2009

Jerome A. Cohen. Lesson in Integrity for All. SCMP (South Chine Morning Post)

The media on the mainland and in Taiwan took little note of last week’s sensational federal court decision in Washington that voided the criminal corruption conviction of former US senator Ted Stevens. Yet the case has profound implications for efforts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to stamp out corruption while fostering a rule of law based on the adversarial system of criminal justice.

Jerome A. Cohen. China’s Human Rights Action Plan. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

America’s legendary Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. long ago opined that: “General propositions do not decide concrete cases.” Holmes was, of course, referring to domestic court cases. Today, this famous maxim applies, in a way he never envisaged, to the international arena as well.

Jerome A. Cohen. Calls for Taiwan’s legal scholars to speak out on law reforms. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Anyone who cares about law and government has to be impressed by visiting Taiwan. Its democratically elected president and legislature, spurred by the interpretations of its independent Constitutional Court, have just ended the power of the police to imprison people without affording them the full protections of the newly revised judicial process.

Jerome A. Cohen. China’s Treatment of “Rights Lawyers”. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

In 1977 Victor H. Li published a stimulating book entitled “Law Without Lawyers”. China’s Communists, he suggested, because of their country’s distinctive tradition and culture, might blaze a new trail toward modernization, one that, unlike their former Soviet model, had little need for lawyers. Yet Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues soon demonstrated that they thought otherwise.

Jerome A. Cohen. China and Economic Espionage. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Every nation has the right to defend itself against theft of state secrets and commercial bribery. No one should dispute China’s right to do so. Then why should Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, himself a China specialist, take the extraordinary step of publicly warning the Chinese Government that the world is watching how it handles the case of Rio Tinto’s Stern Hu, a Chinese-born Australian, and his three Chinese co-workers?

Jerome A. Cohen. Is Foreign Criticism Helpful? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

When told I had criticized the Taiwan government’s recent decision to bar Rebiya Kadeer from visiting the island, Taiwan’s new Prime Minister, Wu Den-Yih, remarked:”People who do not live in our land may not understand…and need not take any responsibility. We respect their comments but do not necessarily adopt all of them.” This polite “putdown” deserves our reflection.

Jerome A. Cohen. The Chinese People Have Stood Up! SCMP (South China Morning Post)

“The Chinese people have stood up!”  Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong’s dramatic declaration in establishing the People’s Republic of China sixty years ago has surely been vindicated. Today’s celebrations in Beijing and throughout the country reflect the nation’s tremendous economic and social progress, especially during the past thirty years, and its increasing power and influence on the world scene.

Jerome A. Cohen. Can Publicity Help China’s Detained Visitors? China Times

When Chinese law enforcement officials detain a visitor, his family faces excruciating decisions. This is especially true when the detainee is either a foreigner who used to be a Chinese citizen or a Chinese residing abroad. If the case involves “state secrets”, it is more complex.

Jerome A. Cohen. A Teacher’s Response. Apple Daily

As Thomas Huang’s interesting October 3 article about the detention of Chen Shui-Bian recognizes, in the United States criticizing the view of one’s teacher is a perfectly appropriate way to celebrate Teachers’ Day. This is especially true in American legal education, which, at its best, features the Socratic method of debate and discussion between teacher and students. Of course, this does not mean that the criticism of a former student is always “correct”.

Jerome A. Cohen. Bail In China: A Crucial Human Right. China Times

Two cases have riveted foreign attention on criminal justice in China this summer. On July 5, China’s state security agency detained Rio Tinto representative Stern Hu on suspicion of espionage and bribery. On July 29, the country’s ordinary police detained human rights activist Xu Zhiyong on suspicion of tax evasion. Xu was released on China’s equivalent of bail after less than three weeks of investigation. Although the major charge against Hu has been reduced from espionage to theft of business secrets, he is still in detention after nine weeks and may be there for many more months before investigation and expected trial proceedings are concluded.

Margaret K. Lewis. Taiwan’s New Adversarial System and the Overlooked Challenge of Efficiency-Driven Reforms. Virginia Journal of International Law

In the short span of two decades, Taiwan has gone from a repressive, authoritarian state under martial law to a vibrant democracy.’ This stunning political change has received worldwide attention. Less well-known is the striking overhaul of Taiwan’s criminal justice system that has accompanied these political changes.

Jerome A. Cohen. How Should Chinese Participate In Their Courts? China Times

A discreet struggle is taking place in mainland China over justice, law and governance. A rising, confident country is asking itself what kind of legal system best suits its “national circumstances”. A “socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics” is an attractive political slogan, but troubling to many Chinese legal specialists. What should it mean in practice?

Jerome A. Cohen. China’s New Court Reform Program. China times

On March 25, China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) released its Third Five-Year Reform Program for the People’s Courts. Its predecessor was issued in late 2005, toward the end of the second year of the period in question. By contrast, the Third Program has appeared promptly. Its text is dense, largely abstract and suffused with exhortations to the immediate audience–the country’s judges–to study, promote, establish, prescribe, improve, reform, perfect, strengthen, regularize, implement and complete whatever ought to be done to benefit every aspect of the judicial system. 

Jerome A Cohen. China’s Hollow ‘Rule of Law.' CNN

Two major criminal cases in one week — one resulting in an execution, the other a lengthy prison sentence — have focused new foreign attention on China’s judiciary. They are vivid reminders of the limits that China’s Communist Party-dominated legal system imposes on the government’s efforts to impress the world by its “soft power”: its political, cultural and economic influence.

Jerome A. Cohen. Taiwan’s Criminal Defense Lawyers And China’s. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

When Chinese law enforcement officials detain a visitor, his family faces excruciating decisions. This is especially true when the detainee is either a foreigner who used to be a Chinese citizen or a Chinese residing abroad. If the case involves “state secrets”, it is more complex.