Elisa Nesossi is Australian Research Council Fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University. Her research interests are Chinese law, criminal justice, and human rights.
China’s post-1978 era of ‘reform and opening up’ is ending. China—a country that claims to shape the global order—is closing down and its future remains uncertain. This is the key message from Carl Minzner’s End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise, an engaging, provocative, albeit sobering, analysis of contemporary China.
The topic of human rights is highly contested and subject to a range of diverse interpretations. This is even more apparent in authoritarian contexts like China, where political leaders pass progressive laws and regulations, and sign international treaties, while at the same time regularly cracking down on those citizens who attempt to proactively claim the very rights assigned to them by officialdom. In this conversation, Eva Pils—author of Human Rights in China (Polity, 2018)—and Elisa Nesossi discuss the significance of human rights in today’s China. They look at the challenges that both discourses and practices of human rights pose, not only to the Chinese authorities and citizenry, but also to those outside the country.
Since Xi Jinping’s ascendance to power, several cases of miscarriage of justice have been remedied, and significant reforms have been implemented to prevent abuses by the police and the courts. While on the surface these reforms could be considered groundbreaking, they have not found much international admiration or praise, as they are being carried out at the same time as a ferocious crackdown on civil society. It is now clear that in Xi’s reforms there is more than meets the eye.
Edited by Elisa Nesossi, Sarah Biddulph, Flora Sapio, and Susan Trevaskes, Legal Reforms and Deprivation of Liberty in Contemporary China offers a series of analyses by prominent legal scholars on the complexities inherent in the process of reforming detention institutions in China. It also discusses at length the development and subsequent abolition of the re-education through labour […]
Recently, people from the State Security who had summoned me to ‘have a tea’ said to me: ‘Us from the State Security are still quite civilised, but with this coming law that will regulate NGOs you will have to deal with the Public Security [i.e. the police]. You have to understand that their work methods […]
With its ample resonance both within China and internationally, the ‘rule of law’ (yifa zhiguo) is an expression that can justify the most disparate justice reforms. It is both a political value worth defending and a reason for consternation; it is an ideal that is inherently troubling and troubled by its interlocutors, advocates, and critics. […]
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