Comparative Constitutional Law Feasibility Study

Project Description
In July 2010, US-China Legal Cooperation Fund ("the Fund") made a grant to Georgetown Law-Asia Program to conduct a Comparative Constitutional Law Feasibility Study in association with Tsinghua University School of Law. The project intends to assess the value of translating the full text (including citations) of the recent cases of the Supreme Court of the United States from English into Chinese. It is a groundbreaking initiative with great potential to advance comparative legal studies.

The purpose of the project is to provide Chinese legal scholars better access to American jurisprudence. The Supreme Court opinions are the backbone of American jurisprudence, and are the supreme law of the land on constitutional questions. Readers of the Chinese translations will be able to see how the Court—as an institution—addresses legal and social challenges. Rather than proposing a set formula or checklist for how to improve the Chinese court system, the project's work products demonstrate in-depth the process whereby law is announced by the highest court in the United States, allowing readers the opportunity to draw their own conclusions as to whether the American approach is relevant to ongoing efforts to reform the Chinese system of justice. Complete and faithful translations of Court opinions will improve the quality of source materials and further understanding of American law by Chinese readers.

In 2011, with the Fund's permission, Law-Asia expanded the scope of the project by designing a seminar on Supreme Court litigation using a current Supreme Court case (Global-Tech v. SEB) in cooperation with Renmin University of China School of Law. The seminar was given as a part of Professor Ding Xiangshun's course—Introduction to U.S. Law—at Renmin University in October. It was well received by a class of about 30 Chinese law students.

Academic Advisors

Georgetown University Law Center
Susan Roosevelt Weld, Executive Director of Georgetown Law-Asia
James Feinerman, James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies; Co-Director, Georgetown Law-Asia
Steven H. Goldblatt, Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Supreme Court Institute; Director, Appellate Litigation Program
Lucille Barale, Visiting Professor

Tsinghua University School of Law
Wang Zhenmin, Professor of Law; Dean
Lin Laifan, Professor of Law
He Haibo, Associate Professor

Renmin University of China School of Law
Ding Xiangshun, Associate Professor

Feasibility Study Team
Jialue “Charles” Li, Project Director & Editor in Chief, Georgetown Law-Asia
He Haibo, Associate Professor, Tsinghua University Subgrant Manager
Li Songfeng, Translator, China University of Political Science and Law graduate law student
Li Yan, Translator, Tsinghua University graduate law student
Wang Zhi, Translator, Beijing University graduate law student
Zuo Yilu, Translator, Tsinghua University graduate law student

Exchange Activities
Workshops at Georgetown University Law Center
Lecture at Tsinghua University School of Law
Lecture at Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan Law School
Seminar at Renmin University of China School of Law

Feasibility Study Work Products
Michigan v. Fisher, 130 S. Ct. 546 (2009) (translated by Mr. Wang Zhi)
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 130 S. Ct. 2971 (2010) (translated by Mr. Li Songfeng)