Rochelle Dreyfuss, Pauline Newman Professor of Law and co-director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy, traveled to the National Chengchi University in Taiwan last month for the "2009 International Seminar on Intellectual Property: An Interdisciplinary Study of Law and Technology," where she delivered a lecture on specialized adjudication, a subject which she has studied and written about extensively.
At the invitation of the Judicial Yuan, the Republic of China’s equivalent to the U.S. Federal Judicial Center, Dreyfuss also led seminars for the judges of Taiwan’s newly-established intellectual property court and for the judges of the district courts in Taichung and Kaschung. The seminars presented discussion opportunities for the judges who had read translations of several of Dreyfuss’s articles beforehand.
"The questions asked by the Chinese judges revealed both the differences and similarities in judicial practices," Dreyfuss said. "Not surprisingly, the judges were extremely interested in controlling their dockets: they asked about why settlements were more prevalent in the United States than in Taiwan. In particular, they wanted to know whether the availability of jury trials affected propensities to settle, whether judicially-required mediation resulted in lowered litigation rates, and the extent to which court-appointed experts were used to narrow the issues requiring adjudication."
Dreyfuss found that the judges were also interested in the role of scientists in informing the court on factual matters. "The judges asked about the use of expert witnesses and technical assistants, and discussed the role that professional societies might play in informing the court about technical issues," Dreyfuss said. "Since the new intellectual property court has both a trial and an appellate bench, many of the questions were directed to the dangers of specialization and the risk that intellectual property law would fall outside the jurisprudential mainstream."
Noting that many of the judges in Taiwan's professional judiciary have advanced degrees from American law schools, Dreyfuss added that "it was heartening to know that they very much respected the role that NYU School of Law has played in improving the administration of justice."
Posted on August 14, 2009