China’s Courts are Ranked Tenth "Best" in Asia

International dispute resolution attorneys lawyers

Just came across this article [link no longer exists] discussing a ranking of various Asian countries’ judicial system, conducted by Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC):

1,537 corporate executives working in Asia rated the judicial systems in the countries where they reside, using such variables as the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and corruption.

Transparency, enforcement of laws, freedom from political interference and the experience and educational standards of lawyers and judges were also considered.

“Year after year our perception surveys show a close correlation between how expatriates rate judicial systems and how they rate the openness of a particular economy,” PERC said.

“Better judicial systems are associated with better IPR protection, lower corruption and wealthier economies.”

The ratings are on a scale of zero to ten, with zero being the best:

1. Hong Kong, 1.45
2. Singapore, 1.92
3. Japan, 3.50
4. South Korea, 4.62
5. Taiwan, 4.93
6. Philippines, 6.10
7. Malaysia, 6.47,
8. India, 6.50
9. Thailand, 7.00
10. China, 7.25.
11. Vietnam, 8.10
12. Indonesia, 8.26

My law firm’s international dispute resolution attorneys have had some involvement with the judicial system in all of these countries, with the exception of and these rankings strike us as pretty accurate. If I were to rank the systems by tiers, I would put Hong Kong and Singapore in the first tier, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in the second tier, and the rest in the third tier.

What are you seeing out there?

5 responses to “China’s Courts are Ranked Tenth "Best" in Asia”

  1. Common law, represent!!! Given the force of judicial opinion, and the significantly more specific nature of statutes in common law countries, do you think that legal predictability, and predictability is what all the PERC factors are about, will be greater in common law countries than in less mature civil law countries that don’t have the hundreds of years of legal scholarship that judges in more mature civil law countries, such as Germany and France, must rely on to decide difficult cases? I know I’m too helplessly biased on the subject to render an opinion. On the flip side, starting a common law system from scratch is all but impossible w/o some precedent, and Britain’s colonial system of a bygone era is one of the only good ways to bring Blackwood to lawless lands.

  2. I am shocked to see Malaysia over five. Malaysia is a common law country. Malaysian cases are highly persuasive in Singapore.
    I guess we are looking at not just the lawyers and judges alone but government and other law enforcement officers as a whole.

  3. good rating, pretty accurate. I have a number of college buddies now working for Chinese courts, they shared a lot bad stories with me. Very true,simply cannot trust Chinese courts.

  4. @Will Lewis – If you just go and ask a bunch of expat executives whose legal system they like, then they’re likely to pick those most like that of their home nations, and the majority of expats I meet come from the UK and its former colonies. However, I’m not arguing with these rankings.

  5. Yes, make sense that Hong Kong and Singapore has the top lawyers, judges & court systems in ASIA; they both have the British judicial court traditions to fall back on! wpc/sept.30,2008 10:27PM

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