Friday, March 29, 2019

Three articles on Mongolian legal history

Khohchahar E. Chuluu, University of Tokyo published three articles on various aspects of Mongolian legal history (including comparative) in 2017-18. Here are some excerpts and abstracts:

1. “The Making of Mongolian Judicial Records: Chancellery Practices of the Alasha Banner Under the Qing Empire,” Zentralasiatishe Studien 46 (2017): 7‒28

From the introduction:
"More than imagined, the Mongols produced an enormous number of official documents during the Qing period (1635‒1911). Official documents of Qing Mongolia consisted mainly of administrative correspondence and governmental records, most of which were produced, or received, and kept by the banner government―the local office in Qing Mongolia. These documents can be sorted into two major categories―internal banner documents and outgoing or incoming correspondence. The former were documents involving the internal affairs of the banner whereas the latter involved external affairs and correspondence with other banners, or upper administrative organizations―including the league, Qing residential officials, and the Lifanyuan (the Court of Colonial Affairs), as well as the Qing emperor himself...This article examines the chancellery practices of internal banner documents.4 In particular, the Alasha Banner judicial records―the largest existing collection of banner-level judicial records from Qing Mongolia―are taken as a case study, with a focus on how and in what style these Mongolian judicial records were made and how unique they were.5 I argue that the Mongolian banners under the Qing Empire established their own document-making style for internal banner documents while using a Mongolia-wide common style for correspondence. This argument reflects the state structure of the Qing Empire, under which the Mongolian banners enjoyed relative autonomy in their affairs. Furthermore, by comparing the chancellery practices of the Alasha Banner with those of other banners, this study offers a detailed understanding of the differences and similarities in the daily administrative and legal practices of the Mongolian banners."

2. "Comparing Legal Cultures: Civil Case Settlements in Local Courts in Early Modern Mongolia, Japan, and China," Journal of Korean Legal History 56 (2017), 123-50

Abstract: Local courts in early modern countries were important state organs that played a critical role in governing society. The design of the framework of state-court-society reflects a state’s political and ideological attitudes toward society. Moreover, the structure and function of local courts demonstrates the degree to which the state intends to deliver justice within a society. The
question of how far state institutions systematically reach into social affairs helps us understand the state in terms of the implementation of social justice. As a first step to exploring and comparing local court practices in early modern Asia, this study focuses on the cultures of civil case settlements in local courts in early modern Mongolia, Japan, and China. There was a division between what we now call “civil cases” and “criminal cases” in these societies. Civil cases are more important than criminal cases for us when assessing state-society relations, as they more evidently reflected the interaction between state institutions and the local society.

Based on case records from early modern local courts, this paper traces the legal culture of civil case settlements in local courts in the three countries using three different models based upon their respective salient feature: the “utilitarian justice” model (Mongolia), the “well-organized” model (Japan), and the “bureaucratic management” model (China). A close comparison shows that the three countries exhibited similarities regarding the practice of civil case settlements, that is, the number of civil case records from the local courts was smaller than that of criminal cases. This suggests that civil cases were encouraged to settle by not resorting to local courts. However, this did not mean that local courts left civil cases without any institutional arrangement for civil society. The local courts discussed in this paper demonstrate that they often resorted to their local agents to settle civil cases in the countryside, although in different ways. The author argues that these different models of court culture can be attributed to the respective state apparatus of each country.

3. "The Formation and Regulations of the Military Hunt in Qing Mongolia," Inner Asia 20:1 (2018), 5-25

Abstract: In the Mongolian tradition, hunting and war have had strong connections with each other. During the Qing Empire, Mongolian hunts were not only local practices, but were also involved in the Qing empire-building project. On the other hand, the collective hunt itself was by nature a dangerous activity that contained potential physical risks from wild animal attacks as well as human errors. It is conventionally understood that the hunt therefore must have been well organised in order to secure success and security. But how a hunt was organised and operated in reality has not yet been well examined. This study explores the organisational structure and regulations of a military hunt in Qing Inner Mongolia, a geographically important zone where both the Manchus and Mongols actively held hunts. The primary focus of this article is the nineteenth-century Alasha Banner grand hunt, a well-organised and documented Mongolian military hunt from the Qing period.