Grounds of Judgment reopens the question of consular jurisdiction and extraterritoriality in China and Japan. The book combines recent findings in Qing history on the nature of ethnicity and law with the history of the treaty ports in both China and Japan, especially Shanghai, Yokohama and Nagasaki. Extraterritoriality was not implanted into East Asia as a ready-made product, but developed in a dialogue with local precedents, local understandings of power, and local institutions, which are best understood within the complex triangular relationship between China, Japan and the West. A close reading of treaty texts and other relevant documents suggests that a Qing institution for the adjudication for Manchu-Chinese disputes served as the model for both the International Mixed Court in Shanghai and the extraterritorial arrangements in Sino-Japanese Treaty of Tianjin in 1871. The adaptability of Qing legal procedure provided for a relatively seamless transition into the treaty port era, which would have momentous consequences for China's national sovereignty in the twentieth century. There was no parallel to this development in the Japanese case.
Instead, Japanese authorities chose not to integrate consular courts and mixed courts into the indigenous legal order, and as a consequence, consular jurisdiction remained an alien body in the Japanese state, and Japanese policymakers were determined to keep it that way.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc