Asian Law Center

Asian Law Lecture Series

The Asian Law Center welcomes you to attend the Asian Law Lecture Series.

This series is dedicated to creating a forum for senior academics, both UW-affiliated and visiting, to share their thoughts and research on the latest Asian legal topics with our community of Visiting Scholars, J.D., LL.M., and Ph.D. students, faculty, and partners such as the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Due to limited space, please RSVP for each event to .

Spring 2014

Most events take place from 3:30-5:30 pm in William H. Gates Hall, Room 447 unless otherwise noted. A reception will follow each lecture. Please Note: Lectures may be recorded.

May 1 - Lecture Topic: "The Korean Family in Colonial Space: Caught between Modernity and Assimilation" at 3:45 p.m.


Clark Sorenson; Associate Professor, Chair of the Korea Studies Program, Jackson School of International Studies


Professor Sorenson has been Associate Professor of International Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington since 1992. He is Director of the Center for Korea Studies. He has adjunct appointments in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Korean Studies.


His published works include Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea, 1910-1945 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013); Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era, 1961-1979: Development, Political Thought, Democracy, and Cultural Influence (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011); and Over the Mountains are Mountains: Korean Peasant Households and their Adaptations to Rapid Industrialization (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988).

May 13 - Lecture Topic: 2012 Elections in Japan (Title forthcoming)


Robert Pekkanen; Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies; Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science


Professor Pekkanen teaches an introductory class on contemporary Japan and graduate and undergraduate courses on Japanese civil society, politics and political parties.


He has published articles on Japanese politics in The American Political Science Review, The British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and other journals. His first book, Japan's Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates (Stanford University Press, 2006), won the Ohira Prize in 2008 and an award from the Japanese Nonprofit Research Association (JANPORA) in 2007. The Japan Times also featured it as one of the "Best Asia Books" of 2006. A Japanese translation appeared in 2008. His second book (coauthored with Ellis S. Krauss) The Rise and Fall of Japan's LDP: Political Party Organizations as Historical Institutions (Cornell, 2010) investigates the LDP--arguably the most successful political party in any democracy in the 20th Century. Pekkanen also produced a coauthored book in Japanese (Bokutakusha, 2009) on Japan's Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance, and coedited volume from Routledgeon Local Organizations and Urban Goverenance in East and Southeast Asia (with lead editor Benjamin Read).

Winter 2014

January 21 - Lecture Topic: "Attitudes Towards Law: The Impact of Legal Education and Historical Experience in Japan and China." In Room 138, William H. Gates Hall.


Michael K. Young; President, University of Washington, Professor of Law

President Michael K. Young has a distinguished record as an academic leader with broad experience in public service and diplomacy. He was also Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law for more than 20 years at Columbia University, where he served as director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies and the Center for Korean Legal Studies. He has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including international trade law, the Japanese legal system, international environmental law, international human rights and freedom of religion.

Please RSVP.

February 5 - Lecture Topic: "Re-discussion on the Nature of Validity and Guarantee of the Effect of Guiding Cases of PRC." In Room 115, William H. Gates Hall.


Qi Zhang; Professor, Executive Director of Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Sociology at Peking University Law School

Professor Zhang has been a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at many institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Hokkaido, and Heidelburg. His classes and research interests include the judicial system, jurisprudence, comparative law, study on Western philosophy of law, torts, and comparative legislative systems of China and the US. Professor Zhang's publications include titles such as “On the Methods of Identifying Guiding Cases -- Based on the Trial Experience” Peking University Law Journal, No. 3, 2009, pp. 457-468, (in Chinese); “Identification and Application of the Guiding Elements of a Guiding Case” Legal Science Monthly, No. 10, 2008, pp. 89-101, (in Chinese); Legal Reasoning and Legal Institution,The Press of Shandong Renmin, 2003, (in Chinese); Law as an Autopoietic System (Translation from English, written by GUNTHER TEUBNER), Peking Univ. Press, 2004, (in Chinese).

Autumn 2013 Schedule

Autumn 2013 Flyer

All events take place from 3:30-5:30 pm in William H. Gates Hall, Room 447 unless otherwise noted. A reception will follow each lecture. Please Note: Lectures may be recorded.

September 26 – Lecture Topic: "Territorial And Maritime Disputes Between Japan and China: Is Compromise Possible?"


Thomas J. Schoenbaum; Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; Visiting Professor, UW Law

Professor Schoenbaum will focus on the dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, using that dispute as a paradigm for the various territorial and maritime disputes between nations in East and Southeast Asia.

Dr. Thomas J.Schoenbaum is a Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School and a Visiting Professor at UW Law for the Fall 2013 quarter, teaching International Environmental Law. Prof. Schoenbaum has practiced law extensively as special counsel for several law firms and has litigated corporate, environmental, and admiralty cases in the federal courts. Professor Schoenbaum has received six Fulbright awards and has held teaching posts in many countries, including Germany, Belgium, the UK, South Africa, Austria, Russia, and Japan. He has served as visiting fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford and as principal fellow of the Lauterpacht Research Centre of International Law at Cambridge. Professor Schoenbaum specializes in international commercial and environmental law. He is the author of many articles and books, including The World Trade Organization: Law, Policy and Practice (2003), Admiralty and Maritime Law (3d ed. 2001), and Environmental Policy Law (2002). He is currently working on new books in the areas of international environmental law and international business transactions.

October 15 - Lecture Topic: "Translation, Codification and Transplantation of Foreign Laws in Taiwan."


Tay-sheng Wang, LLM '90, PhD '92; Lifetime Distinguished Professor at National Taiwan University; Visiting Scholar, UW Law; Asian Law Center Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Tay-sheng Wang's research has focused on Taiwanese-centered legal history, including Chinese legal traditions and the colonial law under the Japanese rule. Having practiced law for three years in Taiwan, Professor Wang received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1992. He has published numerous books and articles on Taiwanese legal history both in English and Chinese, some of which have been translated into English or Japanese. His English language publications include: “Chapter 4: Taiwan,” in Asian Legal Systems: Law, Society and Pluralism in East Asia (1997) , Sean Cooney (trans), “The Impact of Modern Western Law on the Chinese in Taiwan,” The Australian Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Dec. 1999), Legal Reform in Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule (1895-1945): The Reception of Western Law (2000), “The Legal Development of Taiwan in the 20th Century: Toward A Liberal and Democratic Country,” Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3 (June, 2002).

October 28 –Lecture Topic: "Modernity and its problématique for Japanese Constitutional Theory."


Hajime Yamamoto; Professor and Vice-Dean, Keio University Law School

Professor Yamamoto, who has recently spoken as a panelist at Harvard Law's Institute for Global Law and Policy on the topic of "Japanese Legal Thought and Globalization," will share his thoughts on the Japanese constitution.


November 14 – Lecture Topic: "Reflections on the Legal Profession and its Future in China."


Jingwen Zhu; Associate Professor Lecturer of Jurisprudence, Renmin University of China

Professor Zhu's research interests include Jurisprudence, Sociology of Law, Comparative Law, Law and Globalization, and he has published numerous articles and books such as "The Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics: Its Structure, Feature and Trends," "The Sociological Method in Legal Study," and "Is the Globalization 'denationalization.' " He has also taught as a Senior Visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, at Indiana University Law School as a teaching professor, and at Leiden University European Center as a Senior Visiting Professor.

November 18 - The Griffith & Patricia Way Lecture: "Hiroshima and the Historians." AT 220 KANE HALL, 7:00 PM


Kenneth B. Pyle, the UW Henry M. Jackson Professor of History and Asian Studies

Professor Pyle is considered one of the world's most eminent scholars on Japan, and in 1997 he was decorated by the Government of Japan with the Order of the Rising Sun for his contributions to scholarship and cultural exchange. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Japan Foundation's Prize in Japanese Studies for which he and his wife were accorded an audience with the emperor and empress. Prof. Pyle is the founding president of the National Bureau of Asian Research. He is the author and editor of numerous books on modern Japan and its history, and his most recent publication, written for the Century Foundation, is Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose(2007).

November 26 – Lecture Topic: "The Village Paradigm: Is It Still Viable?"


John Haley; Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University; Visiting Professor, UW Law

In Authority without Power: Law and the Japanese Paradox (1991), Prof. Haley argued that the mura provided a primary model for understanding contemporary Japan. In this forthcoming lecture he reintroduces the notion but raises the question whether the village paradigm remains viable given recent political, economic, and legal change.


Professor John Haley served as Director of the Asian Law Center from 1974 to 2000. He is one of the nation's outstanding international and comparative law scholars and is widely credited with having popularized Japanese legal studies. In June 2012, Professor Haley was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun (3rd Class) from the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the discipline of Japanese law and education to Japanese legal professionals and academics. His academic works include historical studies of law in Japan, Hispanic America, and medieval Europe, as well as contemporary issues of constitutional adjudication and contract law. His award-winning 1991 book, Authority without Power: Law and the Japanese Paradox, and his article, "The Myth of the Reluctant Litigant," are considered leading works in the field.



Contact Us

Asian Law Center
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
4293 Memorial Way
Seattle, WA 98195-3020
(206) 543-2283

Last updated 4/3/2014