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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 1 No 1 (1999)

ASIAN LAW IN TRANSLATION: Talk Law, Live Law, Make Law(s)

Xu Zhangrun (LLM, China University of Political Science and Law), Professor in the Faculty of Law, Tsinghua University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Tom Clarke (translator) LLB, Solicitor, Freshfields, Hong Kong

This article was originally published in the November 1997 edition of Dushu, mainland China's pre-eminent general humanities journal. The author makes a novel and unorthodox intervention in the current debate over the merits of 'legal transplantation' as a vehicle for the People's Republic of China's current program of rapid and thoroughgoing legal reform. The article may therefore be seen as representative of an emerging strain of Chinese legal thought, which seeks to interrogate the cultural 'baggage' of transplanted laws and procedures and to challenge the assumption that a 'rule of law' can be instigated by legislative reform alone. It is only when legal discourse and legal concepts can be expressed and communicated in a Chinese cultural 'vernacular' that the current drive to legalisation can be meaningfully realised.

(1999) 1(1) Asian Law 80

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