Asian Law Center

Asian and Comparative Law

Since its establishment, the Asian Law Center at UW has been recognized for excellence in teaching and scholarship on China and Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. To that core North East Asian focus we have added new expertise in South Asia (Afghanistan) and South East Asia (particularly Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam), as we continue to provide world-class legal education for U.S. and international lawyers focused on emerging business and investment markets in Asia.

Our teaching and scholarship address current issues through an integrated academic and practice-based approach. In 2011, we hosted an international symposium on the Japanese Legal Profession after the 2008 Financial Crisis and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The symposium (followed by an article in the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal) brought together esteemed speakers from the top law firms in Tokyo.

Building on faculty expertise in China and Hong Kong, the Center designed and delivered Empowering Rural Communities: Legal Aid and the Rule of Law in China during 2006-10. This project, led by Center professors Veronica Taylor, Susan Whiting, Dongsheng Zang and Hualing Fu (Hong Kong U) delivered legal aid and information to some of China’s poorest provinces, while studying what effect the provision of legal aid for civil cases has on citizen’s understanding of law and expectations of government.

Since 2001, the Center has focused on partnering with SE Asian legal institutions to enhance their professional capacity. Among our Indonesian alumni we have several recent Ph.D. graduates, and center faculty members all have extensive experience in legal education and law reform in Indonesia. In 2011, the Center and UW Law were selected to partner with the Asia Foundation, particularly in the areas of curriculum reform and clinical legal education, on a four year USAID award to support of Indonesia’s justice system.

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