More on Justice Scalia and what he means to the Chinese legal profession

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Judge Jiang

Followers of this blog are likely to have seen the New York Times (Chinese version) and Wall Street Journal stories on Justice Scalia and what he means to China.  At least two additional articles are worth mentioning:

Judge He Fan published an article by a former Shanghai judge and current Fulbright Scholar on her experience paying her respects to Justice Scalia lying in state at the Supreme Court, with the following comments:

While we sigh with regret with every “model laborer” or “advanced” [worker], here [in the US] the President announced to the entire people that the late judge was one of the Supreme Court’s most important judges and thinkers, and will be remembered by history.

当我们还在为每一位“劳模”或“先进”扼腕叹息时,这里的总统向全国人民宣布逝去的法官毫无疑问是最高法院最重要的法官和思想者,将被历史所铭记

Judge Jiang Qiang of the Supreme People’s Court in his Wechat account (junnylaw) desribed how American legal controversies are relevant to Chinese judges.  His Wechat post contains an excerpt from one of Justice Scalia’s lectures, included in the book Judges On Judging. (Judge He Fan translated the book, previously discussed this blogpost.)

Judge Jiang prefaces the excerpt with the following comment:

Although we here cannot use the Constitution as the basis of a judgment, American controversies concerning Constitutional interpretation can still provide a reference to us here in principles and techniques in interpreting areas of [Chinese] law.

(虽然我们这里的宪法不能作为裁判依据,但是美国关于宪法解释的争论,仍然能为我们这里关于部门法解释的原则和技术提供参考.]

Farewell to Justice Scalia from the Supreme People’s Court

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Judge He

The US Supreme Court holds a special fascination for many members of the Chinese legal community, including some members of the Supreme People’s Court.  Judge He Fan of the judicial reform office of the Supreme People’s Court, who has translated eight or nine books on or relating to the US Supreme Court, published on the morning of 14 February a moving (and accurate) profile of Justice Scalia on his Wechat public account that (as of the evening of 14 February) had received over 60,000 page views.

Some phrases from He Fan’s profile for Chief Justice Roberts to consider when he writes his eulogy:

  • He (Justice Scalia) rode a crane to the West (他已驾鹤西去)(a phrase meaning he passed away–in traditional Chinese symbolism, a crane takes the souls of the departed to the (Western) heaven);
  • Whether you love him or hate him, everyone must admit that Antonin Scalia was the most influential contemporary American judge (无论爱他还是恨他,所有人必须承认,安东宁·斯卡利亚是对当代美国法律影响最大的大法官。
  • Farewell, Justice Scalia (别了,斯卡利亚大法官).