TO sum up the evidence of the last four chapters: much of the ordinary business of life was not catered for by the official courts, and as the latter in any case had little to recommend themselves to ordinary people, much of what in our western type of society has come to be the function of lawyers and courts was performed in China by other agencies. Both by default and with positive official encouragement, large areas of life, which in other societies are dealt with by specialized legal institutions, fell under the diffused jurisdiction of individual units of non-administrative social organization or were dealt with by still more informal techniques of mediation. Rules for the conduct of everyday life were formulated by the different small communities or associations to which a person belonged and were enforced by whoever exercised authority in these. In addition, a large volume of transactions was regulated by a body of unwritten customs, varying in different parts of China but well known to the inhabitants of any given locality. And there were formal or informal agencies ready to punish lapses from the accepted standards or to adjudicate, in case of dispute, as to which of two individuals (or groups) had right on his side according to the rules or customs.