The Gavel of Governance

governing from bed
In August 2013, China introduced new guidelines it hoped would “better safeguard judicial independence, build credibility for the judicial system and help to improve public trust.” At the root of the lack of independence of China’s courts, of course, is the issue of political reform. China’s courts are still subject to the whims of government officials. In the above cartoon, posted by artist Kuang Biao to Sina Weibo, the gavel of the Chinese court system bears the chop of the government. The gavel sits on a rumpled red bed sheet, suggesting the intertwining of sex and politics. The cartoon is a very rich and concise editorial comment on the institutional roots of corruption and the amoral political culture that results.

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