Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For the first time, Cornell Law School will formally host two scholars from Taiwan, linking the Law School to a nation undergoing groundbreaking judicial changes. “The legal system in Taiwan at this moment is at a fascinating crossroads," said Annelise Riles, director of Cornell’s Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture. “Their Supreme Court has issued a number of very interesting rulings on matters of constitutional rights and election law. The judiciary is increasingly recognized for its independence. And most relevant to this exchange, there have been important procedural reforms regarding the rights of the accused in the criminal justice system. These legal reforms are being eyed as a model throughout Asia.”
The scholars are prosecutors-in-training at the Taiwanese Ministry of Justice’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Institute, a highly prestigious institution that prepares those who have passed Taiwan’s grueling bar examination for careers as judges or prosecutors. They will spend one academic year at Cornell Law beginning next fall. During their stay, they will conduct legal research, present lectures, take courses, and participate in scholarly workshops with faculty and students. The program will continue for two years and then will be evaluated for possible renewal. It is the first time Cornell Law School has instituted a formal international program for prosecutors to study at the university.
Cornell is one of four American universities—including Yale, Harvard and New York University as well as at institutions in London and Tokyo—at which prosecutors-in-training will study, thanks to an agreement with Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice. Larry S. Bush, executive director of Cornell's Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies, said the visiting prosecutors will provide several benefits for the Law School. "We will have an institutional tie with the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan, which is the highest level in their law enforcement system. It will bring professional prosecutors from Taiwan to the Law School, where they can interact with both students and faculty. It simply opens a door to the legal community in Taiwan for us." [Mark Godsey]