Examining Practice, Interrogating Theory: Comparative Legal Studies in Asia

Legal transplantation and reform in the name of globalisation is central to the transformation of Asian legal systems. The contributions to Examining Practice, Interrogating Theory: Comparative Legal Studies in Asia analyse particular legal changes in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The contributions also concurrently critically analyse the utility of scholarly developments in comparative legal studies, particularly discourse analysis; regulatory theory; legal pluralism; and socio-legal approaches, in the study of Asian legal systems. While these approaches are regularly invoked in the study of transforming European legal systems, the debate of their relevance and explanatory capacity beyond the European context is recent. By bringing together these diverse analytical tools and enabling a comparison of their insights through Asian empirical case studies, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the debates concerning legal change and the methods by which it is analysed globally, and within Asia.
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Biographical Note

Assoc. Prof. Pip Nicholson directs the Comparative Legal Studies Program of the Asian Law Centre, Melbourne Law School, Australia where she is Associate Director (Vietnam). Her current research focus is on aid, development and Vietnamese legal reform. Her most recent publication is Borrowing Court Systems: The Experience of Socialist Vietnam (2007).

Dr Sarah Biddulph is Associate Director (China) of the Asian Law Centre in the Melbourne Law School. Sarah’s research focuses on legal change in China, and in particular to police coercive powers, labour regulation and administrative law. Her most recent publication is Legal Reform and Administrative Detention Powers in China (2007).

Table of contents

Preface: Comparing in Circles Pierre Legrand; Expanding the Circle: Comparative Legal Studies in Transition Sarah Biddulph and Pip Nicholson; Developing a Decentred Analysis of Legal Transfers John Gillespie; Legal Culture ‘Repacked’: Drug Trials in Vietnam Pip Nicholson; The Field of Crime Control and Social Order: Prospects for Criminal Procedure Reform in China Sarah Biddulph; Addressing Extreme Working Hours in China: The Contributions of Regulation Theory Sean Cooney; Completing Teubner: Foreign Irritants in China’s Clinical Legal Education System and the ‘Convergence’ of Imaginations Michael W. Dowdle; When Words Fail: Syariah Law in Indonesia — Revival, Reform or Transplantation? Tim Lindsey; Desecularising Malaysian Law? Amanda Whiting; Policing Religion: Discursive Excursions into Singapore’s Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act Jothie Rajah; The Eclipse of the Astrologers: King Mongkut, His Successors, and the Reformation of Law in Thailand Andrew J. Harding; Index.

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