Asian Legal Systems

This seminar is a chance to gain additional perspective on our own system by looking at the historical development and present-day functioning of legal systems in Asia. It includes looking at their historical roots, and in particular the broad influence of Chinese legal philosophy and early legal institutions. In Japan we look at the maturing of the traditional Japanese system during the long period when Japan was closed to foreign influence. The course then turns to the development of the modern systems beginning in the latter part of the 19th Century. The influence of Europe, and eventually of America, is an important part of this story. We will look at criminal procedure and constitutional law as well as commercial law. Those with an interest in another Asian country-for example, Korea, Vietnam or Thailand-can also incorporate some comparative study of that system into their papers. Our emphasis will be on each country's legal culture, and how that interacts with the general cultural attitudes of the society. The material is not oriented toward doing business, but may be useful for lawyers who deal with Asian transactions or lawyers in connection with their practice. A number of guest speakers from Asia will provide an opportunity for discussion with them of the various topics considered. Ample research material is available in English, but anyone with Asian language skills will be encouraged to use foreign language research materials. Paper topics will be selected at the fourth session, a bibliography and outline is to be submitted by the sixth week, and a rough final draft is to be submitted by the beginning of the tenth week to allow for individual conferences and revision.
Credits: 2

Type: SEM