Can a Caged Bird Still Fly? A Comparative Analysis of Judicial Accountability in the People's Reublic of China and New Order Indonesia
38 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009 Last revised: 24 Mar 2011
Date Written: April 26, 2009
Most single-party states establish mechanisms to ensure that judges remain responsible to the government. This paper proposes a new framework for understanding these accountability mechanisms. When the party-state can redesign the constitutional framework, it may institutionalize political control over judges, thus making judges directly accountable to political elites. If a single-party government must govern under a liberal constitutional framework, political elites might instead try to influence judicial outcomes through the illegal distribution of patronage to judges. This paper seeks to explain both models through case studies in the People’s Republic of China and Suharto’s New Order in Indonesia. In assessing both, it suggests that institutionalized accountability in single-party states may in fact be more likely to promote the rule of law than patrimonialism.
Keywords: China, Indonesia, court, single-party, judicial accountability
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