Foreword, Chinese Law and American Legal Education

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Foreword, Chinese Law and American Legal Education
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Foreword, Chinese Law and American Legal Education

Vincent R. Johnson

31 St. Mary’s L. J. 1 (1999).

    The rise of international and comparative law within the typical law school curriculum has been a profound change in American legal education.  As international and comparative law gradually rose to prominence during the last part of the twentieth century, the attention of American legal educators often focused on Europe.  However, law reform in China is today a priority of the government.  With a vitality that echos American legislative achievements during the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society, China is overhauling the laws that shape Chinese society and govern relations with persons and states abroad.

Members of the American legal profession have a special responsibility to support the development of systems based on the rule of law in other countries.  This is especially true with respect to the efforts now taking place in China.  Those developments will not only directly affect more than a billion persons, but they will play a tremendous role in shaping a country that will greatly influence the destiny of the global community during the 21st century and beyond.  It is entirely appropriate that the American legal education devote some measure of its talents and energies to understanding, and perhaps even assisting, the on-going transformation of the Chinese legal system.

Keywords: American legal education, Chinese legal system, Chinese Scholar Lecture Series, American legal profession, rule of law, Professor Wang Liming, Deng Xiaoping, legislative achievement, international law, comparative law, law school curriculum, law topics.

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