Judicial Independence in East Asia: Implications for China
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
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Date posted: December 21, 2009 ; Last revised: February 16, 2010