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

"Hong Kong Police Arrest Activists"

January 06, 2021
Donald C. Clarke discussed on NPR's "All Things Considered" the arrest of more than 50 pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong.

"US Reports 'Substantial Progress' in Countering Chinese Security Threat"

November 17, 2020
Donald C. Clarke is quoted by VOA about how the DOJ "China Initiative" is often aimed at individuals without ties to intelligence gathering.

"China’s New Tool to Chase Down Fugitives: American Courts"

July 29, 2020
Donald C. Clarke is quoted in The Wall Street Journal about how China is using lawsuits to force expatriates to face corruption charges.

"Hong Kong National Security Law: New Institutions Show China’s True Intent"

July 17, 2020
Donald C. Clarke writes in the South China Morning Post how the new law sets up institutions for cases deemed to involve national security.

"Think Tank and Researcher on Uighurs Condemn China for Lawsuit Threat Against Them"

July 14, 2020
Donald C. Clarke is quoted by Voice of America about China's threat to sue a think tank and a scholar for their work on human rights violations.