Margaret Lewis '03 wins Jerome A. Cohen Prize for paper on China's exclusionary rule

Margaret Lewis ’03, an associate professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and a former Furman Academic Fellow, won the Jerome A. Cohen Prize for International Law and East Asia from the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics. Lewis received the prize, given to the best paper on the interaction between the international legal system and Chinese and East Asian law, for her article “Controlling Abuse to Maintain Control: The Exclusionary Rule in China.”
Lewis’s paper, which will be published as the lead article in the Journal of International Law and Politics next spring, focuses on China’s recent and unprecedented implementation of detailed rules regarding how to handle illegally obtained evidence. This new exclusionary rule, Lewis argues, appears to be more a symbolic gesture motivated by domestic pressures and international influences than a reform-minded sea change, and it will fall to those in the criminal justice system to give the new rules substance in practice.
“The debate over the exclusionary rule in China brings to the fore questions about the values that the PRC Government is seeking to embody in China’s criminal justice system,” Lewis wrote, “including how nascent procedural protections for defendants may work in tension with a more traditional emphasis on substantive justice."
The prize is named for the director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute; Cohen, an NYU Law professor for the past two decades, is a pioneer in the field of Chinese legal studies. In addition to publication in the journal, Lewis’s article will be discussed both in print and online. The journal will seek responses to the paper from NYU Law faculty and fellows.

Posted on November 1, 2010