Constitutionalism and Western Legal Traditions in Human Rights in Asian Legal Systems: With a Special Focus on Chinese Legal Systems

  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan
Conference paper

While there is an obvious plurality of constitutional and human rights traditions in the West, there is an even greater plurality of legal systems in Asia. At the same time, the very concepts of “constitution” and “human rights” have clearly been constructed by the West and find their roots not only in the Enlightenment movement but also in the Greek, Roman and Christian political traditions. Without preempting the conclusions of this chapter, this basic reality will directly constrain its content: how much have Asian legal systems been influenced by constitutionalism and Western legal traditions? Are there correspondences or even convergences between these traditions and the legal traditions of the different Asian countries?

In this chapter, for the sake of clarity and simplification, I understand as constitutionalism and Western legal traditions in human rights the common constitutional and legal values shared by both European Romano-Germanic and common law systems. Similarly, I include in Asia the countries that are situated between Afghanistan and the Pacific Ocean but exclude the Middle East as well as Central Asia, an irony in itself since it was precisely these latter regions that were referred to as “Asianos” in Old Greek.


Legal System Chinese Communist Party Legal Tradition Constitutional Order Chinese Legal System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Government and International StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong

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