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