Margaret K. Lewis

Professor of Law

Margaret K. Lewis

Margaret K. Lewis

Professor of Law

Professor Margaret Lewis’s research focuses on China’s legal system with an emphasis on criminal justice. She joined Seton Hall Law School as an Associate Professor in 2009.

Professor Lewis is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Her recent publications have appeared in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, and Virginia Journal of International Law.  

Most recently before joining Seton Hall, Professor Lewis served as a Senior Research Fellow at NYU School of Law’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute where she worked on criminal justice reforms in China. Following graduation from law school, she worked as an associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City. She then served as a law clerk for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego. After clerking, she returned to NYU School of Law and was awarded a Furman Fellowship. 

Professor Lewis received her J.D., magna cum laude, from NYU School of Law, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif and was a member of Law Review. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Columbia University and also studied at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China.



Presuming Innocence, or Corruption, in China, 50 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 287 (2012)

Controlling Abuse to Maintain Control: The Exclusionary Rule in China, 43 N.Y.U. J. Int'l. L. & Pol. 629 (2011) (awarded Jerome A. Cohen Prize for International Law and East Asia)

The Tension Between Leniency and Severity in China's Death Penalty Debate, 24 Colum. J. Asian L. 303 (2011) (invited submission)

Taiwan's New Adversarial System and the Overlooked Challenge of Efficiency-Driven Reforms, 49 Va. J. Int'l L. 651 (2009)

Note, An Analysis of State Responsibility for the Chinese-American Airplane Collision Incident, 77 N. Y. U. L. Rev. 1404 (2002)


China's Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Asian J. of Criminology, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2007)


Pregnant in China, N.Y. Times (July, 24, 2012, at A20) (Letter to the Editor)

Report of the Mission to China of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 48 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 519 (2010) (with Jerome A. Cohen et al.)

Corruption: Spurring China to Engage in International Law, China Rights Forum, No. 1 (2009)

Law’s Repeal Raises Bar for Beijing, S. China Morning Post, at A11 (Jan. 24, 2009) (with Jerome A. Cohen)

International Law Takes Center Stage in Legal Education, Nat'l L.J. (September 7, 2009)

Co-translator, Republic of China, Judicial Yuan, Interpretation No. 636 (February 1, 2008)

Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition: Human Rights Implications, China Rights Forum, No. 2 (2007)

The Illegal Evidence Exclusion Rule in China, ORIENTAL L., No. 6 (2011) & No. 1 (2012) (Chinese translation by Lin Xifen of Controlling Abuse to Maintain Control: The Exclusionary Rule in China)


Legal Systems in China, in HANDBOOK OF CHINESE CRIMINOLOGY (Liqun Cao, et al. eds., Routledge, forthcoming 2012)

The Enduring Importance of Police Repression: Laojiao, the Rule of Law and Taiwan's Alternative Evolution, in The Impact of China's 1989 Tienanmen Massacre (Jean-Philippe Béja, ed.,Routledge, 2010) (with Jerome A. Cohen)


David T. Johnson & Franklin E. Zimring, The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia, 11 Punishment & Soc'y 109 (2010)


Technical Investigations in the United States, Symposiums on China’s Revised Criminal Procedure Law, Chongqing University College of Law, Sichuan University School of Law, and Northwest University of Politics and Law, Xi’an (May 2012)

Criminal Law, Economic Growth, and China’s Search for Stability, Workshop on Works-in-Progress on Chinese Law, Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia Law School (May 2012)

Presuming Innocence, or Corruption, in China, Faculty Colloquium, Case Western Reserve University School of Law (February 2012)

On Becoming a Lawyer (Keynote Speaker), Seton Hall University School of Law Orientation (August 2011)

Congressional Executive Commission Roundtable, Current Conditions for Human Rights Defenders and Lawyers in China, and Implications for U.S. Policy (Panelist), Washington, DC (June 2011)

Prosecuting Corruption and the Presumption of Innocence – Criminal Justice in China: Comparative Perspectives, Centre for Rights and Justice, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong (May 2011)

Review and Suggestions for Taiwan’s Criminal Procedure Reform, Presentation to the Judicial Yuan, Taipei, Taiwan (May 2011)

The Role of Law in China’s Strained ‘Harmonious Society’, Oregon World Affairs Council (co-sponsored by the Northwest China Council and University of Oregon), Portland, Oregon (February 2011)

Sentencing in Capital Cases in China and the United States, Evidence Law Research Institute, Northwest University of Politics and Law, Xi’an (December 2011) (Panelist)

Chinese Criminal Procedure Law Reform: What it Means for Defense Lawyers, The Procuratorate, and Evidence Heard at Trial, Science of Criminal Law Institute, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus (December 2011) (Panelist)

Conference on Human Rights Development in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Taipei Bar Association and Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Taipei (December 2011) (Panelist)

Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York (November 2011) (Discussant)

China’s Quest for Justice: Law and Legal Institutions since the Empire’s Collapse, Seventeenth Annual Timothy A. Gelatt Dialogue on Law and Development in Asia, New York University School of Law (November 2011) (Featured Participant)

Human Rights and the Rule of Law, China Town Hall, National Committee on United States-China Relations, Cranford, New Jersey (November 2011)

Criminal Justice Reform in China, Faculty Colloquium, University of Tennessee College of Law (September 2010)

The Exclusionary Rule in a State of Flux: China, Taiwan, and the United States, Colloquium on Chinese Law and Society, Columbia University (April 2010)

Developments in Criminal Justice in China: The Exclusionary Rule, Faculty Colloquium, Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee (April 2010)

Second Sino-American Dialogue on the Rule of Law and Human Rights (Dialogue Participant), National Committee on United States-China Relations, Beijing and Xiamen (December 2010)

China and the Law of the Sea: Theory and Practice (Commentator), The Winston Lord Roundtable on Asia, the Rule of Law, and U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, New York (October 2010)

The Exclusionary Rule in China, Workshop on Chinese Legal Reform, Yale Law School (October 2010)

Law and Taiwan’s Democratic Development (Commentator), The Winston Lord Roundtable on Asia, the Rule of Law, and U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, New York (September 2010)

Prosecutors in the United States: The Challenges of Federalism and Discretion, Taiwan National University, Taipei (June 2010)

The Comparative Study of East Asian Criminal Penalty Systems (Panel Chair), New York University School of Law & Beijing Normal University School of Law, Beijing (May 2010)

Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom: A Round Table on China’s Legal System Celebrating the 80th Birthday of Jerome A. Cohen (Panelist), NYU School of Law (September 2010)