European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 565–590 | Cite as

Efficiency and Justice and Fairness: An Empirical Analysis of Criminal Appeals in Hunan Province, China

  • Kai Kuang
  • Bin Liang


Criminal appeal is an important step in any criminal justice system, as it guarantees criminal defendants’ right to appeal and serves a critical function in correcting potential errors from the trial courts. Though decisions of national and/or state supreme courts draw more media and public attention given their preeminent status, decisions by appellate courts at lower levels are far more numerous and are often the last resort for the vast majority of litigants and for the vast majority of contested legal issues (Cross 2003; Williams 1991).

As a unique component of the criminal justice system, the practice of criminal appeals varies greatly from one jurisdiction to another. The majority of studies on criminal appeals reflected such diversity. For instance, many studies debated over the review power and scope of criminal appeals (e.g., the feasibility and practicality of factual review, modification of trial court sentences) (Burr 1971; Orfield 1936; Rickey 1978; Shapiro 1939...


Appeal length China’s criminal appeals Comprehensive review Efficiency Frivolous appeals Justice and fairness Lawyers’ roles 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Department of SociologyOSU-TulsaTulsaUSA

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