Synopses & Reviews
Foreign gunboats forced China, Japan and Korea to open to the outside world in the mid-19th century. The treaties signed included rules forbidding local courts from trying foreigners; or, "extraterritoriality." Britain and the United States established consular courts in all three countries and, as trade grew, the British Supreme Court for China and Japan and the United States Court for China. These courts for many decades—over 100 years in China—dispensed British and American justice in the Far East. Extraterritoriality had a huge impact, which continues to this day, on how China and Japan view the world. This book tells its history through the fascinating cast of characters both on and before the bench and the many challenging issues the courts faced including war, riots, rebellion, corruption, murder, infidelity, and, even, a failed hanging. Doug Clark, a practicing lawyer who has lived in China, Japan and Korea for over 25 years, has trawled through dusty archives around the world to bring back to life this long-forgotten exotic world.
"A vital read. Here we find a century of foreign judges, lawyers and consuls attempting to control a city that attracted a legion of adventurers, criminals and sharks like no other in history. Gunboat Justice
reveals the intersection of Shanghai’s formal administration and its dark underbelly. The most important book on Shanghai’s history for several decades." —Paul French, author, Midnight in Peking
, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe award for best Fact Crime writing
"For the first time, we now have a comprehensive, well-informed and humane account of the people and procedures in the British and American courts of East Asia. Doug Clark’s book brings that world to life, and restores it to its place in our histories of the era of the ‘unequal treaties.'" —Robert Bickers, author, Empire Made Me
and The Scramble for China 1832-1914
"A fascinating account of an extraordinary historical period with a wealth of intriguing characters—and a serious matter at its core." —Jonathan Fenby, author, The Penguin History of Modern China
"A pathbreaking study of an important but long neglected topic, this book is a fascinating read and invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in law, empire and history in modern East Asia." —Dani Botsman, author, Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan,
Professor of History, Yale University.
About the Author
Douglas Clark is a lawyer currently practicing in Hong Kong. Originally from Australia, Doug studied Japanese at Nagata Senior High School in Kobe, Japan and Chinese and Chinese law at Fudan University in Shanghai. He also studied Korean for six months in Seoul. Armed with double degree in Asian Studies and Law from the Australian National University he commenced practice as a lawyer in Hong Kong in the mid-1990s. He was then based in Shanghai for 11 years where he set up and was Managing Partner of international law firm Hogan Lovells’ Shanghai office. In 2011, wishing to return to courtroom advocacy he relocated to Hong Kong as a lawyer. Doug is the author of Patent Litigation in China and co-author of Civil Litigation in Hong Kong. He is also the associate producer of the art house movie, “I Really Hate My Job”.