The Role of Foreign Scholars in the Study of Chinese Law

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Although as Chinese legal scholars, we talk a lot about how to learn developed legal thoughts from western countries, we also see that many foreign scholars have been studying Chinese laws. And their work has become a great contribution to global scholarship.

First, it fills the knowledge gap between China and other countries. In the past three decades, China has created hundreds of statues and thousands of regulations. Along with the increasing economic status of China in the world, it is essential for foreign governments, companies and other public sectors to understand the relevant laws and regulations in China in order to cooperate or invest. However, we have to admit that the export of Chinese laws by Chinese scholars has not been very sufficient. Even though we can see more publications introducing Chinese laws in the West and more scholars presenting outside China, but due to the language and background barrier, it is not always efficient for foreigners to understand the precisely right ideas and the language meanings. However, it would be much easier to comprehend when scholars from one's own country introduce the legal theories or rules in the native language. Moreover, by filling the knowledge gap, it will promote participation and cooperation not only in the legal area but also in social and economic areas.

Secondly, it promotes the globalization of legal education. Globalization has become an inevitable trend although lots of people do not like it. However, it is happening and irreversible. The globalization of legal education is following this flow as well. International law students are a large group now. These young people are the messengers to circulate comparative legal perspectives all over the globe. When they become practitioners or scholars, they influence more people.

Meanwhile, due to the internet, the legal theory, knowledge, practice, experience, and reflection of all nations can be accessible to anyone in this integrated world. The globalization of legal education is becoming an inevitable trend. As a unique legal system, the theories of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics would become an essential part of it. Foreign scholars who study Chinese laws will be the beneficiary and the impeller of this movement.

Thirdly, it fits our generation's mission in legal professions. Our generation's mission in the legal profession is not only to be experts in law and international affairs, but also to be ambassadors for global awareness and collaboration, and architects of an informed and peaceful gobble community. A new world order without the big walls between state sovereignty and national identity will be formed in the future. We see that arbitration is playing a significant role in international business. We also see that anti-terrorism, climate change, technology development all require global cooperation without state boundaries. The future relies on our understanding from a more global view and our awareness with other legal systems and culture. And Chinese laws and the Chinese legal system might offer helpful resources for finding out the solutions to global challenges. Foreign scholars who are studying Chinese laws will be able to carry out this mission for the generation.

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