A Comparative Study of the Legal Evolution and Cognate Offenses of “Picking Quarrels and Provoking Trouble”


  • Setsen Kiyoutes University of Trento / Oxford University


Legal History, Comparative Law, Public Order Offenses, Chinese Law, Socialist Legal System


In recent years, the discussion on “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” has become increasingly close in Chinese society and attracted the attention of legal scholars as well as deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC). Indeed, since 1997, when this offense was first criminalized in mainland China, it has been regulated and refined by the Amendment (VIII) to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and also by several related judicial interpretations. However, its regulation is still ambiguous and open-ended, with its boundaries easily blurring with other crimes and leading the academia and social communities to believe that it has evolved into a new "pocket crime", frequently employed by a judiciary that lacks oversight, suppresses dissent and restricts freedom of expression. Therefore, it is crucial to study, from both legal and historical perspectives, analogous social control laws existing in mainland China across different periods and legal frameworks in order to reveal their social impact and pave the way for the establishment of the rule of law. In this direction, this paper adopts an empirical and comparative approach to the analysis of the legal evolution of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, starting from its legislative origins and background, while, on the other hand, focusing on the most controversial issues concerning this crime and the discussion on its survival or abolition.




How to Cite

Kiyoutes, Setsen. 2024. “A Comparative Study of the Legal Evolution and Cognate Offenses of ‘Picking Quarrels and Provoking Trouble’”. Trento Student Law Review 6 (1). Trento, Italy:17-40. https://teseo.unitn.it/tslr/article/view/2941.