Susan Finder

Distinguished Scholar in Residence

“A serendipitous book purchase and a group of people willing to share their insights led to my initial interest in China’s judicial system, but now I bring 20 years of experience in practice (and a larger group of friends) to what I do. In 2013, a professor of American legal history encouraged me to start the blog Supreme People’s Court Monitor, to describe and analyze Supreme People’s Court developments and their practical implications to a worldwide audience. I am eager to share my passion about the role of China’s judiciary in improving the role of law in China with STL students.”

  • Susan Finder is a scholar of China’s judicial system (in comparative perspective). Her current research concentrates on Supreme People’s Court and Chinese judicial reforms, much of which is published on her blog, the Supreme People’s Court Monitor (最高人民法院观察). The blog is widely cited in books, academic journals, PhD theses, and government reports. This is Susan’s second career in academia, and she comes to STL after twenty years in China-related practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (and other firms), in legal publishing, and (briefly) as a securities regulator.

    In her first academic career (at what is now the City University of Hong Kong) she published the first comprehensive study of the operations of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC). Professor Finder received her undergraduate degree from Yale College, her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from Columbia Law School. She was a visiting scholar at Peking University Law School as well. Professor Finder regularly is invited to make presentations and publish in mainland China and abroad.  She has spoken at conferences sponsored by the SPC, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Chinese University of Political Science and Law, among other institutions. She has spoken at some of the leading American law schools (including Columbia Law School, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania), in all three Hong Kong law schools, as well as elsewhere in the world.


    • LL.M., Columbia Law School
    • J.D., Harvard Law School
    • B.A., Yale College


    • Chinese Judicial Reform from a Comparative Perspective
    • China Law and Business
    • Practical and Academic Writing on Chinese Law in English

    • Spring, 2013-present, the Supreme People’s Court Monitor (, focusing on developments relating to China’s highest court, cited by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Financial Times, The Economist, and The Guardian.  Articlesfrom the blog have also been reprinting in leading Wechat public accounts. Well known law school and political science professors have included blogposts and it has been cited in government and think tank reports. It has been described by the Harvard Law School library as one of the top China law blogs.
    • Contributor, Global Military Justice Reform (http://globalmjreform.blogspot), edited by Eugene Fidell, Yale Law School, leading scholar and practitioner of military law.  Among the many posts include:What does Chinese civil-military integration mean for the courts? (21 April 2017)

    ARTICLES (since 2010)

    • Ruling the PLA According to Law: An Oxymoron? Jamestown Foundation China Brief, 2 November 2015,
    • China Regulatory Playbook: Food Safety Raids, Practical Law China, 4 February 2015,
    • A Brief analysis and Suggestions Concerning Four Issues related to the Supreme People’s Court’s authority to issue judicial interpretations (in Chinese), Rule of Law in China; Discourse and Practice, 2nd edition, (Liang Zhiping, Editor) Chinese University of Political Science and Law Press, 2015.
    • Shareholder Derivative Actions in China: Lessons to Be Learned from Shin Kong, Bloomberg Law Reports, Corporate and M & A, Vol. 5, #22, 2011.
    • 2010 Reforms in the Chinese Courts: Reforming Judicial Committees, Bloomberg Law Reports, Asia Pacific,August, 2010.

    PRESENTATIONS(since 2007)

    • China in the Year of the Rooster (legal aspects), Young China Watchers Hong Kong, 22 February 2017
    • The rule of law under Xi Jinping: changes and continuities, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, 13 December 2016
    • Guest lecture, Shanghai New York University, 1December 2016.
    • Chinese SOEs and the international fraud & corruption regulatory system, China`s Three-Prong Investment Strategy: Bilateral, Regional, and Global Tracks, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development, 30 November 2016,
    • Hague Conference on Private International Law: How will it affect Chinese Law, Sino-UK Maritime Justice and Maritime Arbitration Forum, Xiamen Maritime Court (sponsored by the Supreme People’s Court, 16 November 2016
    • Guest lecture, Chinese court reform, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, LLB/JD course on Chinese legal system (Michael Palmer & Clement Chen), 24 October 2016.
    • Guest lecture, Chinese tort law, Fordham Law School, JD/LLM course of George Conk (Remedies), 3 October 2016.
    • Chinese Law and the Chinese Legal System: Myth Busting from an Insider, China Card Conference, US-China Institute, University of Southern California, 29 September 2016 (
    • Dialogue with Professor Jerome Cohen, US-Asia Law Institute, NYU Law School, 1 September 2016,
    • China’s Courts Go Online, Conference on Chinese Judicial Reform, Law Faculty, City University of Hong Kong, 19 August 2016,
    • Evaluating Chinese judicial transparency reforms, Conference on Transparency Matters, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong 24-25 June 2016
    • One Belt, One Road and its implications for the courts, Conference on International Governance and Rule of Law in China under the One Belt One Road Initiative, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, 3 June 2016,
    • Guest Lecturer, the courts, LLB course on the Chinese legal system, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 15 March 2016.
    • Supreme People’s Court Monitor and Chinese judicial reform, School for Transnational Law, Peking University, 15 January 2016.
    • Assessing China’s Court Reforms after One Year, Conference of the European China Law Studies Association, Cologne, Germany, 26 September 2015.
    • What does China’s New Court Reform Plan Mean? Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia Law School, April 8, 2015,
    • Unpacking China’s New Court Reform Plan, Center for the Study of Contemporary China, University of Pennsylvania, April 6, 2015.
    • The 4th Plenum Decision and Hong Kong, presentation at a symposium organized by the Centre for Chinese Law, University of Hong Kong 4 January 2015.
    • Legal Knowhow in Greater China in 2014, with Peter Davies, Practical Law China, 5 December 2014.
    • Court Reforms, All You Want to Know About IP in China, presentation (video) at the US Patent & Trademark Office, on a panel with Prof. Jerome Cohen (NYU), Prof. James Feinerman (Georgetown), and Carl Minzner (Fordham), 18 July 2014.
    • Mainland China’s litigation procedure – effect of reforms on current practice, presentation to the Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association, 9 January 2014.
    • Legal know-how concerning foreign law, Training session of the All China Lawyers Association, for lawyers of Chinese companies going abroad, Beijing, August, 2013.
    • Issues in Chinese Civil Procedure Law: A Practitioner’s View, April, 2011, School of Business, University of Hong Kong.
    • “The New Labor Contract Law,” Heller Ehrman client seminar and internal seminar, Winter 2007-2008.
    • Presentation to the Accounting Department of the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Auditor Liability Issues (in Chinese) with senior Ernst & Young partner, December, 2007.
    • “Commercial Litigation in the People’s Courts,” seminar to PRC Commercial Law LLM Students, University of Hong Kong, April, 2007
    • Foreign Invested Enterprises and Labor Law Issues in China, New York University Law School, February, 2007.


    • Journal of Law & Society;Law & Social Inquiry; Asia Pacific Law Review; Hong Kong Law Journal; Journal of Contemporary China.
    • Occasional Informal adviser to students researching the Chinese courts from:  University of California, Berkeley; School of International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University; University of California, Irvine; University of Oslo; Max Planck Institute, Luxemburg, Harvard Law School; University of Tuebingen.
    • Commentator on draft academic articles on articles relating to the Chinese courts written by law professors from various parts of the world.
  • Professor Finder Speaks On China Judicial Reforms in Hong Kong

    Professor Finder Invited Participation in the Singapore Mediation Convention Seminar

    Interview with Professor Finder about People’s Supreme Court and Chinese Judicial Reform

    Professor Finder Speaks at Women in Arbitration Initiative and Bund Expert Forum in Shanghai

    Interview with Professor Finder about China’s Move Toward a Digital Court System

    Q&A with Professor Finder Regarding Developments in Chinese Judicial System

    Professor Finder Speaks at USC US-China Institute


Newsletter Sign Up

Peking University School of Transnational Law

Room 410, School of Transnational Law
Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School,
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District,
Shenzhen, China 518055