I am asked to present on the "shortcomings of the Western model of legality based on a professionalized, individualistic and highly formalistic approach to justice" as a way to understanding if "the West can develop today a form of legality which is relational rather than based on litigation as a zero sum game, learning from face to face social organizations in which individuals understand the law" - presumably in the context of the imperial and modem Chinese legal systems which I know best as a scholar and have lived for many years as a resident of the modem identity of the center of the "Chinese world," the People's Republic of China ("PRC"). The task is difficult, if only because of the collection of assumptions and stereotypes embedded in the question offered to our panel, and which must be challenged: For instance, is there a unified "Western" model of legality? Is there a unified "Chinese world" (or "Asian" or "Confucian") model of legality? Is the Western model truly characterized by any of a "professionalized," "individualistic" or "highly formalistic" approach to the (unelaborated and deeply seductive notion of) "justice?" Is that part of the "Rest" which is the Chinese world not professionalized, individualistic or formalistic (and if not, to what degree)? Is the Chinese-world model in its modern iteration in any real sense "relational" or based on face-toface social organizations, etc.? Are any of these characterizations about evidently dynamic systems so static that they can be proclaimed and examined in detail as if a butterfly captured under a jar?
Howson, Nicholas C. "'Can the West Learn from the Rest?' The Chinese Legal Order's Hybrid Modernity." Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 32, no. 2 (2009): 815-30.