CUHK LAW CCTL Comparative Public Law Research Forum Seminar – ‘American Law in the New Global Conflict’ by Prof. Mark Jia
15 Nov 2023
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Graduate Law Centre 2/F, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road Central, Hong Kong
Mark Jia is Associate Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He specializes in comparative and transnational law, with particular interest in the United States and China. His articles have been or will be published in the University of Chicago Law Review, the New York University Law Review, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, among other journals. He served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mark is a graduate of Princeton, Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and Harvard Law School, where he was Articles Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review.
This talk, based on a forthcoming article in the NYU Law Review, will broadly assess how a deepening rivalry between the United States and China is shaping the American legal system. It will argue that the new global conflict is reproducing, in attenuated form, the same politics of threat that has driven wartime legal development for much of American history. The result is that American law is reprising familiar patterns and pathologies. There has been a diminishment in rights among groups with imputed connections to a geopolitical adversary. But there has also been a modest expansion in rights where affected constituencies have linked desired reforms with geopolitical goals. Institutionally, the new global conflict has at times fostered executive overreach and increased interbranch and interparty consensus. Legal-culturally, it has evinced a decline in legal rationality resulting from the return of familiar ideological and nationalistic frames. Although these developments do not rival in magnitude the excesses of America’s wartime past, they evoke that past and may, over time, replay it. The talk will provide a framework for understanding legal developments in this new era, contribute to our understanding of rights and structure in periods of conflict, and offer some tentative reflections on what comes next in the new global conflict, and how best to shape it.