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Legal reform has been on the agenda for East Asian states for the last two decades, and has led to significant transformations of legal institutions in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. The reforms include overhauls of legal education, new quasi-jury systems, and new methods of selecting judges. This lecture analyzes these reforms from a comparative perspective, arguing that they reflect a shift away from the dominant system of bureaucratic rationality toward one of "participatory legitimacy," but also cautions that the current configuration is likely to be unstable.