Asian Law Courses Offered

Law 334.001 - Introduction to Asian Legal Systems: Asian Legal Systems
Professor Jie Cheng, Professor Shigenori Matsui and Professor John Kim / Course - 3 Credits

This course plans to offer introduction to the legal systems of Asia, focusing on the People's Republic of China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The course has two objectives. The first is to learn the basic skills of comparative law based on the introduction of purposes and method of comparative law outlined in the Transnational Law course by discussing the proper comparative approach in Asian context. The second is to introduce basic aspects of legal systems of each country as related to certain common themes: law and economic development, law and social change, and the growth of civil society. The course is scheduled to have five components: (1) the Chinese component (Potter) , (2) the Japanese component (Matsui), (3) the Korean component (4) the Vietnamese component, and (5) wrap-up sessions regarding the similarities and differences among four countries.

Law 336.001 - Chinese Law: Implications for Canada-China Relations
Professor Jie Cheng / Course - 3 Credits

This course aims to develop in students a critical understanding of law in China. Attention will be given to both the contemporary functions of the law and to historical legal legacies, as well as to the Western influences on the Chinese legal development. The course starts with an historical examination of legal development in China, with a focus on changing perceptions of law and perceived functions of law in society. It then analyses legal development since 1978 in a politico-economic and socio-legal context. The course will then undertake a detailed examination of specific branches of law, including constitutional law, administrative law, criminal and criminal procedure law, civil (contract and property) law, and foreign investment law. The course concludes with an examination of dispute resolution in China. Approaches to undertake further research in Chinese law will also be discussed throughout the course.

Law 338D.001 - Japanese Law: Business Law in Japan
Professor Shigenori Matsui / Seminar - 3 Credits

This seminar is designed to introduce business law in Japan. Japan is the third largest economy in the world and its business law is very important to do business with Japanese companies. Moreover, there are many distinctive features in Japanese business law, so different from Canadian law. The seminar first outlines the general legal system and legal process, such as historical development of law, the judicial system, judges, attorneys, prosecutors, legal education system and judicial procedure. Then, it examines various fields of law related to business, including the basic constitutional foundation (structure of the government and protection of economic freedoms), basic rule of private law (contract and tort), basic issues in business law (corporation law, corporate governance, derivative suits, anti-trust regulation, security regulation, and protection of intellectual property rights), and business related issues (labour law and environmental law). There are no pre-requisites for taking this seminar.

Law 340.001 - Comparative Law
Professor Jie Cheng / Course - 3 Credits

This course is designed to give the students basic understanding of two leading traditions of the world: civil law tradition and common law tradition. The course will especially focus on Germany and France as representing the civil law tradition and U.K. and the U.S as representing the common law tradition. The students can learn the similarity and difference between these two legal traditions through examinations of historical background, constitutional system, judicial review, judicial system, legal education and legal profession, interpretation and judicial process and civil procedure. The students can then learn the impact of convergence between these two traditions.

The basic understanding of two legal traditions is vital for legal practice in Canada because lawyers will face increasing number of cases in UK, U.S. and in Europe. Moreover, since Quebec maintains the civil law tradition with respect to civil law, the basic understanding of similarity and difference between these two different legal traditions is essential for anyone who practices in Canada. This course will be also useful for students coming from civil law background to understand the common law tradition of Canada. The course will also give the students basic understanding of comparative law methodology and brief outline of other legal traditions of the world, including Socialist law, Asian law, and Islamic law. The students can then apply this methodology to understand these other legal traditions of the world more fully. This course is also ideal for those students who want to know the American legal system and the difference between Canada and the United States. If you are planning to practice in the United States, the basic knowledge of the American legal and judicial system is essential.