Sunday, January 28, 2007
Lee on Local Law and the U.S. Court for China
Posted by Mary L. Dudziak
Tahira Lee, Florida State University, has just posted an article on SSRN, The United States Court for China: A Triumph of Local Law, which appeared in the Buffalo Law Review. Here's the abstract: A description of the court's jurisdiction, procedure, and application of substantive law is used to illustrate the thesis that local law exerts an inexorable force upon trial courts. The operation of the court and the cases it decided for the most part show, I argue, that those with the greatest familiarity with a problem have the most impact on the courts that are faced with that problem. This was the case at the United States Court for China despite the United States' efforts to maintain control over it and exclude local law from impact upon it. My aim is to invite a rethinking of the conventional position taken in scholarship on American legal history and scholarship on Chinese legal history that national law was superior, in many senses, to local law.