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The Internationalisation of Legal Education

The Internationalisation of Legal Education

The Future Practice of Law

Edited by William van Caenegem and Mary Hiscock

The legal academy is responding in many varied ways to the challenge of producing lawyers adequately prepared to operate in a global environment. There is a renewed focus on lawyering skills, on core principles, on cultural context and on comparative research and study. This work advances the discussion of these issues while developing solid solutions and approaches to teaching law students destined for the future practice of law.

Chapter 8: Teaching comparative law in the ‘Asian Century’

Vai Io Lo

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, legal philosophy, legal theory


‘The wind is blowing to the East’, as the saying goes. With the ascendance of Asian economies and the consequential political elevation, the twenty-first century has been projected to be the ‘Asian Century’. For decades, the common law–civil law divide has occupied the central position in the study of comparative law, while the remaining legal traditions or legal systems have been either marginalised or relegated to oblivion. The ushering in of the ‘Asian Century’, however, has rendered it indispensable for the West to understand the legal systems of Asian countries, regardless of how Western developed countries view or evaluate the respective Asian legal systems. Accordingly, this chapter attempts to explore one question: how to teach and inspire students in an introductory comparative law course in light of the changing global politico-economic landscape? The answers to this question vary, depending on one’s frame of reference or perspective. To answer the question, this chapter focuses on the four major sets of pedagogical issues of any university course – course content, learning activities, assessment and outcomes. Over the years, most introductory comparative law courses offered in Australia, Europe and North America require students to read scores of scholarly works or excerpts on the theoretical propositions of, or academic debates about, comparative law.

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