The East Asian Legal Tradition

The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Law, Mauro Bussani & Ugo Mattei, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2012

Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 12-190

25 Pages Posted: 4 May 2012 Last revised: 28 May 2014

Teemu Ruskola

Emory University School of Law

Date Written: May 3, 2012

Abstract

This essay is a chapter in the Cambridge Companion to Comparative Law. It provides a brief description of an East Asian legal tradition – namely, what I call the classical legal tradition of East Asia, or by way of analogy, a kind of East Asian ius gentium. Although it is a historically significant tradition, by no means does it exhaust the entire East Asian legal universe. The essay intentionally focuses only on the central and shared aspects of that tradition. Yet the very notion of an East Asian legal tradition itself requires further methodological observations. First, just what does the term ‘East Asia’ encompass? Second, what do we mean by a ‘legal tradition’? The answer to neither question is obvious. After addressing these preliminary considerations, the essay turns to developing the broad outlines of a classical East Asian legal tradition.

Keywords: East Asia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, ius gentium, Confucianism, area studies, comparative law, international law

Suggested Citation

Ruskola, Teemu, The East Asian Legal Tradition (May 3, 2012). The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Law, Mauro Bussani & Ugo Mattei, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2012; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 12-190. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050508

Teemu Ruskola (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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