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Judicial Independence in East Asia: Implications for China


Tom Ginsburg


University of Chicago Law School

December 1, 2009

JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN CHINA, Randall Peerenboom, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2010
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 295

Abstract:     
This chapter explores the experience of China’s East Asian neighbors with regard to judicial independence, with an eye toward drawing lessons for China’s own reforms. Japan, Korea and Taiwan collectively provide a useful vantage point to examine developments in China because their rapid growth from the 1950s through the 1990s represents that greatest sustained example of rapid growth in world history. The only comparable period of growth is that of contemporary China, now nearing the end of its third decade. The East Asian cases are also relevant to China because the countries in the region share certain cultural traditions, and because many of them developed their judicial systems during periods of authoritarian governance. Finally, the East Asian cases, like contemporary China, seem to challenge the conventional wisdom that a powerful legal system is necessary for sustained economic development. My argument is that these cases provide nuanced lessons for the Chinese case about the definition of and conditions for judicial independence.

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Date posted: December 21, 2009 ; Last revised: February 16, 2010

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom, Judicial Independence in East Asia: Implications for China (December 1, 2009). JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN CHINA, Randall Peerenboom, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2010; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 295. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1524749

Contact Information

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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