History of the East Asian Legal Studies Center

Since its founding in 1990, the East Asian Legal Studies Center has initiated and co-sponsored a variety of conferences and outreach programs.  The Center also formalized and expanded many of the Law School's academic interactions with universities, government ministries, and the private sector.  It has and continues to provide scholarly exchanges by hosting visitors to the Law School and assisting Law School faculty to visit at universities in East and Southeast Asia.

Below is a compilation of some of the Center's programs, from the Judicial Skills Training Seminar to the Center's cooperation and participation in various conferences.

Judicial Skills Training Seminar: Shanghai High People's Court

The East Asian Legal Studies Center and the Shanghai High People's Court have jointly sponsored a judicial skills training seminar for Shanghai judges since 2002. The seminar is built on strong support and active involvement from the Wisconsin and Federal Judiciaries, as well as from University of Wisconsin Law School Faculty.  Judges from Shanghai with Wisconsin Judges

The judicial training seminar in Madison is preceded by an intensive, one-week training sessions in Shanghai on U.S. judicial practice to approximately 120 young Shanghai judges, taught by a member of the Law School faculty and a judge from the Dane County Circuit Court.  During the seminar in Madison, typically 20 of the judges from the summer session - from the Shanghai district courts, intermediate courts, and the High People's Court  - come to Madison to participate in courtroom observations, formal lectures, and informal discussions with Wisconsin and federal judges, and with faculty from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Program details vary from year to year.

The "Shanghai Judges" program is fortunate to have the able assistance of the Center's Associate Outreach Specialist, Ms. Wenjie Hu, and S.J.D. candidate, Ms. Cindy Whang, who bring their extensive experience in administering high caliber professional programs to the Annual Seminar.

For one of the many articles that appeared in the press about the Shanghai Judges program, see http://www.wislawjournal.com/archive/2006/0726/china.html.

Shanghai Minhang District Seminar on Municipal Government Administration

The Municipal Government Administration Seminar offers a program dealing with U.S. administrative law and regulatory practices. The participants are Shanghai government officials from the Minhang District who are at the municipal (provincial) and district levels. 

The program is designed around three central aspects of governance and administrative law in the United States: 1) the making of rules and regulations by government agencies, and the law governing that process; 2) the deciding of individual cases by government agencies, and the law governing those types of decisions; and 3) the ability of private actors to seek judicial review of either type of action, and the standards by which the courts review those actions. This approach allows the presentation of both the actual practices of American governmental bodies in various fields and at various levels, as well as the ways in which American administrative law seeks to facilitate effective government action, while at the same time advancing broader goals such as transparency, fairness, and legality. The focus of the programs varies yearly.  Primary goals are to increase transparency, predictability, legality and fairness in government regulation and in the delivery of services

Past Programs:

Urban Planners Program:

The East Asian Legal Studies Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University KoGuan Law School, and Shanghai Municipal Housing, Land and Resources Administration joined together to create the Seminar and Internship on Urban Planning and Real Estate Administration, informally called the "Urban Planners Program." The program was held October 16, 2009 to January 12, 2010. Its purpose was to give urban planners from Shanghai an opportunity to observe real estate administration and urban planning in the United States. Twenty urban planners from various Shanghai urban planning agencies came to Madison for the seminar.

The seminar included four weeks of lectures in Madison and related activities; internships hosted by governmental offices, non-governmental organizations, and private companies; and observations in other cities.

The lectures were presented by professors from the University of Wisconsin and by urban planners and builders in Madison. The participants were given a tour of historic Stoughton, Wisconsin, where they met the city's mayor. The group also toured Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, where they learned more about the world-famous architect and his use of land. The urban planners were in Madison during the time of a debate concerning Madison's Edgewater Hotel expansion project so the urban planners were able to see first-hand the process of public participation, where various sides of the issue were presented. They also attended the Madison City Council meeting where a vote was held. 

After their internships, the urban planners visited New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.

Wuhan Judges Program:

A delegation of judges from Wuhan, China, came to the Law School in December 2008 for lectures on Intellectual Property.

Advanced Judicial Skills Training Seminar:

The Center was awarded grants by the U.S.-China Legal Cooperation Fund to help support in part an Advanced Judicial Skills Training Seminar, in which two judges from Shanghai were at the University of Wisconsin Law School for one semester as visiting scholars and close observers of the U.S. judiciary. This seminar allowed the two judges to undertake in-depth research at the University of Wisconsin Law School as well as giving them an opportunity to observe judicial practices. The first Advanced Judicial Skills Seminar was held during the fall semester of 2005; two subsequent seminars were held, in spring 2007 and in fall 2007.

Zhejiang Procurators' Program (China):

A professional program of training and observation for the Zhejiang Provincial Procurators was held in Madison and other cities in early December 2007. This program was presented by the Zhejiang Provincial Procuratorate and the East Asian Legal Studies Center. Zhejiang procurators had an eight day course of study and were able to observe the different court systems in Madison, and also visited New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

Short courses for UW Law students(Bangkok, Thailand; Xiamen, China; Hanoi, Vietnam):

In January 2006, under a program developed and sponsored by the Center, University of Wisconsin law students joined students from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok for a two week course on cross-cultural negotiations. The course was taught by Professor Ralph Cagle of the University of Wisconsin Law School. In January 2005, John Ohnesorge taught a two-week course in Comparative Corporate Governarnce at Thammasat University, Bangkok, for UW law students and Thammasat law students. In January 2006, Professor Ohnesorge taught a short, intensive course on law and development in Northeast Asia at Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, to another group of Wisconsin students and students from Xiamen University

In January 2007, the Center, again in connection with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, offered a two-week course on cross-cultural negotiations. Professor Cagle taught the course. Also in Bangkok during January 2007, Professor Allison Christians, UW Law School professor, taught a short course on International Tax and Treaty issues at Thammasat University for a group of UW Law School students and Thammasat law students.

In May 2007, Professor Stephanie Tai, under the auspices of the East Asian Legal Studies Center, taught a short course on Water Law issues. The course was held at Hanoi Law University and was attended by students of HLU and the UW Law School. 

International Conference on Legal Education Reform, Taipei, Taiwan

On September 16 and 17, 2005, the Center co-sponsored a conference on reforms in global legal education. The conference was in Taipei, with National Taiwan University and Hokkaido University as co-sponsors. Papers presented at the conference are available in volume 24 of the Wisconsin International Law Journal (Winter 2006).

International Trade Conference, VungTau, Vietnam

On February 20 and 21, 2006 the Center co-sponsored a conference on international trade law in VungTau Vietnam. The conference attendees were principally mid-level Vietnamese government officials. The Vietnamese government, Lund University (Sweden), and Nagoya University (Japan) were co-sponsors. The VungTau conference was part of the ongoing activities of a consortium of the law faculties of Lund University, Nagoya University, and the University of Wisconsin's East Asian Legal Studies Center.

Corporate Governance and Taiwan's Capital Markets, Taipei, Taiwan 

On April 6 and 7, 2006, the Center co-sponsored a conference entitled "Taiwan's Capital Markets." The conference was in Taipei, and was attended by international institutional investors, the Taiwan business community, and senior officials from the Taiwan government's regulatory agencies. The co-sponsors were the Taiwan Securities Association, and the Fuhwa Cultural and Educational Foundation. At the conclusion of the conference, plans were made to hold a similar conference in 2007, with the possibility of the conference then becoming an annual event.

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