China Law and Practice
Course: China-Africa Investment Arbitration
Professor: Won Kidane
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of dispute settlement, especially international arbitration, in international trade, investment, and commercial transactions, in the context of contemporary China-Africa economic relations.
Course: China & the WTO
Professor: Francis Snyder
China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 was an event of worldwide historical significance. This course examines the structure and process of accession, China’s WTO rights and obligations, participation in the WTO, notably in the dispute settlement mechanism, implementation and impact of WTO law, and implications for international trade and global trade governance.
Much of the course is based on WTO litigation involving China and/or case studies drawn from sectors such as toys, textiles, raw materials, automobiles, and high tech industries, and/or from topics such as anti-dumping, environment, food safety, technical standards, intellectual property, and regional integration. The course explores major dilemmas for WTO law today, such as relations between economic globalization and the rise of legal pluralism, conflicts between international integration and national sovereignty, potential contradictions between globalism and regionalism, and the search for fair trade and social justice. By this method, the course aims to understand the opportunities and challenges of China’s participation in the WTO.
Course: China Law & Business
The growing importance of China in the global economy demands anyone who aspires to fully understand China law and business to look at the topic from both domestic and international perspectives. This introductory course aims at helping students inside and outside of China to acquire the international perspective by (1) analyzing how foreign investors look at key aspects of the Chinese legal system and business environment in China, and (2) examining Chinese legal rules and principles in selected business-related areas that are of interest to foreign investors. These areas include intellectual property, dispute resolution, foreign investment, mergers and acquisitions, anti-monopoly law, and environment. Through active class participation and analysis of business case studies, students will learn both the law on the books and the law in action in China, as well as strategies that businesses could use to overcome limitations in the Chinese legal system. Leaders from the legal and business communities will be invited to share their experiences and insights.
Course: Chinese as a Foreign Language
Professor: Joanne Gao
This course is designed for students who have no prior experience in learning Chinese or have learnt Pinyin and mastered a small vocabulary, but cannot express in fluent and complete sentences. The emphasis of the course is mainly put on learning Chinese phonetics and basic Chinese grammar, developing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. By the end of the course, students will be able to speak more than 600 Chinese words and expressions and write over 400 Chinese characters. Students are also expected to be able to make conversations and presentations on simple topics and acquire basic communicative skills in Chinese.
Course: Chinese Judicial Reform from a Comparative Perspective
Professor: Susan Finder
STL, as a law school in Shenzhen, has a unique vantage point from which to consider and monitor the implementation of China’s judicial reforms, because Shenzhen has been selected as the location of one of the Supreme People’s Court’s Circuit Courts as well as for many judicial pilot projects.
This course will consider Chinese judicial reforms in the wider context of judicial reforms of developing economies as well as the context of China’s history, political system, and society. It will give students an overview of the issues involved chance to learn more about the judicial reforms from a variety of viewpoints, including from some of the Shenzhen-based participants themselves. Some of the topics to be covered include the role of the circuit courts, splitting jurisdiction from administrative areas, and judicial autonomy/independence.
Course: Comparative Constitutional Law
Professor: Stephan Jaggi
Based on the idea that comparison broadens the perspective and inspires fresh thinking, this class looks at a variety of important constitutional problems through the prism of different countries’ constitutional orders. What is the purpose of constitutional law? How do revolutions make constitutional law? How does constitutional law work in times of crises? How do different constitutional orders deal with problems of gender discrimination or poverty? These are some of the questions that we approach from the perspective of the U.S., Germany, France, China, Canada, and South Africa, among others. The class includes a strong emphasis on philosophical, political, and legal writings by authors such as Hannah Arendt, Bruce Ackerman, Cass Sunstein, Qianfan Zhang, and some of Professor Jaggi’s own writings on revolutionary constitutional lawmaking in Germany.
Course: Comparative Contract Law
Professor: Whitmore Gray
This is an “advanced contract law course” for both American and Chinese law. It focuses on each country’s implementation and interpretation of the CISG, which serves as a tool for comparative study. It also focuses on the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, a supra-national source of model contract rules. The different “official language” versions of both of the international texts are used to illustrate the challenges of drafting and doing legal research in different languages. Recent case law and academic writing about both provides substantial source material for serious comparative research and writing.
Course: Corporate Governance from the Global Perspective
Professor: Sang Yop Kang
The first step toward understanding the complicated world economy is to understand a very modern organization: the corporation. Corporate governance studies the conflict between managers and directors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. In every corporation, we see a dynamic power play and “politics” among these constituencies. This course covers two agency problems in the corporate context: (1) managers (and directors) v. shareholders; and (2) controlling shareholder v. minority shareholders.
Course: Cross-Cultural Negotiations
Professor: Ray Campbell
All lawyers negotiate, no matter which practice specialty they choose. They negotiate on behalf of themselves and on behalf of clients. This course reviews the theory related to negotiation and promotes skill development by (i) using a context sensitive model of preparing for and conducting negotiations, and by (ii) working through exercises and mock negotiations that allow the students to put into practice what they have learned.
Course: East Asian Economic Structures: Law and Economics
Professor: Sang Yop Kang
This course mainly covers economic structures of three East Asian countries (China, Japan, and Korea) from the perspective of law and economics. In addition, this course also covers economic issues of South Asian countries, which are related to the Chinese economy (e.g., overseas Chinese). This course analyzes similarities and differences among three East Asian countries which share culture, philosophy (Confucianism), and history. Ownership structures, corporate groups, financial systems, corporate governance features, and the role of governments in economic development will be examined. In addition, this course analyzes the Asian financial crisis. Moreover, U.S. economic structure and concepts of corporate governance are compared as well.
Course: Food Safety Law & Policy
Professor: Francis Snyder
This course is an introduction to food safety law and policy, focusing on China, and drawing on domestic, comparative, transnational and international perspectives. It examines Chinese food safety law in theory and practice and uses the Chinese example to illuminate transnational food safety law and related fundamental jurisprudential questions.
Course: International Anti-Corruption Law
Professor: Matthew Stephenson
This intensive course introduces students to important aspects of international anticorruption law. The main focus is on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), but the course also covers other aspects of transnational anticorruption law, including other countries’ anticorruption laws, the international anticorruption treaties and conventions, and the role of anticorruption principles in international trade, arbitration, and human rights law. Special attention is paid to how transnational anticorruption law may affect China and lawyers representing Chinese clients or clients operating in China.
Course: Introduction to Legal Theory
Professor: Norman Ho
This course is an analytical survey of some of the major themes and issues in Western legal theory. The class will discuss both descriptive and normative questions in legal theory. Topics to be covered include natural law, legal positivism, Dworkin’s views on law and adjudication, law and society, general jurisprudence, and critical legal studies. The class will also take a comparative approach on some selected topics (for example, comparing certain concepts in Western legal theory with those in Chinese legal theory), and reference will be made to specific real-world legal examples and cases where possible to better see legal theory’s influence in legal practice.
Course: Introduction to Traditional Chinese Legal Thought
Professor: Norman Ho
This course introduces the major themes and issues of classical Chinese legal thought. A basic premise of this course is that Chinese legal history cannot be studied in a vacuum; it is best understood in the context of Chinese political and moral philosophy. The course focuses on selected works by various philosophers and philosophical schools, including Confucius and later Confucian thinkers (including Mencius, Xunzi, and Dong Zhongshu), the Legalists, and the Daoists. By understanding these thinkers and philosophical schools in historical context, students gain an understanding of how law was applied in pre-modern Chinese society.
Course: Law and Practice of China-Foreign Business Transactions
Professor: Thomas Man
This is a practice-oriented course designed to provide essential legal knowledge and practical skills fundamental to private practice in China-foreign business transactions. It will examine the regulatory framework governing, and major practical issues relating to, business transactions between entities and individuals of China (PRC) and foreign jurisdictions. Areas to be covered include Chinese-foreign joint ventures, M&A, PE/VC investment, technology transfer, anti-corruption and FCPA, commercial contracts, employment, anti-monopoly, environmental protection and other related fields. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of the ever-changing Chinese regulatory environment and the technical skills in representing foreign business clients in conducting various types of commercial and business transactions, including best practices in understanding, interpreting and communicating ambiguities and uncertainties in Chinese laws and regulations and in reviewing, drafting and negotiating bilingual commercial contracts.
Course: Transnational Energy Law & Policy
This course examines some of the most important issues in the United States, Chinese and world energy policy and regulation. It recognizes that energy does not exist in a political or legal vacuum but rather demonstrates that there is virtually nothing in energy policy that is not closely tied to and heavily affected by political and legal considerations.
There will be a selected number of case studies to focus class discussion and to illustrate the interaction of politics and law in developing and administering energy policy. The U.S. has probably the most comprehensive set of energy and environmental regulations, so the course will start by looking at U.S. energy and environmental regulation. Because the United States is a federation, the course also examines the role of state and local governments in energy policy making. And because the United States tries to listen to the views and wishes of ordinary people, the class examines the role of the private citizen in this area. The course also will cover issues regarding energy policy and regulation in China and how international law and regulation through the work of international treaties and international organizations affect energy policy.