Margaret Lewis   


Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., New York University School of Law B.A., Columbia University
  • Contact:

  • Tel:  973-642-8821
  • SSRN Site link
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Law in Contemporary China, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Transnational Law, International Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Introduction to Lawyering

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, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a Delegate to the US-Japan Leadership Program. Her recent publications have appeared in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and Virginia Journal of International Law. She also co-authored the book Challenge to China: How Taiwan Abolished its Version of Re-Education Through Labor with Jerome A. Cohen.

Professor Lewis participated in the U.S.-China Legal Experts Dialogue at the invitation of the U.S. State Department and assisted the Congressional-Executive Commission on China to research and write the Criminal Justice and Access to Justice sections of the Commission’s 2015 Annual Report.

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.



When Foreign is Criminal, 55 Va. J. Int'l L. 625 (2015)

Criminal Law Pays: Penal Law’s Contribution to China’s Economic Development, 47 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 371 (2014)

How Taiwan’s Constitutional Court Reined in Police Power: Lessons for the People’s Republic of China, 37 Fordham Int'l L.J. 863 (2014) (co-authored with Jerome A. Cohen)

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)


Co-translator, Republic of China, Judicial Yuan, Interpretation No. 710 (July 5, 2013)

Co-translator, Republic of China, Judicial Yuan, Interpretation No. 709 (Apr. 26, 2013)

Co-translator, Republic of China, Judicial Yuan, Interpretation No. 708 (Feb. 6, 2013)

Hard Work, S. China Morning Post (Nov. 19, 2013) (op-ed with Jerome A. Cohen)

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)

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

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

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)


Challenge to China: How Taiwan Abolished its Version of Re-Education Through Labor, (2013: English version from Berkshire Publishing and NYU School of Law, U.S.-Asia Law Institute; Chinese version from Yuan Zhao Publishing, Taiwan) (co-authored with Jerome A. Cohen)

Constitutions Across the Strait, in International Engagement in China's Human Rights (Chen Dingding & Titus Chen eds., Routledge, 2015)

Legal Systems in China, in Handbook of Chinese Criminology (Liqun Cao, et al. eds., Routledge, 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)


Susan Trevaskes, The Death Penalty in Contemporary China, The China J., No. 72 (July 2014)

Teemu Ruskola, Legal Orientalism: China, the United States, and Modern Law, The China J., No. 72 (July 2014)

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)


Sino-American Dialogue on the Rule of Law and Human Rights (Dialogue Participant), National Committee on United States-China Relations, Beijing (December 2015)

U.S.-China Legal Experts Dialogue (Dialogue Participant), U.S. State Department, Beijing (October 2015)

Criminal Procedure and Criminal Law Reform in China: Legalizing the Tools of Repression or Safeguarding Human Rights – A Historic and Comparative Perspective (Panelist), East Asian Law Review Symposium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (February 2014)

Human Rights Development in Taiwan: Model for the Mainland? (Commentator), Promoting Human Rights in China: Domestic and International Levers for Change, NYU School of Law (April 2014)

Human Rights in Post-Martial-Law Taiwan: Lessons for the People’s Republic of China, University of Wisconsin Law School (November 2014)

The State of Legal Development in China: Issues and Evidence (Commentator), University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia (April 2014)

When Foreign is Criminal – Faculty Colloquium, Villanova University School of Law (September 2014)

Briefing for Uzra Zeya, Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in preparation for the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue, U.S. State Department, Washington, DC (July 2013)

Challenge to China (Book Presentation with Jerome A. Cohen), National Committee on United States-China Relations, New York (November 2013)

Contrasts Across the Strait: International Human Rights Norms in Taiwan and China, Democracy in Taiwan Project at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University (October 2013)

Contrasts in Constitutionalism Across the Strait – Mapping International Engagement in China’s Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry, National Chengchi University, Taipei (December 2013)

How Taiwan Abolished Its Version of Reeducation Through Labor, Criminal Justice in China and Taiwan Today, Timothy A. Gelatt Dialogue on Law and Development in Asia, NYU School of Law (April 2013)

Lessons for China: How Taiwan Curbed Arbitrary Police Power, North American Taiwan Studies Association Annual Conference, University of California, Santa Barbara (June 2013)

Pretrial Detention and China’s Revised Criminal Procedure Law (Workshop Participant), Sichuan University School of Law, Chengdu, and Northwest University of Politics and Law, Xi’an (December 2013)

The Bo Xilai Case and Rule of Law in China, China Town Hall, National Committee on United States-China Relations, Bucknell University, Pennsylvania (October 2013)

The Death Penalty in China: Recent Developments, New York City Bar, Capital Punishment Committee, New York (November 2013)

The End of Reeducation Through Labor? Recent Developments and Prospects for Reform (Panelist), Congressional-Executive Commission on China Roundtable, Washington, DC (May 2013)

Where is Criminal Law in China’s Law and Development Debate?, Reading Group on Chinese Law, Columbia Law School (April 2013)

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

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