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The seminar on Bar exams, legal professional ethic and reform in East-Asian legal education was successfully held

On October 28th , 2018, the seried lecture of comparative law as wellas the seminar on Bar exams, legal professional ethic and reform in East-Asianlegal education was successfully held in Renmin University of China. The meeting was co-held by China, Japan and South Korea Legal Cooperation Research Centerand Department of comparative law of Renmin Law School. Experts and scholars from RUC, CUPL; HKU, UoN of Australis; Doshiba University, University of Tsukuba and Sungkyunkwan University attended the seminar.

    Centered around topics like bar exams, legal professional ethic and reform in East-Asianlegal education, the seminar held detailed discussion in two units. The firstunit focused on countries and regions which had a Common Law background while the second part focused on the latest reform in China, Japan and South Korea.The seminar adopted a mixture of thesis report and free discussion as its modeand English as its designated language for communication. Attending experts andthe audience made timely interactions and discussed deeply into the concerningtopics.

The meeting was hosted by Prof. Ding Xiangshun, Director of China, Japan and South Korea Legal Cooperation Research Center of Renmin Law School. He introduced the goal of the meeting, which included (1) getting the latest information on the reform of legal education from the attending scholars, updating the data andc orrecting relevant cognitive deviation; (2) providing materials for the comparative law class, informing the students of the latest situation in EastAsia and showing them how to write nationality report on concerning legal questions; (3) establishing a platform for communication between experts and students from different countries based on the seminar. Master students from the department of comparative law and overseas students from Japan and South Korea attended the conference.

    Hu Huisheng, associate professor from HKU, introduced the situation of legaleducation reform in Hong Kong and information about application, cultivation and graduation of students from HKU Law School. According to his understanding, The practice of law is globalizing, but there is a dilemma of Why don¡¯t theytrust lawyers in reality, which directly pointed to the need for a shiftfrom theory to virtue. Therefore, Mr. Hu underlined the importance of virtues like honesty, loyalty and responsibility. He also introduced a legal educational project in HKU and its various background information.

    Prof.Li Bing from UoN of Australia introduced to us the legal education in Australiaand its reform. He first introduced the history of the development ofAustralian legal education based on A history of Australian Legal Education by David Barker. From 1980 to 2015, Australia went through the golden age of itslegal education. Legal degrees in Australia were divided into two kinds, the first of which is course-based degrees like LLB, JD and LLM, the second of which is practice-based ones like Mphil and PhD. Prof. Li also introduced the legal education in UoN and the four heatedly-discussed topics in Australia. UoN also adopted a mixed teaching method of ¡°lecture + personal tutoring¡± and ¡°online +face-to-face ¡±. The method of clinical legal education was also adopted there.He then gave a detailed description of the adoption of these two methods in UoN.


     Prof.Colin Jones from Doshiba University introduced legal education system in Japan from an American perspective. He mainly discussed the following questions suchas whether the bar exam is a qualification test or a screening test, what islegal education and the quality control of Japanese law schools. The content involved the restrictions on the number of legal practitioners imposed byJapanese government, the bar exams in Japan and the qualification tests.

    Prof.Masahiro from University of TANAKA made a report on The improvement ofcareer support systems for non-legal professionals at law school in Japan. He analyzed the problems that Japanese law schools met based on the research hemade. He pointed out that the low pass rate of bar exams in Japan led to the situation in which many graduates¡¯ failure to find major-related jobs. As aresult, the attraction of law school declined gradually. Facing this situation,the government made several policies to deal with the dilemma. Prof. Masahiro suggested that the government and universities should provide employment guidance for law school graduates so that the problems could be fixed.

    Prof.Jaewon Kim introduced the change and challenge that faced Korean legal education. He first introduced the bar exam and legal education in South Korea,the history of its legal practice and reforms in its legal education system. Hethen expressed his opinions on Official Courtesy phenomenon in South Korea. In his opinion, South Korea was putting more emphasis on legal professional ethicsand this was shown in its legal courses and bar exams.

    Prof.Xu Shenjian from CUPL made a report on A reflection and reconstruction onthe Excellent legal talents cultivation program. It was mainly based on thefile issued by the government on this program. He summed up the viewpoints from different parties and introduced to us the path to the cultivation of excellent legal talents which combined theoretical education, practical education and international education.


    Prof.Ding Xiangshun made a sum-up for the seminar. From his point of view, China,Japan and South Korea all, to some extent, drew lesson from the legal education system in America. However, South Korea not only established new legal educational institutions but also formed a legal professional qualification test that perfectly matched with its legal education system. Therefore, an institutional revolution in legal education and legal professions was completed. In contrast, Japan, despite its establishment of law schools and newbar exam system, had many flaws due to the incompleteness of its reform. To conclude, Japan has gone through a reform. As for China, the background of lawschool students have been much more diversified since we learned from American law school and carried out Jurist Master education. Nevertheless, no reform was made to connect legal education with legal professions. For that reason, China has only gone through some changes. Whatever institutional reform was made, the effect of legal education must depend on the active preparation made by lawschools, professors and students.

The goal of comparative law should be to build a platform for Chinese and foreign legal studies and education. Under the background of the globalization and ¡°The Belt and Road Initiative¡±, students and teachers from all over the world have carried out face-to-face communications, which not only contributed to the mutual understanding but also helped cultivate students¡¯ bilingual and cross-law knowledge, thus developing them into excellent international legal talents.

Editor:(MA Hang)

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