Who We Are

The Center for Korean Legal Studies at Columbia Law School has been at the forefront of legal and policy research for issues regarding the Korean Peninsula in the United States for 25 years. We offer: 

  • A space devoted entirely to the study of both the South and North Korean legal systems at an academic institution in the United States.
  • Courses focused on the complexities of Korean and international law, such as "Geopolitics of Law and Conflict on the Korean Peninsula" and "Korean Legal System in the Global Economy."
  • Events engaging leading government practitioners and legal scholars on contemporary issues related to the Peninsula, and the region at large.
  • Visiting scholars opportunities for practitioners, and those in academia, to pursue legal research related to Korea at one of the world's top law schools for international and comparative law.
  • Resource databases to support those interested in the historic and contemporary issues related to the Korean Peninsula.

Read about us and our history. Feel free to browse through our Photo Galleries or to read about what we did in the news.

Please contact us for any questions or inquiries. We look forward to hearing from you!


Upcoming Events

From Pyongyang to the Newsroom: Stories from North Korean Defectors Working in Journalism

Thursday, October 10, 2019
4:10 - 5:10 PM
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

What motivates North Koreans to defect in spite of the risks they face?  What are the challenges they have in entering and integrating into South Korean society? Join us for a conversation with North Korean defectors living and working in South Korea as journalists. What made them choose careers in journalism and what inspires the focus of their work?

*This event will be translated

Visit our events page for more information.


Towards Justice and Lasting Peace: The Challenges and Potential of the ICC

Judge Chung Chang-ho, International Criminal Court (ICC), Trial Division

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
12:10 - 1:10 PM
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102A

Established in 2002 as the world's first permanent international criminal court, the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and tries individuals charged with the most heinous crimes against the international community.  As a “court of last resort” designed to complement national courts, the ICC faces unique challenges in fulfilling the expectations for which it was created. What are those challenges and how can the relevant stakeholders provide the ICC with the tools needed to fulfill its potential? ICC Judge Chung will identify and discuss the procedural and practical issues that would make both the ICC and International Criminal Law more relevant and meaningful.

Judge Chung came to the ICC from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where he had served as a United Nations International Judge in the Pre-Trial Chamber since August 2011. At the ECCC, he was a member of both the Rules and Procedure Committee and the Judicial Administration Committee. Prior to this, Judge CHUNG served six years as a high court judge, eight years as a district court judge and three years as a military judge in the Republic of Korea from 1993. Judge Chung holds a B.A. in Law and an LL.M. in International Law from Seoul National University. He has also been a Research Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2001), as well as at the University of Hong Kong (2005).

Open to the Columbia University community and to the general public. Lunch will be provided.

Pathways to a Peaceful Korean Peninsula: Denuclearization, Reconciliation and Cooperation now available!

Please contact Joan Wargo at jw3410@columbia.edu if you are interested in obtaining a copy. View the table of contents and contributing authors.