2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

Back and Forth between Law and History

Tay-sheng Wang

National Taiwan University College of Law

This article considers why and how the author has dealt with the inter-relationship between law and history, and that between jurisprudence and the science of history over the past two decades in Taiwan. One of my findings, which has been previously neglected, is that the process of modernization of law in Taiwanese society began during the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Both the ROC law, which was the product of legal modernization in Republican China (1911-1949), and the legal legacy of Japan’s fifty-year rule of colonial Taiwan have shaped today’s Taiwanese society in its law. Researchers who wish to explore Taiwan’s development after modern law was enacted on the island must have an understanding for theses roots of its modern jurisprudence. Due to the multiple origins of Taiwan’s legal system, there are now plural viewpoints and values in Taiwanese legal society. Finally, I discuss how to interpret and write on past legal phenomena based on an understanding of how the meaning and contents of law have changed from the past to the present.


Keywords: reception of law, Japanese period, Taiwanese legal history, traditional Chinese law, jurisprudence