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Lewis Wins Cohen Prize for Article on Exclusionary Rule

JILP has award­ed the Jerome A. Cohen Prize for Inter­na­tion­al Law and East Asia to Pro­fes­sor Mar­garet Lewis (Seton Hall) for her arti­cle Con­trol­ling Abuse to Main­tain Con­trol: The Exclu­sion­ary Rule in Chi­na. The abstract:

In July 2010, the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na took the unprece­dent­ed step of imple­ment­ing detailed, con­crete rules on the han­dling of ille­gal­ly obtained evi­dence.  This reform was not prompt­ed by a shift in polit­i­cal pow­er, nor was it the result of an inde­pen­dent push from the judi­cia­ry.  Rather, six­ty years into the con­tin­u­ous lead­er­ship of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty, the high­est ranks in gov­ern­ment appear to rec­og­nize that endors­ing an exclu­sion­ary rule can serve their inter­ests in main­tain­ing pow­er.  This Arti­cle argues that the PRC Gov­ern­ment is adding a new chap­ter to the inter­na­tion­al dif­fu­sion of exclu­sion­ary rules as an author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment that is har­ness­ing the rule to bol­ster its legit­i­ma­cy. Often tout­ed as a means of enhanc­ing “judi­cial integri­ty,” the exclu­sion­ary rule in Chi­na is bet­ter viewed as holis­ti­cal­ly address­ing “gov­ern­men­tal integri­ty.”

After sit­u­at­ing reforms in Chi­na with­in the com­par­a­tive crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure lit­er­a­ture by exam­in­ing devel­op­ments in the Unit­ed States, Ger­many, Rus­sia, and Tai­wan, this Arti­cle turns to Chi­na and fills a gap in Eng­lish-lan­guage schol­ar­ship, which until now has dis­cussed the exclu­sion­ary rule almost entire­ly in the Euro­pean and Com­mon­wealth con­texts.  It ana­lyzes how a con­flu­ence of domes­tic pres­sures com­ple­ment­ed by inter­na­tion­al influ­ences facil­i­tat­ed reforms in Chi­na and argues that, at present, the exclu­sion­ary rule appears more sym­bol­ic than rev­o­lu­tion­ary.  In order for the new reforms to func­tion as more than a mere sym­bol­ic integri­ty-enhanc­ing device, assertive actors in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem must gain a toe­hold and grad­u­al­ly move the rule from the realm of gloss to sub­stance.

The prize is issued in hon­or of Jerome Cohen’s 80th birth­day.  (The full announc­ment is here.)  Lewis’s arti­cle will be pub­lished in the spring issue of JILP.

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