信訪如何異化法院的上訴功能?

A Study of Xinfang and Its Alienation of the Appeal System

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date5 Jan 2018

Abstract

中國的信訪制度是法學、社會學、政治學等領域的重要研究對象。法院的涉訴信訪(以下稱信訪)作為我國信訪制度的一個重要組成部分,理應受到關注。本論文圍繞信訪與上訴之間的關係展開,關注信訪對上訴功能產生的影響,尤其是上訴中的糾錯和發洩兩大功能在信訪大潮的衝擊下產生的異化及其後果。在此基礎上,本文詳細描述了圍繞信訪展開的種種“博弈”與“抗爭”,關係涵蓋上下級法院之間,法院與當事人之間,法院與信訪案件代理人之間,以及法院與地方黨委政府、人大、媒體之間。研究方法上,本論文採用第一手實證資料,結合了法社會學和比較法學的研究方法,整合多重視角,力求突破現有的信訪“孤島式”研究範式的不足。

本論文共八章,其中第三、四、五、六、七章是本研究的核心章節。

第一章介紹了研究問題、理論視角和研究方法。本章由典型案例導入問題,該案例也是全文案例的一個縮影,極具代表性。

第二章是對信訪和上訴功能的綜述,包括信訪的內涵外延、上訴制度與上訴功能梳理,以及信訪如何對法院上訴功能產生異化的概論及其表現形態。

第三章以當事人為視角,實證考察了當事人忽視、無視上訴程式的現象,檢視當事人對上訴程式的不恰當使用而導致的上訴發洩功能異化及其表現形態。本章不再局限於訪民上訪中的權利主張,而是透視其背後的深層次原因,系統化地探討信訪人對上訴與上訪的選擇及其後果,研究其對上訴發洩功能異化形成的作用。

第四章則以法院為視角,從不同的層面檢視了法院選擇性立案、過度調解、內部請示等現象的形成,展示了發回重審和判後答疑等制度的濫用或不當適用,並分析了由此產生的上訴糾錯功能的異化及其表現形態。研究發現上級法院有控制、也有推諉,而下級法院有服從、配合,也有抗爭。上下級法院功能的“兼容”與“交叉”的錯位關係進一步加劇了上訴糾錯功能的異化。

第五章具體考察信訪中的代理人在上訴功能異化中的正面和負面作用。實證表明,部分代理人(退職司法官員和特殊身份的律師等)的諸多不規範行為在一定程度催化了當事人上訴發洩功能和法院上訴糾錯功能的異化進程。在一些案件中,雖然代理人的出發點是好的,但是其行為受到誤導,在客觀上加劇了上訴發泄與糾錯功能的異化。

第六章考察了黨委政府、人大乃至輿論介入信訪案件,引發由於法外監督對法院相關信訪立案、審判和執行案件的“干預”,對上訴發洩功能和糾錯功能的異化,以及法院和法官的應對與抗爭。本章的實證案例和資料新穎而富有啟發的,展示了信訪案件中法官如何從“壓迫者”轉為“抗爭者”。這些重要的實證發現結合上訴功能異化加深的理論視角,為理解信訪中法院、當事人與法外機構的權力關系提供了新的思路。

第七章是對異化的根源進行反思,將其原因歸結為信訪當事人和下級法院及法官對信訪的雙重抗爭。本章從理論層面對第三到六章的實證發現進行梳理與總結,從抗爭的角度,分別對當事人、法官和法院之間的互動,以及抗爭的延伸出社會救濟的泛化,並對造成異化的信訪至上、法官不獨立和司法不中立問題進行了批判。

第八章是總結章節,在最終得出結論的同時提出改革建議,並且對司法改革形勢下法院信訪工作的未來進行展望,分析新形勢下法院能否解決上訴功能異化的問題,並預測信訪導致法院上訴功能異化的趨勢和新的異化形態。

本論文的貢獻主要體現在兩個層面。經驗層面上,本論文展示了大量未公開的法院真實信訪素材,前後貫穿十餘年,涉及從基層法院、中級法院、高級法院到最高法院四級法院層面,很多案件都是作者親自辦理或監督辦理的,這在既有研究中實屬罕見。理論層面上,本論文以異化現象為紐帶,創新性地鏈接信訪與上訴功能,拓展了上述兩個領域的相關研究,豐富異化理論的同時,並進一步提出雙重抗爭的概念,是對既有抗爭理論的重要補充。
Chinese petition (xinfang) system is an important topic in the studies of law, society, and politics. Litigation-related petition (Shesu xinfang, hereinafter as petition) in courts constitutes a crucial part of the petition system and deserves scholarly attention. This dissertation studies the relationship between petition and the appeal system. It attempts to illustrate how petition influences the functions of the appeal system, particularly how the two major functions of the appeal system, i.e. the error correction function and the catharsis function, are alienated under the high tides of petitioning. Under the above framework, this dissertation presents in details the interactions between upper-level and lower-level courts, among judges, litigants, and legal counsels, and among the judiciary, local governments, people’s congresses, and the media. As to methodology, this dissertation draws from first-hand empirical data, deploys methods of both law and society research and comparative law research, and combines the perspectives of various agents in petitioning, so to broaden the limited scope of existing studies on petition.

This dissertation is consisted of eight chapters. Chapter Three, Four, Five, and Six are the core chapters.

Chapter One introduces the research question, the theoretical perspective, and the research methodology. The research question is raised through the introduction a highly representative case of petitioning, which covers the characteristics of most of the petitioners’ cases.

Chapter Two provides the background information of petition and the functions of the appeal system, including the connotation of petition, the introduction of the appeal system and its functions, and a brief explanation of how petition alienates the functions of the appeal system.

Chapter Three adopts the perspective of petitioners. It empirically investigated how petitioners have overlooked or ignored the appeal system, how this improper use of the appeal system leads to alienation, and how the alienation manifests itself. Far more than merely restating the rights claims of petitioners, this chapter probes the motives of petitioner in their selection of dispute resolution procedures, and analyzes how these motives contribute to the alienation of the catharsis function of the appeal system.

Chapter Four adopts the perspective of the judiciary. From a top-down perspective, it examines the phenomenon of selective registration, excessive mediation, and internal referrals, illustrates the abusive use of retrial and post-litigation consultation, and analyses the subsequent alienation of the error correction function of the appeal system and its manifestation. It is found that upper-level courts are both controlling and evasive, while lower-level courts are both subordinating and resistant. The said alienation is further reinforced by the misplaced relationships, which are “compatible” and “overlapped,” between the upper-level and the lower-level courts.

Chapter Five examines the positive and negative influences exerted by legal counsels of petitioners on the alienation of the functions of the appeal system. It is found that the intervention of legal counsels (retired judicial officials and lawyers) in some cases have, to a certain extent, served as the catalytic in the alienation process of the catharsis and error correction functions of the appeal system. In some cases, the actions of legal counsels are misguided and accelerate the said alienation process, even though their motivation is good,

Chapter Six analyses how the intervention of local governments, people’s congresses, and the media reproduce the alienation of the functions of the appeal system. This chapter provides a lot of unpublished and thought-provoking empirical data, which demonstrate how judges are converted from “the oppressor” to “the oppressed” in petitioning. These findings, along with the alienation theory, offers a new perspective to understand the power relations among courts, petitioners, and extra-legal institutions.

Chapter Seven provides reflections on the causes of alienation, which are attributed to the double resistances of both petitioners and grassroots judges/courts. From a theoretical perspective, this chapter reexamines the empirical findings in previous chapters, and critically analyzes the interactions between petitioners and judges/courts as well as the lack of judicial independence and neutrality, which leads to the alienation.

Chapter Eight, as a concluding chapter, concludes the entire dissertation and offers suggestions for corresponding reforms. It also analyzes the potential influences of the on-going judicial reforms in China on the handling of petitions in courts, and how the judiciary may resolve the alienation of the appeal system in the forthcoming new era. Finally, it prospects new trend and new forms of alienation in a foreseeable future.

The contributions of this dissertation are two-fold. As to the empirical aspect, this dissertation presents a lot of authentic and unpublished data. Many of the reported cases are handled or supervised by the author over the past ten odds years. Empirics of existing studies in this field barely reach such a depth. As to the theoretical aspect, this dissertation innovatively connects petition and the appeal system through the alienation theory, and thus expands the scope of relevant studies. Further, it constructs the concept of the double resistances, which is an important supplement to the existing resistance theory.