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Of Judge Quota and Judicial Autonomy: An Enduring Professionalization Project in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 March 2022

Ying Sun*
School of Law, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Hualing Fu
School of Law, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Email:
Email: (corresponding author).


This article presents the findings of original research on “judge quota” reform. The reform's agenda was essentially aimed at professionalization: by edging out a given percentage of judges, only the better qualified judges would be re-appointed to create a more professionalized judiciary. A key component of the reform was to reduce the level and the intensity of both political and bureaucratic control over judges in adjudication and to decentralize judicial power to the rank-and-file judges, restoring individualized judging while enhancing judicial accountability. This article critically examines the potential and limits of the judge quota reform in the context of incremental legal reform in a party-state.




Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of SOAS University of London

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