Showing posts from August, 2023

Supreme People's Court Finds Problems With Application of the Crime of "Disturbing the Peace"

This blog has documented several examples of legal professionals, academics, and officials, calling for the PRC government to address problems with the application of the crime of disturbing the peace  (寻衅滋事, also commonly literally translated as "picking quarrels and provoking troubles." For more on why I have chosen to translate this as "disturbing the peace," see "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China: Cases Illustrating the Application of National Security and Public Order Laws to Political and Religious Expression, pp. 21-22, ). For example: In 2023, lawyers at the PRC law firm Shandong Xiaolin Law Firm delivered a petition to the PRC National People's Congress titled "Legislative Proposal on Abolishing the Crime of Disturbing the Peace." I translated their petition here: Translation: Law Firm's Petition to Abolish Offense Used to Prosecute Pure Speech Crimes . In 202

Translation: Law Firm's Petition to Abolish Offense Used to Prosecute Pure Speech Crimes

 On August 6, 2023, this document was posted on Twitter. The document was titled "Legislative Proposal on Abolishing the Crime of Disturbing the Peace," and the image of the envelope posted along with it indicated it was sent by Yu Zhaoyan of the Shandong Xiaolin Law Firm to the "Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee." The NPC is the only governmental body with the power to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement. PRC courts do not have the power either to apply constitutional provisions in the absence of concrete implementing legislation or to strike down laws or regulations that are inconsistent with the Constitution. Therefore, anyone who believes that courts are applying laws in a manner that violates the Constitution have no recourse other than to petition the NPC, as the Xiaolin Law Firm has done here. The crime of disturbing the peace (寻衅滋事, also commonly literally translated as "pickin

Translation: Ding Jiaxi 2021 Subversion Indictment

  Translator' Notes: The Chinese text was generated by OCR'ing low-quality images of the original court judgment posted online. I have attempted to identify and correct the typographical errors that may have been introduced in the OCR process.  Ding Jiaxi is a former civil rights lawyer who, along with fellow civil rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong (who was also prosecuted in this case), co-founded the New Citizens' Movement (中国新公民运动). They would both eventually be found guilty and imprisoned for 12 and 14 years, respectively. As far as I know the PRC government has not made court judgment public. These screenshots show that, at some time after Ding's arrest, PRC search engine Baidu began censoring search results for his name, restricting results to a white list of websites under the direct control of the central government and Communist Party. According to Ding Jiaxi's spouse Luo Shengchun , the PRC government refused to provide his family a copy of the judgment (see ht