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

"Golden State Warriors Co-Owner Chamath Palihapitiya Says ‘Nobody Cares’ About Human Rights Abuses in China. His NBA Team Disagrees"

January 18, 2022

Donald C. Clarke’s tweet about a former Facebook executive’s statement on human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur population.

"China Sentenced Canadian Robert Schellenberg to Die. Will Meng Wanzhou's Release Spare His Life?"

October 02, 2021
Donald C. Clarke is quoted by the CBC about the potential fate of a man who was sentenced to death for drug smuggling, a verdict widely believed to have been an act of retaliation.

"China Celebrates Meng Wanzhou's Return as a Victory — Even at the Cost of Its Global Image"

September 27, 2021

Donald C. Clarke is quoted by CNN about China resorting to taking foreign nationals as hostages in order to force other countries to release detained Chinese citizens.

"To Get Back Arrested Executive, China Uses a Hardball Tactic: Seizing Foreigners"

September 25, 2021
Donald C. Clarke is quoted in the New York Times about China arresting foreign nationals in order to secure the release of its own citizens detained abroad.

"China Views Critics As Terrorists and Criminals"

September 21, 2021
Donald C. Clarke is quoted in the Washington Times about China's increasing hostility to dissent within its borders and abroad.