These features of Xingshi Hejie led to its insertion in what are called practices of restorative justice, which consist of encouraging the offender, to repent for his criminal actions, which in turn leads to a meeting. Including VOR in the list of restorative justice practices is essential to understand how deeply rooted in Chinese history and philosophy these practices are, and therefore how far back in time beginnings of criminal reconciliation in China go. John Braithwaite, one of the greatest theorists of restorative justice, recognizes the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius as probably the most influential thinker in the field, and reports in support of its argument, a significant sentence of his Dialogues:
“One of Confucius’s best-known views Is that “if the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given punishments by them, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame” (Confucius 1974, p. 167). In opposition to His Contemporaries, He Was Against Capital Punishment. Reciprocity, mutuality, and harmony were central to his ways of seeing.”
This research is interested in Xingshi Hejie as it is enforced in legal systems of Mainland China and Taiwan. Consideration of the practice in both the People’s Republic and Taiwan is justified by the fact that it allows observation of the same legal tradition in two realities that have taken very different political and social roads over the past century, thus permitting a more detailed examination of the influence of Confucian tradition in current criminal reconciliation practices.
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