Law and Public Opinion

The rule of law, its institutions and practices face perennial challenges posed by public opinions in all societies.  Tensions easily arise from time to time out of material discrepancies between the outcome of legal process and the public's perception and expectation of justice and fairness.  Lawyers aspire to defend the ideal of autonomy and independence of the law, in particular the judicial process, from public opinions and interventions in order to ensure the impartial and reliable delivery of justice as largely a professional exercise.  The democratic reality, nonetheless, renders it impossible to insulate the legal process from public questions, critiques or sometimes more direct pressures, especially in an era with rapidly evolving mass media in both traditional and non-traditional forms.  The studies of law and public opinions aim to advance the understanding of these potential challenges and proactively search for possible reconciliatory strategies, both of which are critical for the legal community to replenish and reinforce the legitimacy in its relative autonomous status.  Such line of studies also goes deeper to examine and reflect upon the fundamental democratic expectations of law and lawyers within their respective social and political settings and traditions.




Research Group

Chen, Baifeng (link)

Dai, Xin (link)

Lei, Yawen (link)

Xie, Yungeng (link)