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Content created: 020422
File last modified: 170308

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Selections From the
Penal Laws of China

Abusive Language

The following section on abusive language corresponds with Saunton's Sixth Division, Book IV, Sections CCCXXVII-CCCXXXI, pages 356-358 (part of statute 27 of the Chinese edition).

Section List

SECTION 327. —Abusive Language from a Slave to his Master.

A slave guilty of addressing abusive language to his master shall suffer death, by being strangled at the usual period.

If guilty of addressing abusive language to his master's relations in the first degree, or to his master's maternal grandfather or grandmother, he shall be punished with 80 blows, and two years banishment: —If addressing abusive language to his master's relations in the second degree, the punishment shall be 80 blows; if in the third degree, 70 blows; if in the fourth degree, 60 blows.

A hired servant addressing abusive language to his master, shall be punished with 80 blows, and two years banishment; if to his master's relations in the first degree, or maternal grandfather or grandmother; his punishment shall amount to 100 blows; if to his master's relations in the second degree, to 60 blows: if to the relations in the third degree, to 50 blows; and if to the relations in the fourth degree, to 40 blows. —In these cases, as well as others, the abusive language must have been heard by the person to whom it was addressed, and such person must always be the complainant.

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SECTION 328. —Abusive Language to an Elder Relation.

Any person who is guilty of addressing abusive language to an elder relation in the fourth degree; equi-distant from the parent stock, shall be punished with 50 blows: if to a relation in the third degree, under similar circumstances, with 60 blows: and if to a relation as aforesaid, in the second degree, with 70 blows; but when such relation is also one or more generations nearer to the parent stock, the punishment shall be more severe, in each case, than above provided, by one degree. Whoever addresses abusive language to his elder brother or sister, shall be punished with 100 blows: whoever abuses his, paternal uncle or aunt, or his maternal grandfather or grandmother, shall be punished one degree more severely than in the case last mentioned: —but, as it has been stated in the preceding articles, the law can only be enforced when the person to whom the abusive language was addressed, actually heard it, and is himself the complainant.

SECTION 329. —Abusive Language to a Parent, Paternal Grandfather or Grandmother.

A child or grandchild who is guilty of addressing abusive language to his or her father or mother, paternal grandfather or grandmother; a wife who is guilty of addressing abusive language to her husband's father or mother, paternal grandfather or grandmother, shall in every case suffer death, by being strangled; provided always however, that the persons abused, themselves complain thereof to the magistrates, and had themselves heard the abusive language which had been addressed to them.

SECTION 330. —Abusive Language From a Wife to Her Husband's Relations.

A principal or inferior wife who is guilty of addressing abusive language to any of her husband's relations within the four degrees, shall be liable to the same punishment as her husband would have been for using towards such persons the same language. —An inferior wife abusing her husband or husband's principal wife, shall be punished with 80 blows. —A husband abusing his wife's father, or mother, shall be liable to a punishment of 60 blows; but in all cases such abusive language must, as already observed, have been heard and complained of by the parties to whom it was addressed.

There is no clause respecting abusive language addressed by a principal wife to her husband, as the interposition of the laws can scarcely be supposed to be necessary; yet if such a case should occur, the magistrates may lawfully award a punishment of 50 blows, according to the law respecting offences against propriety.

SECTION 331. —Abusive Language Addressed by a Widow to Her Deceased Husband's Parents.

If any principal or inferior wife is guilty of addressing abusive language to her husband's father or mother, paternal grandfather or grandmother, after the death of such husband, and even after having entered into a second marriage, she shall (except in the case of her having been divorced from such former husband,) be liable to the same punishment for each offence, as if such husband were still living,

A slave addressing abusive language to his former master, shall only be punished as in ordinary cases, the connexion between the parties having been broken by the transfer to another master; but a slave addressing abusive language to the master who had manumitted or released him, shall be liable to the same punishment as he would have been if he had continued in such master's service.


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