The mass publicity of court decisions in China, this article argues, is part of the larger trend of the Chinese judiciary becoming increasingly centralized. The transparency reform enables the Supreme People’s Court to control the information reporting process within the judicial hierarchy and rein in local courts through public scrutiny. Interestingly, local courts responded strategically, making disclosure far poorer than required. Meanwhile, the central government has dispatched more cadres to local courts, and these cadres are associated with more than a 10 percent higher disclosure rate of judicial decisions, suggesting that centralization of personnel is adopted to effectively implement the centralized policy. The transparency reform, coinciding with reforms in other domains, embodies an important shift toward a more centralized judicial sector in China.
Chen, L., Liu, Z., & Tang, Y. (2022). Judicial Transparency as Judicial Centralization: Mass Publicity of Court Decisions in China. Journal of Contemporary China, 31(137), 726-739. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2021.2010871