bilateral negotiations ◊ Assisted bilateral negotiations◊ Mediation◊ Umpiring◊ Force
12 Mediation in Comparison: different Emphasis INTRODUCTION, contMediation in Comparison: different EmphasisAnglo-American common law worldIdeal form: umpiring and “litigotiation”People’s Republic of ChinaRely heavily on ‘mixing-in’ mediationA cultural preference:◊ “lumping”◊ making concessions or rang (让)
13 (A) THE CHINESE FAMILYThe Importance of the family in China todayA key socio-economic entityOfficial hukou (户口)‘robust’ birth control policiesDevelopment of family law in the People’s Republic of China (1949 to today)1950 a revolutionary Marriage Law1980 Marriage Law2001 Marriage Law and following judicial interpretation
14 (A) THE CHINESE FAMILY,CONT Historical rootsConfucian ideologyMarriage and Family reformfrom 19th century onwardsConfucious (孔子, 孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ, “Master Kong”, BC).
15 Chinese family planning poster Left: “follow scientific development, construct harmonious family planning”;Right: “Control population, protect environment, cherish hoemland ”.Chinese family planning poster(计划生育, jìhuàshēngyù)
17 (B) MEDIATION IN CHINA Historical depth Confucius and Mao Zedong Western Zhou Dynasty (1146 to 771 BC)Preference for mediationChina's 1982 ConstitutionPeople’s Mediation Committees(人民调解委员会)Confucius and Mao ZedongA ‘harmonious society’Law on People’s Mediation 2010post 1949 period
18 (B) MEDIATION IN CHINA, cont Differing forms of mediationCommunity mediation (renmin tiaojie: 人民调解)Administrative mediation (xingzheng tiaojie: 行政调解)Judicial or court-based mediation (fayuan tiaojie: 法院调解 ) …or more colloquially (fayuan chumian tiaojie: 法院出面调解)
19 (B) MEDIATION IN CHINA, cont The meaning of ‘tiaojie’Evaluative mediatorA very active form of interventionWell-institutionalized processOrganisational framework: well-entrenched, well controlledThe Villagers’ Committees andThe Urban Residents’ Committees
20 (B) MEDIATION IN CHINA, cont The role of people’s mediatorQualificationPro-activeAdjudication and court-based mediationMediation targetsPart of litigation processMediation statement (tiaojieshu: 调解书 )
21 (C) INTRA-FAMILY DISPUTES Policy emphasis on securing a mediated outcomeImplementation assistanceSame judgeType of family casesChildren’s best interests?Custody as example
22 “Harmonious human relationships, treasure the harmony” (和为贵, héwéiguì)
23 (D) DIVORCE AND MEDIATION Low divorce ratesComplication in property issuesDivorce by mutual consentTwo-fifths of all Chinese divorceContested Divorce Applications1980: a breakdown in mutual affection (ganqing polie: 感情破裂)1989 Supreme People’s Court Opinion2001: Grounds for divorce
24 (D) DIVORCE AND MEDIATION,CONT Compensation for misconduct?Serious misconductMatrimonial faultDomestic violenceMediatory and administrative interventionA matter of publicCohabitationDe facto marriageCommunity mediation
25 New Judicial Interpretation Concerning the Application of the "Marriage Law of the PRC" (III) 2011 aroused controversies over property issues
28 People’s Republic of China REFLECTIONSCommon law jurisdictionMediationMediatorPeople’s Republic of ChinaActive roleHighly evaluative and ‘educational’Important aspects of Chinese legal culture
29 ReadingsPALMER, Michael (2005) “On China’s Slow Boat to Women’s rights: Revisions to the Women’s Protection Law , 2005,” in P. W. CHAN (ed.) special issue of International Journal of Human Rights on Equality in the Asia Pacific, March 2007, Vol. 11, Nos. 1-2, pp Also as book chapter in Phil C. W. Chan (ed.), Equality in Asia-Pacific: Reality or a Contradiction in Terms? (London: Routledge, 2007; Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu), 200–226PALMER, Michael (2005) “Patriarchy, Privacy and Protection: Slowly conceptualising domestic violence in Chinese law,” IN Natalia Iu. Erpyleva, Jane Henderson and M. Butler (eds.) Forging a Common Legal Destiny: Liber Amicorum in honour of Professor W. E. Butler, London and New York: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 2005, ppPALMER, Michael (2007) “Ma Xiwu,” IN David S. Clarke (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore, Sage Publications, 2007.
30 PALMER, Michael (2007) “Mediation in China,” IN David S. Clarke (ed PALMER, Michael (2007) “Mediation in China,” IN David S. Clarke (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore, Sage Publications, 2007.PALMER, Michael (2007) “The Transformation of Family Law in Post-Deng China: Marriage, Divorce and Reproduction,” The China Quarterly, No. 191, October 2007, pp ; republished in March 2008 as Donald C. Clarke (ed.) China’s Legal System: New Developments, New Challenges, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.PALMER, Michael (2010) “Administrative Suits and Harmonious Settlements: A Twilight Issue in the Legal Development of Contemporary China,” Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp.71-78, (in “Global Wrongs and Private Law Remedies and Procedures”, Special Issue of the JCL, 2010, Guest Editor: Stathis Banakas)ROBERTS, Simon and Michael PALMER( 2005) Dispute Processes: ADR and the Primary Forms of Decision Making, Second Edition, London and New York: Butterworths Press – Chapter Four “Disputes and Disputes Processes” at pp , especially pp on “Typologies of Response”.
31 PALMER, Michael (2012, forthcoming) “China: Bringing the Law Back In,” in Elaine Sutherland (ed.), The Future of Family and Child Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Forthcoming: proofs available upon request, as at April 15, 2012]PALMER, Michael (2012, forthcoming) “Rethinking Children’s Rights and Interests?: Economic Reform, Social Protection and Legal Culture in Post-Mao China,” Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp , in “Using Legal Culture”, Special Issue of the JCL, 2011, Guest Editor: David Nelken)PALMER, Michael (2008) “The Development of the Legal System of the People’s Republic of China,” IN Stanley N. Katz (ed.) Oxford Encyclopaedia of Legal History, New York: Oxford University Press), 2008.PALMER, Michael (2008) “Adoption in Chinese Law,” IN Stanley N. Katz (ed.) Oxford Encyclopaedia of Legal History, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.