Regulatory regimes for lawyers' ethics in Japan and China: a comparative study

Richard W. S. Wu, Kay-Wah Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China and Japan are the two largest economies in Asia, and both countries are similar in their adoption of a civil law system. This article undertakes a comparative study of the regulatory frameworks for lawyers' ethics in the two countries. This article first considers the development of legal profession, particularly their rapid growth in the past decade. It then analyses and compares the regulatory regimes on lawyers' ethics in both countries, with reference to six 'professional virtues' of competence, independence, loyalty, confidentiality, responsibility and honourable conduct. It reveals that Japan adopts a model of self-regulation, while China implements a 'hybrid' mode, namely, both state and self-regulation. It also argues that China is improving in its growing recognition of such virtues as 'competence', and that it has room for improvement in such virtues as 'independence', 'confidentiality' and 'honourable conduct.'
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalTsinghua China law review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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