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The Spirit of Korean Law: Korean Legal History in Context

From the publisher’s website:

This is the first book on Korean legal history in English written by a group of leading scholars from around the world. The chapters set forth the developments of Korean law from the Chosŏn to colonial and modern periods through the examination of codified laws, legal theories and practices, and jurisprudence. The contributors’ shared premise is that the evolution of Korean law can be best understood when viewed in terms of its interactions with outside laws. Each chapter integrates literature in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Western languages into comprehensive analyses to make up-to-date research available to readers both inside and outside Korea. This volume provides a solid framework from which to approach Korean legal history in the perspective of comparative legal traditions.

Marie Seong-Hak Kim (J.D. 1994; Ph.D. 1991) is Professor of History at St. Cloud State University. She is the author of Law and Custom in Korea: Comparative Legal History (2012) and Michel de L’Hôpital: The Vision of a Reformist Chancellor during the French Religious Wars (1997).


  • Preliminary Material | Marie Seong-Hak Kim
  • Introduction: Searching for the Spirit of Korean Law | Marie Seong-Hak Kim
  • The Chosŏn Law Codes in an East Asian Perspective | Jérôme Bourgon and Pierre-Emmanuel Roux
  • Circulation of Law and Jurisprudence in Korea and China: Homicide and the Notion of Requital for Life | Frédéric Constant
  • Confucian Ideology and Legal Developments in Choson Korea: A Methodological Essay | Anders Karlsson
  • The Rise of Korean Constitutional Thought (1875–1945): An East Asian Perspective | Noriko Kokubun
  • Can There Be Good Colonial Law? Korean Law and Jurisprudence under Japanese Rule Revisited | Marie Seong-Hak Kim
  • Legality or Legitimacy: Revisiting Debates on the Korea-Japan Annexation Treaties | Samuel Guex
  • The Making of the Constitution and the Civil Code in Postliberation Korea | Joon-Young Moon
  • The Role of the Constitutional Court of Korea in the Transition from Authoritarian to Democratic Rule | Justine Guichard
  • Korea and the Reform of the Northeast Asian Legal Complex | Tom Ginsburg
    Index | Marie Seong-Hak Kim

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