Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
Translation, Codification and Transplantation of Foreign Laws in Taiwan
ExpressO (2014)
  • Tay-sheng Wang, National Taiwan University College of Law
Taiwan is an excellent example to rethink the significance of translation and codification of law in the process of the transplantation of modern law in the East Asian countries. Regardless of its strangeness to the general public, the translation of Western laws was always codified for the purpose of “receiving” modern law in Meiji Japan. Those Japanese Westernized legal codes were also taken into effect in Taiwan during the later period of Japanese colonial rule, although Japanese colonialists initially applied the Taiwanese customary law, created by Western legal terminology, to the Taiwanese for decreasing their resistance to the new regime. Using foreign Japanese language to learn foreign Western institutions in legal codes, the Taiwanese could transplant modern law to a certain extent only. This situation indeed continued after the Chinese Nationalist Party brought their Westernized legal codes to Taiwan in 1945. Since the 1970s, however, those Taiwanese legal scholars who were educated in postwar Europe, Japan and the US actively translated contemporary Western laws for the needs of Taiwanese society. Accompanying the democratization of Taiwan in the 1990s, many local legal practices in Taiwan were incorporated in the legal codes originally enacted for Republican China. As Taiwan’s case shows, the spirit of modern law is certainly transplanted to an East Asian country after its legal codes have been localized.
  • Translation,
  • codification,
  • transplant,
  • Taiwan,
  • Japanese law,
  • Chinese law,
  • East Asian law
Publication Date
March 21, 2014
Citation Information
Tay-sheng Wang. "Translation, Codification and Transplantation of Foreign Laws in Taiwan" ExpressO (2014)
Available at: