中國調解離婚案件的話語

Discourses in Mediating Divorce Cases in China

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Author(s)

  • Jiqiang REN

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Award date25 Aug 2015

Abstract

形成于上世纪30年代从化解离婚纠纷开始的司法调解,在中国有很强的传统,一直以来被视为是中国最具传统特色的一项司法制度,并被西方誉为“东方经验”。但自上世纪90 年代以来,法学界对司法调解的批评一直在持续,认为调解与法治目标相悖,并在指出其存在的各种实际问题之后,提出了各种否定或改革该制度的建议。纵观这些研究,无论是理论界还是司法实务界,主要都是从理论到理论的对策法学研究多,实证研究少,从宏观上进行的考察多,从微观中进行的考察少。尤其是从法律与语言研究的角度进行考察的则更少。然而,法律与语言的关系是如此的紧密,“在日常的和现实的意义上说,无论是在书面上还是在口头上,法律就是语言”。因此,继续聚焦离婚案件,对司法调解中的话语进行历史的和现实的研究,通过法律与语言研究的视角来考察司法调解制度并对其作出评价,以期对制度建设有所贡献则显得很有意义。
论文以法律与语言研究作为主要方法,借助宏观话语和微观话语这对范畴,通过对离婚案件历史档案的考察、参与式的庭审观察和对法官的访谈,围绕离婚案件来对司法调解这个民事诉讼程序中的话语进行纵向的、系统的和全面的考察和分析,从而来展示我国司法调解的具体运作过程,并在此基础上将目光投向我国现存的“调审合一”的司法调解制度和当下的法治实践,在法律话语的细节中以及各种话语及其权力关系和后果中深入探寻,以期取得法律制度可以吸收的研究成果,从而为相关法律制度的改革和完善做出贡献。
论文首先对离婚法的立法和司法实践进行了历史性的回顾,并在此基础上,对改革前和改革后的宏观话语进行了民族志式的考察。通过对改革前离婚案件档案的考察研究,论文揭示了宏观话语的时代性特征。不同的时代,其主流话语亦不同。在改革前政治泛化的那个年代,政治话语虽未完全取代道德话语,但已变得比道德话语更起作用,成为了在那个时代特别起作用的主流话语。政治话语成为主流话语带来了两个后果,一是使强制调解和变相强制调解盛行,二是强化和加剧了男女之间的不平等。这也就意味着在政治话语在离婚案件的审理和调解中占据主流地位的那个时代,离婚法的司法实践既未实现婚姻法的“婚姻自由”和“男女平等”的目标,也与“感情是否破裂”的离婚标准渐行渐远。而在对改革后的宏观话语进行考察中,论文按照离婚案件形成和发展的脉络,首先从争端开始,对离婚争端及其在法律系统的转化和关系型叙述与规则导向型叙述方式进行了描述。继而通过对离婚案件档案中当事人的起诉状及答辩状的实证分析,发现当前离婚案件当事人在书面语中普遍使用了法律系统更为青睐的规则导向型叙述方式。最后进入到离婚案件的实质处理阶段即法庭调解,并在此对法庭调解中的道德、法律和实用主义三种话语进行了实证式的研究和分析,从宏观话语的角度,揭示了改革后司法调解中主流话语的历史性特点以及当前实用主义话语已经成为当今司法调解的主导话语的现状。随后,论文将视角转向了法庭调解中的微观话语。借助根据五件真实案件法庭调解过程的录音录像转写的语料,论文通过对法庭调解中法官使用的话语打断、使用反问句、代表法律说话和特定话题回避四种语言策略进行的微观话语分析,揭示出在司法调解的实用主义话语语境下,法官的中立性只是一种理想的现实:法官为了完成既定的调解目标,会使用各种语言策略去影响、控制甚至逼迫当事人,从而去有意塑造调解的过程和结果。这些语言策略与当今司法实践中盛行的交易式调解一样,都是实用主义话语的体现,与实用主义话语是一脉相承的。而当伴随着司法调解的强势回归而出现的实用主义话语将传统的道德话语驱逐出法庭的同时,也将过去女性常常能够占据的道德高地夷为平地。这种只注重解决问题而不关注道德情感的话语,在对经济和社会都处于低下阶层的女性造成伤害的同时,也与婚姻法规定的“感情是否确已破裂”标准相去甚远。同时,在法庭调解的互动中,“调审合一”模式下的法官始终处于支配地位,有权约束当事人的话语行动,这就造成了法官和当事人的权力关系的极端不对称。而这种权力关系的不对称,与调解的调和性和非强制性属性完全相悖,至此,司法调解的理想主义面纱已经被揭开。
最后,论文在对各个时代的主流话语进行回顾和对实用主义话语做进一步分析的基础上,展望了离婚案件司法调解宏观话语的未来趋势:实用主义话语在将传统的道德话语驱赶出法庭的同时,也为其他话语的进入带来了契机。与治疗型调解相适应的,由为离婚纠纷提供调解帮助的帮助人士所使用,能够真正关注离婚司法实践中两性的实质平等的帮助性话语必将站上离婚案件调解的舞台。同时,论文一针见血地指出,正是当今“调审合一”模式下的司法调解制造了实用主义话语,又纵容着实用主义话语的盛行。由于围绕感情而展开的离婚纠纷与其他普通民事纠纷不同,对离婚纠纷的处理也需要一种与实用主义话语不同的体现更多更强治疗性的全新话语。这种话语及其与之相适应的调解方式需要一种与当前“调审合一”的诉讼模式不同的全新模式来配合。日益蓬勃发展的世界各国调解制度给了我们启示:解决现有司法调解制度不足的根本出路在于“调审分离”。
The contemporary judicial mediation, which is evolved from divorce dispute resolution in the 1930s, has long been regarded as the judicial mechanism most profoundly influenced by Chinese traditions. It is also known as the "oriental experiences" to the Western world. However, since the 1990s, legal communities start to criticize judicial mediation, claiming that mediation is incompatible with implementation of laws. Under that belief, the judiciary has figured out a variety of practical problems, and has carried out reform plans to fix those problems. In the academic field, the research of judicial mediation is mainly doctrinal instead of empirical, with more of macroscopic inspection than microscopic inspection. The studies from the perspective of law and language are scarce. We could not overlook the significance of the close connections between the law and the judicial language. In fact, the law itself is a language in either the written form or the oral form in daily judicial practice. Based on the study of divorce cases, the dissertation makes contributions to the construction of judicial mediation system by examining mediation discourses from both the historical and the contemporary perspectives, and evaluating the system through law and language methodology.
The dissertation understands discourses both as macro and micro discourses. Drawing upon data collected from the investigation of case files, trial observations, and the interviews with judges and litigants, the judicial mediation discourses in divorce cases are investigated and analyzed longitudinally, systematically and comprehensively. The findings demonstrate intuitive operating process of judicial mediation in China. The focus is on the current Chinese judicial mediation practice that combines the mediation and the trial. By looking into the details of legal discourse as well as other genres of discourses, their power relations, and the subsequent consequences, the dissertation aims to come up with some practical suggestions of improvements that can be adopted by the judicial system, in order to contribute to the development of the current systems.
Firstly, the dissertation gives a historical review of legislation and judicial practices of the divorce law, and conducts an ethnographic research on the macro discourse before and after the reform of the judicial practices. By studying the divorce case files, the discourse characteristics of different periods are revealed. Different period witness different leading discourses. During the period of the political generalization before the reform, political discourse, which is although unable to completely replace moral discourse, had become the leading discourse that was even more effective than moral discourse. The dominance of political discourse has resulted in two consequences: one is the rise of the compulsory mediation and recessive compulsory mediation; the other is the strengthened and intensified gender inequality. This means that in the era when the political discourse dominates, the judicial practice in divorce cases failed to achieve the legislative goal of ensuring “freedom of marriage” and “gender equality,” and the divorce standard of “the rupture of mutual affections” was often set aside. However, by investigating macro discourse after the reform, the transformation of divorce disputes in legal system and the relational and rule-oriented narratives of the parties are illustrated. Through the empirical analysis of the parties‟ indictments and defenses in the files, it was found that the parties generally used in their writings rule-oriented language encouraged by the legal system. The dissertation then addresses the practical coping period of divorce cases, when the court mediation was extensively used. In this period, the moral, legal, and pragmatic discourses in court mediation are illustrated and analyzed. Through the analysis, the characteristics of both the historically leading discourses and the currently dominant pragmatic discourse in judicial mediation are revealed.
Secondly, the dissertation focuses on the micro discourse in the court mediation. Drawing upon video and recording data of the court mediation of five actual cases, four discourse strategies used by judges are discovered, namely using interruptions, asking rhetorical questions, speaking for the laws, and avoiding specific topics. As judges are using pragmatic discourse in judicial mediation, their neutrality is questioned. Through the use of various discourse strategies, the judges affect, control, and even force the parties to achieve their predetermined mediation objectives. Like the popular transactional mediation, all the discourse strategies are the reflections of the pragmatic discourse. As the pragmatic discourse emerging with the revival of the judicial mediation drives the moral discourse out of the courtroom, the moral high ground previously occupied by the female has been razed to the ground. This kind of discourse that concentrates merely on eliminating disputes without assessing the moral aspects harms the lower class female in both economic and social domains. In addition, the pragmatic discourse contradicts the legal standard for granting divorce -- “the rupture of mutual affections.” Furthermore, due to the judicial practice of “combining mediation and trial,” judges assume the dominant role in the courtroom, and are able to suppress the discourses and actions of the litigants. As a result, the extremely asymmetric power relations between judges and parties are created. The idealism of judicial mediation is therefore unveiled.
Finally, the dissertation analyzes the trend of the macro discourse in the judicial mediation of divorce cases through reviewing the leading discourse of different historical periods and further examining the pragmatic discourse. When pragmatic discourse expels traditional moral discourse out of the courtroom, it also brings an opportunity for other genres discourses. Aimed at achieving therapeutic mediation, helpful discourse, which is used to mediate divorce disputes and enhance gender equality in judicial practice, is likely to prosper in divorce case mediation. In addition, the current mode of the judicial mediation that combines mediation and trial produces and encourages pragmatic discourse. Since divorce disputes are different from other types of civil disputes as they involve more emotions and feelings of human beings, handling divorce disputes effectively calls for more therapeutic discourses, which are different from the existing pragmatic discourse. The new discourses and mediation practices require a trial mode different from “the combination of mediation and trial.” Enlightened by the world’s leading mediation systems, “the separation of mediation and trial” might be the objective to develop Chinese judicial mediation system.