China, Soft Power and the Rule of Law

Presented in partnership with the William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa

China, Soft Power and the Rule of Law

Professor Jerome A. Cohen
New York University School of Law
Of Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP


Monday, March 15, 2010
4:00 p.m., reception to follow
Imin Conference Center (1777 East-West Road), Koi Room

China’s explosive economic growth has been accompanied by a dramatic expansion of its cultural and diplomatic influence throughout the world. What are the implications of this surge in “soft power” for the rule of law in China and its role in international legal relationships?

Professor Jerome A. Cohen, a professor of law at NYU since 1990 and co-director of its U.S.-Asia Law Institute, is the leading American expert on Asian law and the founder of Chinese legal studies in the United States. From 1964 to 1979, he served as Jeremiah Smith Professor and Director of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, where he helped introduce the teaching and study of Asian law to American law schools. Professor Cohen formerly served as the C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and continues to serve as a senior fellow for Asia Studies. He has published many books and articles on Chinese law; his current research focuses on dispute resolution, criminal justice reform, human rights, and the role of international law in China. He also frequently testifies before Congress on issues relating to Chinese legal reform.

Professor Cohen pioneered the foreign practice of law in China when he opened the first U.S. law firm in Beijing in 1979, and he is widely recognized as the most influential American lawyer in this field. In his law practice, Professor Cohen represented many companies and individuals in contract negotiations as well as in dispute resolution in various Asian countries. He retired from the partnership of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 2000 but remains of counsel to the firm. He also continues to serve as an arbitrator in many Asian legal disputes.

Professor Cohen is a graduate of Yale College (1951) and Yale Law School (1955), where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice Felix Frankfurter at the U.S. Supreme Court