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The Trials of Lu Genrong: The Criminal Law Reform and Women’s Agency in Late 1920s China

  • Qiliang He
Chapter
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)

Abstract

The trials of Lu Genrong afford a rare opportunity to investigate the transformation of the criminal law as it took place at the juncture of China’s legal reform in 1928. Under the new criminal law promulgated in 1928, Lu was not legally prosecutable for his extramarital sexual intercourse with Huang Huiru, a woman over twenty, but received a two-year jail time whatsoever. The trials indicate that old legal conception and practices continued to affect judicial officers’ decisions despite a sea change in the criminal law. Hence, I call attention to the discrepancy between the policy pronouncements and legal practices in Republican China. In addition, as the new criminal code stipulated the unpunishability of consensual intercourse with women over twenty, the new law unintendedly redefined womanhood by regrouping women as underage (with no agency) and adult ones (with full agency).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiliang He
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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