Transnational Judicial Practice in the People’s Republic of China: Resolution of Transmigrants’ Legal Disputes

Lin Sheng, Trent Bax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on fieldwork in Fuzhou’s Changle county―an emigrant-sending region in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)―this paper analyzes transnational judicial practice as it pertains to resolution of transnational migrants’ legal disputes. Resolution of “foreign-related” disputes had been obstructed by spatial and temporal barriers and difficulties navigating the PRC’s judicial system. However, a more efficient path for transnational migrants to resolve their legal disputes emerged due to: the PRC government’s increased concern toward transnational migrants; implementation of new governance procedures within the judicial system; utilization of the transnational migrant’s informal social networks; and, application of internet-enabled communication technologies. By examining the extra-territorial reach of state authority in regulating transnational activities, analysis from the 26 interviews conducted reveals the key role played by leaders in Overseas Chinese Associations, who act as informal judicial “mediators” between the PRC’s judicial system and transnational migrants. Additionally, internet-enabled communication technologies and social networks have helped collapse the physical and temporal distances that previously separated transnational migrants from their country of origin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Internet-enabled communication technologies
  • Legal dispute
  • Overseas Chinese Associations
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Transnational judicial practice
  • Transnational migrant


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