In late October, 2013, the U.S.-Asia Law Institute welcomed a delegation of nine judges from Taiwan’s Judicial Yuan, High and District Courts, and Judges Academy interested in studying the American jury trial system as a possible model for citizen participation in Taiwan’s judicial system.
Over the course of a three-day visit organized by Ms. Yu-Jie Chen, USALI Research Scholar and J.S.D. candidate at the NYU School of Law, the judges held in depth discussions regarding the American jury trial system with Jerome Cohen, USALI Co-Director and Professor of Law at NYU; Ira Belkin, USALI Executive Director and Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU; James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts at NYU; Margaret K. Lewis, USALI Affiliated Scholar and Associate Professor of Law at Seton Hall School of Law; and Andrew Schaffer, Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU and former Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department.
In addition, the delegation visited New York federal and state courts. While at the courthouses, the delegation observed a probation violation hearing and jury trial, met with United States District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York and Judge Martin Marcus of the Bronx County Supreme Court, and discussed the American jury system with a representative of the Commissioner of Jurors.
USALI’s involvement in the organization of the delegation visit is representative of the Institute’s greater effort to increase intellectual exchanges between Taiwan and American practitioners and scholars. USALI’s recently launched Taiwan Rule of Law Initiative intends on accomplishing this through the following activities:
- Publish scholarly books, articles and op-eds on Taiwan’s legal development and current legal debates;
- Host visiting scholars and practitioners from Taiwan who are researching various aspects of Taiwan’s legal system, including criminal justice, human rights, legal institutions and public interest law;
- Hold Chinese and English-language workshops and public programs about Taiwan’s legal development for NYU law students and faculty as well as the wider intellectual community;
- Organize conferences that feature exchanges among experts from the United States, China and Taiwan on issues of common interest; and
- Facilitate issue-focused study tours for Taiwanese scholars and legal professionals who visit the United States.