Law Asia


In previous years, Georgetown's Asian law courses have included U.S.-Japan Trade Issues, Chinese Law, East-West Negotiations, the Changing Pattern of International Relations in Asia, and Korean Law. The cultural, economic, legal and political differences between the U.S. and Japan, and the U.S. and other Asian countries, are brought forth regularly offered courses and seminars including The Asian Law and Policy Studies Seminar.  The following are examples of courses taught recently or currently at the Law Center.

*course that is not currently scheduled

Asia Corporate Governance Seminar
Professor Joongi Kim

This seminar will consider a broad range of governance issues under both under national systems and international norms and policy from a comparative perspective. The role of cross-border investment, mergers and acquisitions among companies and stock markets, independent directors, institutional investors, gatekeepers such as accountants, bankers and lawyers, private and public enforcement, the media and fiduciary duty will be among the topics explored. The course will not only examine developments in the law and regulation, but will also incorporate insights derived from economics, finance and organizational management.

Asian Law and Policy Studies Seminar
Professor James Feinerman

This is a research seminar in which students will present their current research on Asian law and policy at the end of seminar classes where we consider the various areas of law and development which have led to the economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region. The impact of the Asia-Pacific region on the world market and global economic activity is substantial and continues to grow. In addition, the conspicuous success and some spectacular failures of Asian nations in legal and economic development have prompted suggestions that the experience of these nations may provide models (both positive and negative) for other developing countries and regions. The seminar will explore--in connection with the role of law and legal institutions--the interaction of social change, economic growth, and legal development in East and Southeast Asia. Specific topics will depend on the research interests of the participants, but will include capital formation, financial regulation, transnational trade and investment, intellectual property, land reform, environmental protection, worker protection, human rights, and similar private and public law issues.

Asia-Pacific Legal Issues*
Professor Lewis

This seminar will address both international economic law and general public international law issues of importance to the Asia-Pacific region. The course will particularly focus on legal topics relevant to Asian countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, and to the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. Coverage will include territorial disputes, fisheries and whaling issues; international migration; international legal disputes between Asia-Pacific countries (before the International Court of Justice, WTO, and in other fora); and issues arising from free trade agreements and other regional and international commitments 

China’s Financial Market
Professor Paul Saulski

This course will examine development and future prospects of China’s financial markets and institutions. It will explore the role of the financial markets in China’s state-directed development policies and, at the same time, examine the extent to which China’s markets are able to allocate capital to worthy investment projects and act as an important check on corporate governance. The course will look the Chinese banking sector, stock and bond markets, as well as the developing derivative markets and insurance industry. In each instance we will examine the extent to which these markets have become internationalized and how foreign investors and foreign companies can gain access to these markets in China. The course will look at the role of the Chinese government in regulating and directing those markets and to China’s expanding role in international financial governance and standard setting.

Chinese for Lawyers: Distinctive Aspects of Chinese Law and Legal Research*
Professor Zhang

The course is an introduction to the Chinese legal system and the basic concepts and terminology of Chinese law. It focuses on the knowledge of distinctive aspects of Chinese law from a comparative perspective, current legal topics and basic legal research skills. It aims to help students in understanding Chinese legal system in relation to broader political and cultural issues. Topics intended to be covered include Chinese legal history and culture, legislative system and legal research, judicial system, contract law, commercial law, labor and employment law, family law, alternative dispute resolution, and energy and environmental law and policy. The course will also teach common Chinese legal terms. The laws of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau may also been covered if time permits.

Chinese Law and Culture
Professor Teemu Ruskola

This course is an introduction to the comparative study of Chinese law and legal culture. It starts by analyzing the tradition of imperial Chinese law and its theoretical foundations, and then turns to early twentieth-century law reforms and the introduction of socialist law and jurisprudence. The course ends with the study of post-Mao law reforms and their implications for the future of Chinese law. In addition to its substantive focus, the course considers methodological problems involved in the study of law across cultures. Some of the general themes that run throughout the course include the following: To what extent is law a useful analytical category in Sino-American comparison? How is law related to capitalism and socialism, and to culture and socio-economic organization more generally? How and why has Chinese law changed over time? What happens when “Eastern” and “Western” legal cultures come in contact with each other?

Chinese Law Seminar*
Professors Feinerman and Weld

This seminar is intended to provide a general introduction to the nature and function of law in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and to Chinese attitudes toward selected international legal questions. Topics considered include: substantive, procedural, and institutional aspects of criminal and civil law in the PRC; Chinese views on the nature and sources of international law and its role in international society as exemplified in theory and practice, with particular attention to Chinese attitudes toward human rights; and practical legal problems arising from commercial and diplomatic interaction between the U.S. and the PRC, such as foreign investment and contract negotiation, protection of intellectual property, and provisions under U.S. law for carrying on commercial relations with Taiwan and Hong Kong. These topics will be considered in the context of their historical and political backgrounds in an effort to illuminate continuities between traditional and contemporary Chinese legal institutions. Students are encouraged to compare the nature and role of law in the West and the PRC. The assigned reading consists chiefly of English language translations of primary Chinese source materials, including cases, statutes, contracts, treaties, trade agreements, and jurisprudential writings. During years when this course is not offered, Professor Feinerman is willing to supervise individual research on Chinese Law.

Comparative Corporate Law Seminar*
Professor Haft

This seminar compares the laws and practices in the United States, the U.K., Germany, and Japan in various corporate contexts. Among the topics covered in class will be insider trading, corporate governance, transactions between a publicly-held parent and partially publicly-held subsidiary and the liabilities of accountants to non-clients.

Corporate and Workplace Governance in a Comparative Perspective Seminar*
Professor Dimick

This seminar will study the law governing the economy’s productive core—the workplace and the corporation—by comparing the legal frameworks governing these areas in the advanced industrial economies: primarily the US, Europe, and Japan. The seminar will introduce the student to the cross-national diversity of labor, employment, and corporate-governance law, the understanding of which is becoming increasingly necessary in our economically international and globalized world. In addition, the seminar will also explore the rapidly emerging legal and policy literature that examines how laws governing the corporation and workplace interact, reinforce, subvert, or complement one another. Potential topics include: (1) the impact of employment protection regulation (e.g., just cause versus employment-at-will) on unemployment and workplace “flexibility”; (2) the diversity of collective-bargaining institutions (e.g., decentralized versus centralized) and their effects on income inequality, corporate governance, and economic performance; (3) whether broadly different employment-law regimes (e.g., common law versus civil law countries) have measurable impacts on financial markets, corporate governance, and economic development; (4) the changing nature of employee ownership and its significance for corporate governance; and (5) how the employment relationship affects intellectual property concerns and technological innovation.

Global Competition Law and Policy
Professor Graubert

This seminar will examine the development of antitrust law around the world, starting with a basic understanding of U.S. and EC competition principles and then reviewing the application of those principles in developing and transition economies including China, India, South Africa and Latin America. Particular emphasis will be on merger control and regulation of dominant firm conduct (monopolization/abuse of dominant position). We will also consider the role of competition policy in economic and political development generally. Grading will be based on a paper and an assessment of class participation.

Japan/US Comparative Legal Study
Professor Carl Goodman

This course provides a comparison of aspects of the Japanese and US legal systems with the objectives of (a) providing some insight into the Japanese system, (b) demonstrating how legal concepts taken from an established legal system are "reinterpreted" when imported into a different legal system based on a different culture and history and (c) providing a basic understanding of selected Japanese legal topics. Among the substantive law areas which will be compared (after a survey of historical and societal foundations which affect the Japanese and US legal systems) are various aspects of Constitutional Law including Separation of Powers, the Legal System and the Japanese Constitutional provision Renouncing War; the differing views of dispute resolution including Litigation, mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution devises and their role in the legal systems of Japan and the US; discussion of the New (1998) Code of Civil Procedure and its potential effects on the future of litigation in Japan; the changing environment of the study and practice of law in Japan, including the 2001 recommendations of the Council on Judicial Reform; Equality and concepts of equal treatment opportunity; Criminal Law and Administrative Law.

Japanese Civil Procedure*
Professor Carl Goodman

The Japanese Civil Procedure course will discuss civil procedure in Japan from the pre-filing stage wherein the limited methods for fact finding are discussed, through the fact oriented pleading stage, followed by the new Preparation for Oral Argument procedure and then the Plenary Hearing stage. Production of documents as well as the Japanese rules related to witness testimony will be discussed. To understand the Japanese system the course will deal with the differences between the Civil Law and Common Law litigation systems. In addition to the civil procedure code of Japan, the course will discuss other laws that have an impact on trial practice in Japan such as recent changes in Intellectual Property laws to expand the availability of document production and a loosening of measure of damages rules available in copyright and patent infringement cases. Japanese procedure will be discussed as to how it may affect American litigation-such as rules on how to serve a Japanese defendant and the effect of service methods that might be acceptable to some American courts but that are not acceptable in Japan. Japanese rules for the recognition of foreign judgments will also be discussed, with special emphasis on how such rules affect United States judgments. Grading will be based upon a written examination and class participation.

Law and Foreign Investment in China
Professor Lucille Barale

The course will examine the major Chinese laws that apply to foreign invested projects in China and related cross-border transactions. We will begin with an overview of China's policy priorities for foreign investment and the foreign investment approval process, focusing on the sources of law and regulation relevant when planning entry into the China Market. We will then consider the options for structuring a foreign investment in light of the Sino-foreign Equity joint Venture Law, the Cooperative Joint Venture Law, the Law of Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprises, and the amended Company Law. We will also study the requirements for foreign acquisitions of existing Chinese enterprises under China's M & A rules. The preparation of the project application report or feasibility study is also a key part of the foreign investment approval process, involving a number of important laws and regulations. We will study how China's environmental laws, rules and regulations on foreign exchange, financing and security, land use laws and labor laws must also be considered when forming a venture in China. Foreign investment projects in China typically involve cross-border arrangements that are crucial to the foreign investor's goals, especially technology licensing and trademark licensing. In this context, we will study the PRC contract law, and the challenges encountered in the protection of intellectual property. Finally, we will look at the issues involved in exiting an investment in China, whether by disposal or termination, and dispute resolution. We will work primarily with English translations of PRC law, with some secondary sources. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

Regulation of International Securities Markets
Professors Paul Saulski and Ethiopis Tafara

This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of how the global capital market is evolving, the manner in which national securities markets interact, the collaborative process by which markets are regulated in practice, and the regulatory challenges that characterize the global market’s evolution. The course will discuss the effects that de facto international standards have on domestic markets, laws and regulations, both in the U.S. and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on the international aspects of securities regulation in the U.S., including the extraterritorial effects U.S. financial laws have on firms in other countries, and the effects foreign laws have on firms operating in the U.S. However, the course will also offer a comparative review of the other regulatory regimes, including the EU, Japan and China, and how these markets are impacting international capital market regulation. Finally, the course will discuss the nascent legal, constitutional and policy challenges that the international regulation of capital markets present.

Rule of Law Promotion and Civil Society in China
Professor Nancy Cantalupo

This experiential learning course examines how civil society in China is being advanced under the rubric of rule of law promotion through work with and reflection upon the activities of non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) in China. The seminar component will introduce students to the structure, history and current issues related to the Chinese legal system, to the health care reform efforts of the Chinese government, and to current issues for the elderly, particularly elderly women, in China. In the experiential component, students will spend 2.5 weeks working with NGOs in either Beijing, China or Washington, D.C., under the professor’s supervision, researching health care issues for the elderly. The experiential component will also include preparation beforehand and several drafts of a report afterwards. Working in two teams of four - eight (four Georgetown Law students and two - four Chinese law student interpreters) and playing a role often played by American rule of law attorneys, student projects will be “technical assistance”-oriented, seeking to use comparative and international research to present a range of legal options that may be helpful in addressing the health care issues affecting elderly women in China. Students’ research will therefore be conducted both in China and in the United States. Students’ research in China and the U.S. will seek to understand and compare, through interviewing, fact-finding methodologies and “paper” research, what kinds of health care concerns face the elderly in China and what comparative and international approaches have been used by other countries, particularly the U.S., to address similar concerns. Students will present their findings in Beijing and/or D.C. and produce a final report at the conclusion of the course, to be provided to and used by the Chinese partner NGOs as the NGOs deem appropriate. Students are not required or guaranteed to travel to Beijing. Students also do not need to speak Chinese to take this course, although if they travel to China to conduct research, learning “survival Chinese” prior to traveling is recommended.

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Law-Asia, Hotung 5010
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