Transplanting Korean Legal Materials into American Law Libraries
THE GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF KOREAN LAW in KLP WORKING PAPER SERIES, pp. 89-108 (Korea Legislation Research Institute ed., 2014).
24 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013 Last revised: 26 Mar 2015
Date Written: December 9, 2013
The diffusion of law between the U.S. and Korea has been one directional from the advanced common law system to a civil legal system trying to accept the advantages of the common law system. A recent development of close economic interdependence between the two states, however, changed the direction and stimulated the interest in Korean law and its system. In addition to the existing economic interdependence through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) from 1989, as of 2011, Korea is currently the U.S.'s 7th largest goods trading partner with $100 billion in total goods trade. The recent entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement on March 15, 2012 also stimulated interest in the South Korean economy and its commercial laws in the United States. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sees the agreement as providing U.S. exporters with more opportunities to sell their products and services in the Korean territory using their logistics.
I believe that an interest in Korean law in the United States will be vitalized and materialized further by the efforts of American law libraries to collect Korean law materials and to make them accessible to U.S. scholars and lawyers. Despite increasing interest in Korean law, however, the growth of U.S. law library collection in this area has been put at risk. Due to the economic downturn starting in late 2008 and the resulting decrease of law school applicants, U.S. academic law libraries have been confronted with issues of shrinking budgets, changing research interests, and proliferating electronic sources with steeply rising costs. As such, developing foreign law collections, especially Korean law collections in the U.S. academic law libraries has been challenged by many aggravating factors and must be justified with stronger reasons than ever before.
While I have prepared a Korean law bibliography and dealt with issues and trends collecting Korean legal materials, this article is more like a culmination of the thoughts and researches relating to Korean law resources I have done for last five years. First, I will deal with issues relating to collecting Korean legal materials and what obstacles have been out there in diffusing both Korean and American law. Second, various resources available in print and online are introduced and updated. Lastly, I added a bibliography with subject headings in English in the appendix. I hope this article will help American legal scholars, law students, legal practitioners, and law librarians to conduct research on the law of the Republic of Korea ("South Korea") and with their efforts to transplant Korean legal materials in the U.S.
Keywords: Korea, Korean, Korean law research, Korean legal research, Legal, System, Materials, Sources, Resouces, Transplanting, Diffusion, Collection, Law Library, United States, Foreign Law Collection
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation