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Marie Seong-Hak Kim
St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498)
Law and Custom in Korea

My study sets forth the evolution of Korea's civil law and legal culture in the modern period with a focus on customary law. The general reluctance in Korean legal scholarship to discuss colonial modernity has so far left unresolved the problem of drawing a connection between Korea's traditional law and its modern system based on the Romano-German legal tradition. My main thesis is that the transplantation of European civil law in Korea was facilitated by the colonial authorities who constructed a Korean customary law; this construction of customary law served as an intermediary regime between Korean tradition and the demands of modern civil law. Japan's decision to eschew legal pluralism prevalent in the European colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia facilitated a more efficient process of legal transplantation. My project will be the first comprehensive study of Korean customary law and one of the few works in Korean legal history in English.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Asian Studies

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 6/30/2012