Taiwan’s Democratic Way: Beyond Transition?


Taiwan’s Democratic Way: Beyond Transition?

Join the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York on February 26 for a discussion with Professor Jerome A. Cohen of the New York University School of Law and Professor Jiunn-rong Yeh of the National Taiwan University about democratic constitutionalism and its significance to Hong Kong, China, US-Taiwan relations and beyond. Professor Cohen is also founder and director emeritus of the US-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law, while Professor Yeh has served as Taiwan’s minister of the interior and minister of education. The discussion will be moderated by Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt, president of the Pacific Century Institute and former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan.The event is co-organized with the US-Asia Law Institute. Registration required.

Date and Time: February 26, Wednesday
6:00pm-6:30pm reception
6:30pm-8:00pm program

Venue: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York
1 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017

Registration link.

About the speakers

Jerome A. Cohen, a professor at NYU School of Law since 1990 and founder of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, is a leading American expert on Chinese law and government. A pioneer in the field, Prof. Cohen began studying and teaching about China’s legal system in the early 1960s and from 1964 to 1979 introduced the teaching of Asian law into the curriculum of Harvard Law School, where he served as Jeremiah Smith Professor, Associate Dean and Director of East Asian Legal Studies. Prof. Cohen served for several years as C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he currently is an Adjunct Senior Fellow. He has published hundreds of scholarly articles on various topics as well as a book, China Today, co-authored with his wife, Joan Lebold Cohen. He regularly writes journalistic opinion pieces for various newspapers. He also continues his research and writing on Asian law, specifically focusing on legal institutions, criminal justice reform, dispute resolution, human rights and the role of international law relating to China and Taiwan.

Jiunn-rong Yeh is a National Taiwan University Chair Professor of law. Prof. Yeh holds a JSD degree from Yale Law School and has researched and taught intensively on the process of constitutional change, globalization and regulatory theories, and environmental sustainability with rich contextual underpinnings. Prof. Yeh served as Minister of Education and Minister of the Interior in Taiwan’s Cabinet. He was a primary designer of several fundamental legislative bills and was involved heavily in constitutional revisions in the context of Taiwan’s government reform and democratic transition. He received the Award of Excellence in Research from National Science Council and was appointed as a university chair professor. Prof. Yeh has held teaching positions at many major universities, including Duke, Columbia, Toronto, Harvard, and Melbourne. His recent publications include The Constitution of Taiwan: A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing, 2016) and Asian Courts in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

About the moderator

Raymond F. Burghardt, President of the Pacific Century Institute, served as Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) from 2006 to 2016. AIT is the private entity established in 1979 to manage US relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties. Prior to his arrival in Taipei, he was Consul General in Shanghai (1997-1999). From 2006 until December 2012, Ambassador Burghardt served concurrently with his AIT position as Director of East-West Seminars at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He was also Director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 1999-2001. He served for many years as one of the leading Asian specialists in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was Ambassador to Vietnam (2001-2004), Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Manila (1993-96) and Seoul (1990-93) and Political Counselor in Beijing (1987-89). Ambassador Burghardt’s earlier career included an assignment on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Senior Director of Latin American Affairs. In March 1982, he represented the State Department in the first U.S. Government delegation to Hanoi to negotiate resolution of the issue of American servicemen missing in action.


The U.S.-Asia Law Institute (USALI) of NYU School of Law seeks to promote the rule of law and human rights in Asia, including both domestic and international law. The Institute, which is funded by institutional and individual grants, serves as a resource and partner to various Asian countries as they develop their legal systems. USALI is especially known as one of America’s preeminent research centers for the study of law in Mainland China and Taiwan and works to improve popular, professional and scholarly understanding at home and abroad through its publications and exchanges concerning comparative and international law.

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