Westlaw China, a product of Thomson Reuters, is now available to all law school students, faculty and staff through our Westlaw Practice Ready Subscription. Those from China or working with students from China should appreciate this database. It provides Chinese legal materials in both English and in Chinese. If you start in English and then switch to Chinese within that framework, documents will initially open in Chinese, but quickly change back to English. There is an option to see Chinese text only, and an option to seen the English version document and the Chinese version of the same document side-by-side on the same screen.
First: Login to Westlaw as you normally would. Then click on Practice-Ready Solutions https://lawschool.westlaw.com/marketing/display/PR/4
Next: Choose: Westlaw China from the subsequent options. https://lawschool.westlaw.com/marketing/display/PR/4#research
What is included in Westlaw China
People’s Republic of China Laws (including case law),
Laws from the National People’s Congress;
Laws, decisions, orders, case headnotes;
Wanshi News (Translates to “Universal News”).
There are also several helpful features, such as:
A Legal Glossary in English is available, providing translations of Chinese legal terms;
A Model Contracts database currently offering 460 model contracts in Chinese;
Recent legal news;
Nine journals and two books in Chinese;
Also available are Westlaw China Special Reports which are on significant legal topics and are authored by leading practitioners.
More technical details: You must be connected to the CWRU Law School IP address ranges. If you are using a laptop, you must be connected to VPN. If you need assistance setting that up on your laptop, take your laptop to the UTech Help Desk on the ground floor of the Kelvin Smith Library. Your Westlaw password alone does not grant you access to Westlaw China. You must also be connected via IP ranges of the our law school.Students may opt to use Westlaw China workstations in the Law School Lab or the Room 321 Computer Classroom if they do not use VPN.. Faculty and librarians should have no problem connecting to Westlaw China in their offices or the library.
I chose to examine a Case Headnote from the Beijing Higher People’s Court, Case Number: (2003) Beijing High Court, Administrative Division, Final Ruling, Case No. 189 (Judgment Date: 12/18/2003). The text in English was this brief holdings statement: “The disputed utility model patent was a kind of cigarette-type smoking cessation product. The protective equipment in its Claim No. 2 was a layer of non-toxic and air-tight plastic film sprayed outside the smoking cessation product. However, the so-called "spray" was actually a feature concerning the method rather than the shape or structure. Therefore, Claim No. 2 of the disputed patent fell under the protection scope of utility model patent.”
If you start your research in English and then opt to see it in Chinese, it will briefly display the Chinese version, but quickly switch back to English. Some documents allow you to see the text in English and Chinese on a dual screen.
Evaluative Comments: While this law library subscribed to an early of Westlaw China, we cancelled it because for the majority of our students and faculty thought it wasn’t helpful, and it wasn’t getting used. Our current access is from a package we subscribe to via Westlaw. It is greatly improved from the version we saw earlier. Much more content is available in English translation, though I am not an expert on the accuracy of the translations. Since it is from Westlaw, I do have an expectation that it is well done.
More technical details:
You must also be connected to the CWRU Law School IP address ranges. If you are using a laptop, you must be connected to VPN. If you need assistance setting that up on your laptop, take your laptop to the UTech Help Desk on the ground floor of the Kelvin Smith Library. Your Westlaw password alone does not grant you access to Westlaw China. You must also be connecting via IP ranges of the your law school.
Students may opt to use Westlaw China workstations in the Law School Lab or the Room 321 Computer Classroom if they do not use VPN.. Faculty and librarians should have no problem connecting to Westlaw China in their offices or the library.
Westlaw China Basic Help Materials
Navigating Westlaw China
The initial screen that opens is a current awareness information screen displaying a news feed that is updated daily. You may click on any of the citations to see the full-text of that item. There is a link to also display the last three days of the new feed. If the item is in Chinese, it automatically translates to English within a few seconds. (At least it does for me).
A search box also is at the top left of the opening screen. Perform a quick search by entering your search terms in this box. You may choose to use Westlaw’s basic connectors or you may just enter your search terms.
While exploring Legal Topics, you may receive just a “Law Excerpt” or both a Law Excerpt and a “Headnote.” Sometimes the Excerpt is a local law and sometimes a national level law. Headnotes seem to always be case headnotes. When you link to the case name, the text will first be in Chinese and then shift quickly to English.
We are hoping this subscription will be of great value to both English-speaking and Chinese-speaking users.
Other Chinese Legal Research Databases in our collection:
Most of our Chinese speaking students are already aware of our subscriptions to two more Chinese Legal Databases:
China Legal Knowledge Database (CNKI),
China Law Info and Info Law China.
These do not provide English translation. They are probably not known by these names in China. We subscribe to these resources through an American vendor with arrangements with the Chinese providers.
CLKD covers both national and local Chinese law enacted from 1949 to date. Chinalawinfo (CLI & LIC) provides access to a wide range of legal information. Most of their translations are performed by Peking University’s Institute of Legal Translation Studies. Occasionally, the Chinese government’s official English-language translation is provided.