Articles by Professor Jerome Cohen's former students, mentees and colleagues celebrating his 80th birthday and the first fifty-five years of his career!
外滩画报, 2014年09月18日 第609期
Summary: This is an interview of Professor Jerome Cohen by Waitan Huabao, a mainstream weekly newspaper in Shanghai. The interview recounted Professor Cohen’s career in Chinese legal studies as early as 1960 when he could not, at the request of the Rockefeller Foundation, find an American law professor who was willing to undertake the study of Chinese law and therefore volunteered to take on the task himself. He began learning about China and studying the Chinese language at the age of 30. He described in the interview what it was like to practice law in Beijing in 1979, when China was just opening up to foreign investment and law practice, as well as many interesting anecdotes about living in Beijing as a foreigner. At a time when China had virtually no legal resources, Professor Cohen accepted the request of the Beijing city government to train its officials in business law, in the Chinese language. The most important aspect Professor Cohen has valued in his career is his role as a teacher. He developed close relations with his students and mentees, guided them through difficult times and decisions, and continued close contact with many of them, who now play an influential role in the legal profession, academia and government inside and outside China.
Frank Upham, A Tribute to Jerome Alan Cohen on His Eightieth Birthday, 43 NYU J. of Int’l Law and Politics 623 (2011)
Alison W. Conner, Legends of the Legal Academy: Jerome Alan Cohen, 60 J. of Legal Education 4 (May 2011)
Pamela Kruger, China’s Legal Lion, NYU Law - Issues: 2009
Almost four years earlier, just days after Nixon had won the presidential election, a small group of China experts from Harvard and MIT, including Cohen, delivered a confidential memorandum to a Nixon foreign policy adviser named Henry Kissinger. The memo’s first recommendation was that the president move toward reconciliation with China by sending a trusted emissary to hold secret and, if necessary, deniable meetings with Chinese officials. Afterward, Cohen, chair of the China scholars group, met occasionally with Kissinger at the White House to discuss implementing the memo, but Kissinger, a former colleague at Harvard, “held his cards close,” says Cohen. So Cohen was surprised, and elated, when Nixon announced his plans to visit China and disclosed Kissinger’s secret meeting with Chinese officials. Watching the televised footage of Nixon’s arrival in China, Cohen found himself near tears. “This was revolutionizing U.S.-China relations,” he says, “something I’d been working toward for 12 years.”
-- Pamela Kruger, China’s Legal Lion
Summary: This is an essay in celebration of Professor Cohen’s 80th birthday written by Mr. Liu Guiming, the Editor-in-Chief of Democracy and Legal System, a major journal published by the China Law Society. Mr. Liu applauded Professor Cohen’s important contributions to Sino-US relations as well as the improvement and development of the field of Chinese law, including his role in promoting cooperation and exchanges between China and America, assisting China’s contemporary legal reforms and cultivating a large number of foreign scholars and lawyers to specialize in China’s legal system. The passion and spirit of Professor Cohen towards China, said Mr. Liu, were as infectious and moving as those of the late Dr. Henry Norman Bethune, legendary Canadian friend of modern China.
Richard Bernstein, A Scholar’s Insight Into China’s Budding Legal System, New York Times, July 28, 2010
It was the early 1970s, and Jerome A. Cohen, at the time a specialist on China at Harvard Law School, was having dinner with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai in Beijing.
“I told Zhou, ‘You should put somebody on the International Court of Justice,”’ Mr. Cohen recalled. “Well, he and the other Chinese officials at the dinner laughed uproariously. They thought I was Jack Benny. Why would Communist China want to put somebody on a court where they’d be outvoted by all those capitalist judges?
“But they’ve done it,” Mr. Cohen said, illustrating one of the things that seems normal in China today but that was almost unthinkable when China’s opening to the world was brand new. “They’ve staffed all international organizations with excellent legal talent.”