Abolishing ‘Cruel Punishments’: A Reappraisal of the Chinese Roots and Long-term Efficiency of the Xinzheng Legal Reforms

@article{Bourgon2003AbolishingP,
  title={Abolishing ‘Cruel Punishments’: A Reappraisal of the Chinese Roots and Long-term Efficiency of the Xinzheng Legal Reforms},
  author={J. V{\'a}zquez Bourgon},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  year={2003},
  volume={37},
  pages={851 - 862}
}
  • J. Bourgon
  • Published 1 October 2003
  • Law
  • Modern Asian Studies
The 24th of April 1905 is a date of no particular significance in the current historiography of China. However, the memorial submitted this day by the Imperial Commissioners in charge of legal reforms, Wu Tingfang and Shen Jiaben, entailed the immediate suppression of so-called ‘cruel punishments’ (kuxing), such as dismemberment (lingchi), exposure of the head (xiaoshou) and desecration of the corpse (lushi). Judicial torture and bamboo flogging were suppressed straight after. From then on… 
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