skip to main content
Font size Small Medium Large | Share to:

Director's Greetings

a note from the director
iias logo

Welcome to the website of Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, the highest and most prestigious academic research institution in Taiwan.

When the Academia Sinica was founded in 1928, there was a consensus that, as the highest academic research institution, Academia Sinica should have a separate institute devoted to the study of law. Article 3 of the Organic Act of Academia Sinica 1928 stipulated that Academia Sinica establishes an institute of law, among others. However, with the changing times, the establishment of the institute of law was postponed indefinitely. Not until 70 years later did the historic moment arrive when Academia Sinica, under the leadership of Dr. Yuan Tseh Lee, the former President and Nobel laureate, undertook a comprehensive review of its organization.
Recognizing that jurisprudence has played an increasingly important role in the modernization process, Academia Sinica announced the establishment of the Preparatory Office of Institutum Iurisprudentiae on July 1, 2004, with the expectation that the Institute would lead Taiwan's legal research community and bring it into step with the international community.
Frequently, I have been asked why there still is a “Preparatory Office” when Academia Sinica decided to establish Institutum Iurisprudentiae years ago. The reason, simply put, is because of the tradition of Academic Sinica, which has been very prudential in establishing new research institutes. Not only does a founding proposal have to be formulated and assessed prior to the decision on establishing a preparatory office, but a preparation stage of about 10 years on average will follow. The preparatory office ceases operations only after an evaluation is conducted and a conclusion reached that researchers are well recruited, preliminary achievements have been accomplished, and all research fields are developed in accordance with the founding proposal. Nevertheless, a preparatory office and a research institute are functionally the same, i.e., an independent institution with its own human resources, financial budgets and properties, so that the autonomy for future development is secured. Consequently, a preparatory office is, in fact, a new institute wholeheartedly nurtured by Academia Sinica. Please click on “About IIAS” to access our Founding Proposal, which contains the missions, development strategies, core research fields, and distinguishing features of Institutum Iurisprudentiae
The Preparatory Office has been in operation for more than five years. With the full support of Academia Sinica and assistance from the Advisory Board of Institutum Iurisprudentiae, the Institute has made significant progress in every aspect, including:

Human Resources:

The number of researchers has increased from 7 (3 research professors, 3 associate research professors & 1 assistant research professor) to 18 (1 distinguished research professor, 2 research professors, 7 associate research professors & 8 assistant research professors). We plan to recruit two new research professors each year. In addition, there were no joint appointment research professor when the Preparatory Office was established; presently we have two joint appointment research professor. More joint appointment fellows will be recruited when necessary.


When the Preparatory Office was established, the Institute was requested to cohabitate with the then Sun Yat-Sen Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy, Academia Sinica. After the completion of the Social Sciences Complex, Institutum Iurisprudentiae moved to the 9th and 10th floors of the North Wing of the new building on November 28, 2006. The two stories cover 3,000 square meters, and the interior was designed by France-educated architect Mr. Huang Jhong-yu, incorporating the concepts of Western jurisprudence and Chinese academy. All members of Institutum Iurisprudentiae cherish this bright and delightful new home, and they surely will come up with many solid and thought-provoking academic works in this inspiring, well-equipped home.

Library Collection

Library Collection

After moving to the new building, Institutum Iurisprudentiae was requested to bring its collections, together with those of the Institute of Sociology, Institute of Linguistics, Institute of Taiwan History and Institute of Political Science (Preparatory Office), to form the “Joint Library of Humanities and Social Sciences,” located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the new complex. The five institutes retain separate possession of their collections while managing the library collaboratively. By the end of December 2009, the collections of Institutum Iurisprudentiae included 26,174 books, 203 journals and 41 digital databases.

The Founding Proposal clearly sets up six core research fields for Institutum Iurisprudentiae. This Institute thus organizes academic events in the following fields:

Constitutional Structure and Human Rights Protection.

Constitutional structure and human rights protection are two fundamental concerns of the Constitution. Before the Preparatory Office of Institutum Iurisprudentiae was established, the Division of Law at the then Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy excelled in Public Law (constitutional as well as administrative law). Since March 1997, Symposia on “Constitutional Interpretation in Theory and Practice” (「憲法解釋理論與實務」學術研討會) have been organized every other year, and have become a major event in the public law community. After the symposia, conference papers were reviewed and published. Thus far, eight books have been published under the series title Constitutional Interpretation: Theory and Practice. The 1st volume was published in 1988, the 2nd in 2000, the 3rd in 2002 (2 volumes), the 4th in 2005, the 5th in 2007, and the 6th in 2009 (2 volumes). The 7th Symposium was held on December 11th and 12th, 2009,which has invited Prof. Michel Tropper from France and Prof. Stefan Korioth from Germany as keynote speakers. Two keynote speeches and 12 papers in total are currently in the process of revision and final submission for review for publication.

Administrative Regulation and Judicial Remedies

Administrative Regulation and Judicial Remedies.

To integrate theory and practice and to promote dialogue between academia and the administrative courts, Institutum Iurisprudentiae organized symposia on “administrative regulation and judicial remedies” (「行政管制與行政爭訟」學術研討會), in conjunction with the Supreme Administrative Courts and the High Administrative Courts in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung, respectively, since 2005. From 2006, this seminal conference has been expanded to be held twice per year (May and November). At the meetings, administrative law scholars propose solutions to controversial, hard cases encountered in the courts, and judges and other scholars comment on the solutions proposed. Such discussions are unusual in Taiwan and have been widely appreciated. The conference papers are peer-reviewed and so far have been edited into four books under the series title Administrative Regulation and Judicial Remedies, which were published in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. The papers presented in the 2009 Conference are now in the process of revision and final submission for consideration of publication. 2010 Symposium on Administrative Regulations and Judicial Remedies—Series I has been held in May this year.

Law, Science and Technology.

With the rapid development of technology and relevant industries, Taiwan is in urgent need of legal regulations. Dialogue between legal science and other research fields, however, is rare. The IIAS held the “First Symposium on Law, Science, and Technology” on December 16th, 2006 and the reviewed papers were edited into the Biennial Review of Law, Science, and Technology 2007 -- Legal Construction of Risk in the System of Public Health in 2008. In December 2008, the IIAS held the “Second Symposium on Law, Science, and Technology.”The publication of the reviewed papers have released in June, 2010. “Third Symposium on Law, Science, and Technology” will be held in December, 2010, which the preparation of this symposium has kept going actively.

Legal Thought and Social Change.

Fundamental studies of law include legal philosophy, legal methodology, legal history and legal sociology. These studies are imperative for the consolidation of the legal studies in Taiwan and deserve more attention. After the Preparatory Office was established, the Institutum Iurisprudentiae started recruiting renowned researchers in this field, and organized the first “Symposium on Law, Philosophy, and Society” in October 2007. The papers presented at this conference were reviewed and published in 2008. The Second Conference is scheduled to be held in 2011.

Legal Development in China, Hong Kong and Macau

Legal Development in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Macau have inherited the same cultural background and yet have developed different legal systems owing to historical reasons. Due to the increasing interactions among the four regions, various legal problems have arisen. The quest for solutions and their common cultural background have made these places a best fertile ground for an area study of law. Shortly after the establishment of Institutum Iurisprudentiae, I contacted leaders of relevant academic institutes and organized a “Steering Committee” for holding the annual Conference on the Law Developments in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau in turn. The first such symposium was hosted by Institutum Iurisprudentiae on June 2-3, 2006 at Academic Sinica (2006兩岸四地法律發展學術研討會). Over 60 representatives from China, Hong Kong and Macau, together with 200 from Taiwan, attended this Symposium. The conference papers were officially published as 2006 Cross-Strait, Four-Region: Law Developments in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Macau (Volume One: Constitutional Review and Administrative Litigation; Volume Two: Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure) in 2007. This conference received high acclaim and widespread approval, so the participants from the four areas agreed to host this conference annually in turn. The 2007 conference was hosted by Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, on December 12 and 13, 2007. The University of Hong Kong and the University of Macao hosted the conferences on November 21 and 22, 2008, and November 16 and 17, 2009, respectively. In June 2010, the IIAS will hold the conference again, focusing on the legal education reform in these areas. Besides, Institutum Iurisprudentiae promulgated, “Measures for Hosting Scholars from China, Hong Kong and Macau for Conducting Short-term Research”(邀請大陸港澳學人短期訪問研究實施辦法) in January 2005 to foster exchange of legal research in these areas. The Institute processes applications twice per year. Thus far, Institutum Iurisprudentiae has hosted more than 20 eminent scholars from China. 2010 Conference on the Law Developments in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau was held on June 11-12, 2010.

Judiciary System, Judicial Behavior, and Legislative Studies.

Traditional Rechtsdogmatik (dogmatic interpretation of law) is only one part of legal science, and the comparative studies of judiciary systems as well as empirical studies on judicial behavior are imperative to advance juristic sciences. Furthermore, Taiwan can share its local empirical survey with other countries as both a reference and the best way to promote international exchanges. To broaden “empirical studies on judicial behavior,” the Judicial Yuan of Taiwan commissioned Institutum Iurisprudentiae in 2006 to conduct “Empirical Studies on Judicial Reform: Surveys on the Working Environments of Judges” (司法改革實證研究:法官工作環境現況調查研究). The survey turned out to be very successful in terms of its high return rate (75%) and the rich data it generated (covering more than 900 items). In June 2008, the IIAS held the “First International Conference on Empirical Legal Studies of Judicial Systems” with participants coming from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. The conference papers were published under the title 2008 Empirical Studies of Judicial Systems in 2009. In July 2009, the IIAS also held the symposium on “Judicial Reforms of the Past Decade: Retrospect and Prospects.” The symposium records have been edited into The Tenth Anniversary of the National Conference on Judicial Reform: Retrospect and Prospects (Symposium Records), which is currently in press. The “Second International Conference on Empirical Legal Studies of Judicial Systems” is scheduled to be held on June 24-25, 2011.
Institutum Iurisprudentiae was set up to make breakthroughs in Taiwanese legal developments, to function as the primary model for local legal research, and to respond to rapid social changes. To meet such high expectations, the institute will try her best to bring together all devoted researchers, following the instructions of the Founding Proposal, to conduct legal research under the supervision and auspices of all communities. After two years of planning and book publishing experience, Academia Sinica Law Journal was launched in March 2007 with nine highly regarded articles submitted by renowned overseas scholars (including those from the United States, Germany, France, Japan, etc.). With this great start, the IIAS has been publishing the law journal twice a year since September, 2007. So far, seven issues have been published; the latest one just came out in September 2010. Since the year of 2008, the Journal has been holding an annual contest: the “Academia Sinica Law Journal Award.” As a member of the highest research institution in Taiwan, Institutum Iurisprudentiae bears in mind the zealous expectations of the people. I sincerely invite everyone concerned to visit our website frequently to check out the latest events, share our research findings, and to offer their suggestions and comments to take us ever nearer to excellence.