Donald C. Clarke

Donald Clarke
David Weaver Research Professor of Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Donald C. Clarke, a specialist in Chinese law, joined the law school faculty in spring 2005 after teaching at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, as well as practicing for three years at a major international firm with a large China practice. 

He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and has published extensively in journals such as the China Quarterly and American Journal of Comparative Law on subjects ranging from Chinese criminal law and procedure to corporate governance. His recent research has focused on Chinese legal institutions and the legal issues presented by China’s economic reforms. 

In addition to his academic work on Chinese law, Professor Clarke founded and maintains Chinalaw (formerly Chinese Law Net), the leading Internet listserv on Chinese law, writes the Chinese Law Prof Blog, is a co-editor of Asian Law Abstracts on the Social Science Research Network, and has often served as an expert witness on matters of Chinese law. Professor Clarke also speaks and reads Japanese and has published translations of Japanese legal scholarship in Law in Japan. 

He is a member of the New York Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations.



BA, Princeton University; MSc, University of London; JD, Harvard University

In the News

"China Human Rights ‘Legend’ Laid to Rest"

June 29, 2021

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in the Taipei Times about the legacy of Robin Munro, a key Western observer of human rights in China.

"New Zealand’s Troubling Precedent for China Extradition"

June 15, 2021

Donald C. Clarke writes in Lawfare that a recent New Zealand case could set a precedent in democratic countries for China extradition.

"Uyghur Imams Targeted in China's Xinjiang Crackdown"

May 12, 2021

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in BBC News about the weak legal case for the charges against Uyghur imams targeted in the Xinjiang region.

"China Sets Its Sights on Global Intellectual Property Leadership"

May 11, 2021

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in Axios about how China's intellectual property courts lack independence from the Chinese government.

"China Withholds Verdict on Second Canadian Man Amid Frigid Ties With U.S. and Canada"

March 22, 2021
Donald C. Clarke is quoted in The Washington Post about how the Chinese government is deciding guilt in the espionage cases of two Canadians.