The Implementation of Confucian Principles in the Qing Legal System

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The Implementation of Confucian Principles in the Qing Legal System By altering the sentencing practice of the legal system according to Confucian values of filial piety [xiao] and benevolence [ren], the Qing dynasty reinforced Confucian principles in the law. Although using law as a tool of governing is contrary to the teachings in the Analects. Confucius argued that people became evasive and shameless when law was used as a tool for governing, because law would not be able to prevent all illicit actions, and evil-minded people would always be able to evade the law and avoid the punishments. Therefore, Confucianization of the law, which merged the principles of Confucianism and punishments of the law, became the dominant…show more content…
He refused to marry and lived in agony for years. After he killed the enemy, he went to report the crime, surrendered himself to the authorities, and was willing to [be executed] to atone for his crime…” The Ministry of Punishment reviewed the case and did not follow the Governor’s benevolence. The Ministry of Punishment found that Ruifang’s mother commited suicide due to the intimidation of Woman Xu, but she was not killed directly by Woman Xu. In addition, Woman Xu was the criminal’s aunt, meaning she was a senior member of the family. As a junior family member, Ruifang committed premediated murder to his aunt. He violated the principle of filial piety. Therefore, he should be sentenced a severe punishment and there was no precedent case to pardon him. The so-called circumstances of his agony over the death of his beloved parents, years of mourning and voluntary surrender could not obtain pardon for him. The final judgment was not told in the document. However, the Autumn Assizes Officials could still consider the crime as a less severe premediated murder from the perspective of Confucian benevolence after reviewing the case and recommend a less severe punishment to the Emperor. It is possible for Ruifang to receive the benevolence from the Emperor as in Women Xie’s case. Both cases were typical examples of how
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