Chinese Judges to Study American Legal System at Columbia Law School

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New York, June 5, 2009 – Some 30 Chinese judges will spend the next month at Columbia Law School to study the U.S. legal system and see how courts in this country function.

Run by the Law School’s Office of International Programs, the Chinese Judges Legal Training Program is designed to provide a mix of instruction and practical experience. Classes in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Torts start June 8. They will be taught by Professors Suzanne Goldberg, Jamal Greene and Benjamin Liebman, Director of the Law School’s Center for Chinese Legal Studies and a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Each Friday during their stay, the judges will visit local courts in New York, to see how judges work at various levels, including small-claims court, civil court, and night sessions of criminal court.

Several evenings a week, the judges will hear speeches from leading judges and lawyers about their experiences. In addition to local and federal judges, attorneys from the state Attorney General’s office and Securities and Exchange Commission are scheduled to speak.

One of the highlights of the judges’ stay in the U.S. will be a trip to Washington June 20-23 to observe a session of the U.S. Supreme Court, where they will hear decisions being read and later receive a tour of the court.

The judges will also have ample time to experience the culture of New York City. That includes taking in a New York Mets game. The team plays in Flushing, Queens, home to a vibrant Asian community, where the judges will have dinner afterwards.

The program is part of an LL.M. Degree co-sponsored by the People’s Supreme Court of China that the judges are taking through the City University of Hong Kong.


Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.