China’s State Council authorized the creation of China’s first common law Juris Doctor curriculum in 2007. The following year, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) was founded and admitted its first students. By ten years’ development, STL becomes the only law school in the world that combines an American-style Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) with a China law Juris Master degree (J.M.). STL provides an academically rigorous, bilingual four-year program of legal education that prepares students for the mixture of common law, civil law, and Chinese legal traditions increasingly characteristic of the global economy. Although STL is still young, with only seven graduating classes to date, it already has captured the attention of the world’s leading law firms, companies, government offices, NGOs and universities. More about STL histroy>>
This year marks STL’s 10th anniversary. We are celebrating the law school’s anniversary throughout the year with a series of lectures and events, which we will list here as they are scheduled.
December 17, Lecture, Peter Quayle: The Legal Challenges of Starting-Up a New Multilateral Development Bank: The Example of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
December 12, Lecture, Arthur B. Laby: Fiduciary Principles in Investment Advice
December 11, Lecture, JIN Haijun: US-China IP Dispute
December 2, Forum, Legal and Funding Issues for Successful Startups
December 2, Roundtable, Political Constitutionalism in Comparative Perspectives
December 1, Lecture, GAO Quanxi: Methodologies in Chinese Constitutional History Studies
November 30, Lecture, ZHU Weiguo: Digital Economy, Granular Society and Innovation of Governance Framework
November 28, Lecture, Frank Wu: Wong Kim Ark: The First Chinese American, and What His Case Means Today
November 23-24, Conference, China, The United States and Comparative Law Today
November 22, Lecture, LIANG Zhiping: Legal Dilemma for Wildlife Protection
Francis Snyder, C.V.Starr Professor of Law at Peking University School of Transnational Law, was awarded 2018 the People’s Republic of China Friendship Award, the highest honor for “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.” The award was announced by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and presented by Vice Prime Minister Liu He at the Great Hall of the People on September 29. Premier Li Keqiang met with the Recipients on September 30.
Speaking after the awarding ceremony, Professor Snyder said, “I am deeply honored and really delighted to receive this Award. It has been my great pleasure to contribute to China for more than 20 years. I express my profound thanks to SAFEA, Peking University, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, and STL for their constant support.”
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay noted on behalf of the entire STL community that, “Francis Snyder’s scholarly contributions to China-EU trade relations and to the development of food safety law and protocols in China have had enormous beneficial impact over the years. We are very fortunate and very proud to have Professor Snyder as an esteemed member of our academic community.”
Professor Snyder is a scholar of European Union Law, WTO and international economic law, EU-China relations, technical standards, anti-dumping and food safety law. He has served as the Co-Director of the Academy of European Law, Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Guest Professor at Peking University Law School and Tsinghua Law School.
Professor Snyder has been actively engaging in China-EU relations and China food safety reform. Among recent professional appointments, He was invited to serve as the leading foreign expert to China’s Central Government for reform of the food safety system in China and contributed to reform the 2009 Food Safety Law. His additional awards and achievements include the honor of Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by French Republic and being listed in Marquis Who’s who in the World and in International Authors and Writers Who’s who.
It is not the first time that STL community to be granted with the esteemed Award. STL’s Founding Dean Jeffrey Lehman received the honor in 2011.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M Admissions (Chinese Mainland students), please click here.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M. Admissions(Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan students), please click here.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M. Admissions(International students), please click here.
Peking University School of Transnational Law’s “STL Building” was honored at the 2018 Better Educational Environment Dynamic (BEED) Asia Spring Summit in Shanghai, April 12-14. The STL Building, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), one of the world’s premier architectural firms, was one of ten projects honored with a BEED Educational Facility Design Award. BEED Asia is devoted to supporting innovation in educational design with a platform that connects educational institutions with cutting-edge architects and designers, project vendors, and advanced technology providers.
Completed in January 2017, the 8,900 square-meter STL Building serves as the gateway for the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate Campus. The centerpiece of the building is a grand tiered atrium with spectacular outward views of the beautifully restored Dashahe River Parkway. Other signature features include a 100-person classroom that can be converted into a high-tech moot courtroom; an on-site law library equipped with the latest in digital research platforms; legal clinic and student organizations suites; outdoor terraces and reading gardens, including a stunning rooftop terrace; and abundant student study space with comfortable seating.
As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL), a Sino-American Expert Forum on “Legal and Funding Issues for Successful Startups” was held in Shenzhen on Sunday December 2nd. The full-day program was organized by STL in partnership with University of California Berkeley Law School’s Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT). Speakers and panelists included world-leading academics, lawyers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
The forum was officially held in the auditorium of Peking University HSBC Business School. Philip McConnaughay, Dean and Professor of STL, briefly reviewed the history of STL’s establishment and the progress which STL made during the past ten years. Wu Yundong, Chancellor of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, emphasized the importance of startups and extended his sincere welcome to foreign experts. Erwin Chemerinsky, Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Berkeley Law, spoke highly of the forum and the rich discussions that took place between Chinese and American experts and scholars.
The first session was on “Entity Formation and Early Financing” and was moderated by Adam Sterling, Executive Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Business. The session began with David Thomas, Vice President of Industry Research and Analysis of Biotechnology Innovation Organization delivering his lecture on the special issues in biotechnology. Subsequently, Lin Lin, Assistant Professor of Law and Finance of National University Singapore lectured on private equity and crowd-sourced funding in China and Asia. Lastly, Liu Fang, Partner of Broad & Bright, as an expert in Corporate law in China and the United States, provided the Chinese perspective on the matter.
Before proceeding to the second session, Lu Shan, the Deputy Director of the Shenzhen United Propert and Share Rights Exchange, gave a very interesting talk on venture capital. The second session was on “Regulatory and Trade Issues”. Mark Cohen, Senior Fellow and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, lectured from the perspective of patent protection and mentioned the recent trade dispute between China and the US.
Under the theme of “Advanced Financing”, the third session was moderated by STL Professor Sang Yop Kang. Adam Sterling, the executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, launched the discussion by providing a general overview of the issue. He was followed by Professor Kang who presented unique insights on corporate governance and control issues. Finally, Ling Tong, a lawyer with FangDa, closed the session by providing the Chinese perspective on the matter.
The fourth session was moderated by Robert Merges, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosata Professor of Law and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology of Berkeley Law. Speakers in this session reflected on the varies means through which startups’ new ideas are protected. Li K, General Manager of Chinese Academy of Sciences Intellectual Property Investment Company, delved into the issue of IP investment. While Jeff Cao, Senior Researcher of Tencent Research Institute, and LI Binxin, Partner of Baker McKenzie/Fenxun complicated the discussion by providing varying Chinese perspectives. They affirmed the importance of innovation for startups and proposed constructive suggestions in fostering and protecting those ideas.
Subsequently, a very inspiring keynote speech on startups was delivered by Dong Shaoling, who is the CEO of RabbitPre and was named Forbes “Top 30 Under 30” in 2017.
Finally, the event ended after the fifth session on “Employee Issues” with inspiring talks by Robert Merges, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosata Professor of Law and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology of Berkeley Law and Zhu Shaobin, Partner of Morgan Lewis, as they shared their experiences in human resource management.
With more than 1000 people from all over the world registering to attend, the Forum was designed to foster a rich and creative discussion on the rapidly evolving field of startups in Shenzhen and Greater Bay Area.
Related News (in Chinese):
Shenzhen Special Zone Daily
Yangcheng Evening News
On December 10, 2018, STL was awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Global Legal Skills Education at one of the leading international gatherings for global skills education, the Global Legal Skills Conference. The award recognizes STL’s unique accomplishments in “creating an academically rigorous, bilingual four-year program of legal education that prepares students for the mixture of common law, civil law, and Chinese legal traditions.”
STL epitomizes the incredibly bold initiative, launched by the State Council and Peking University, to create a new experimental model of legal education for China and for the world. Since 2008, STL has endeavored to provide one of the world’s most challenging dual degrees: an American-style Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) and a Chinese law Juris Master degree (J.M.) for top university graduates. With a highly accomplished faculty from all over the world, STL continues to contribute to a Chinese legal profession equipped to serve an advanced economy based on technological innovation, financial services, and that is able to compete head-to-head worldwide with dominant US and British law firms.
Held at the Melbourne Law School in Australia, the Global Legal Skills Conference is one of the most important international conferences in legal skills education. Co-sponsored by Melbourne Law School and The John Marshall Law School, this year’s conference is the leading gathering connecting law professors, clinical faculty, linguists, judges, attorneys and scholars to share the best practices of international legal skills education.
On December 4, the 2018 Legal Knowledge Competition on Civil Aviation was held at Beijing. Organized by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the China Air Transport Association and the China Civil Airport Association, the event was highly specialized and distinctive. STL Professor Huang Hui was invited to serve as one of the expert judges for the competition. Other judges on the three-judge panel included Professor Fei Anling from China University of Political Science and Law and Professor Yang Hui from Civil Aviation University of China.
Professor Huang focuses on legal scholarship that aims to realize the practical function of law, with an emphasis on the interpretation and application of legal norms. Her main research and teaching interests include constitutional law, state liability law, juristic methodology and guiding case system of China.
On Sunday December 2, 2018, a fascinating roundtable on political constitutionalism was held at STL. It brought together distinguished academics in a conversation comparing the development of Chinese political constitutionalism with its American counterpart and distilling lessons learned from each experience. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and Gao Quanxi, KoGuan Chair Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan School of Law were the two main speakers. The roundtable was welcomed by STL Dean Philip McConnaughay and moderated by Professor Thomas Yunlong Man.
Professor Gao Quanxi began by noting the significance of discussing constitutionalism in Shenzhen, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. The point is further accentuated as reform is the new driving force of the constitution and the main impetus for constitutional reform has come from southern China, where Shenzhen is located as one of the region’s most important and creative cities. Pertaining to his views on Chinese political constitutionalism, he emphasized the importance of driving force. China’s constitution is at a vital reformative phase that is worthy of further exploration to enable a richer discussion of the Chinese constitution’s future trajectory.
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky then shared his views on American constitutionalism. In his view, a constitution in any country is determined to a large extent by the historical needs of said country. Nonetheless, all constitutions share a common goal of trying to preserve the rule of law. He discussed various features of the US constitution that he believes to likely be relevant to any discussion about constitutions.
The event was highly rewarding for all attendees as it created a unique opportunity for STL faculty and students to directly engage leading experts in the field of political constitutionalism.
Kicking off the celebrations for its 10th anniversary, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) hosted an academic symposium on “China, The U.S. and Comparative Law Today“. The event took place on the 23rd and 24th of November and brought together leading scholars, from China and abroad, to explore the concept of legal orientalism by considering how interactions across borders and legal systems have shaped law in both China and the US. Speakers also grappled with the implications of legal orientalism for the field of comparative law and legal reform projects.
On November 23rd, STL Associate Clinical Professor Nicholas Frayn chaired the main public session, during which Professor Teemu Ruskola at Emory University School of Law, the author of Legal Orientalism: China, The United States, and Modern Law, discussed his book. In his book, he argues that the US conception of its own legal system was in part formulated through its interactions with Chinese law and its understanding of the Chinese legal system. Legal orientalism suggests that the conventional ways that legal practitioners, scholars, and government officials engage across legal systems can prevent meaningful understanding of the “other” system. Thus, Ruskola’s account challenges the very enterprise of comparative law and suggests comparative law tells us more about the practitioner’s own legal system, than about the one she claims to study.
Engaging in this comparative discussion between Chinese and Western legal cultures, Liang Zhiping, Professor at Chinese National Academy of Arts, presented his own views on the challenges faced by China. He argued that, since China did not experience changes akin to the Western model of reform, China had to find a new base that weaved in elements of its own traditions. Finally, the session concluded with Zheng Ge, Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan Law School, offering his perspective on the matter by analyzing contemporary Chinese law through the lens of his prior teaching experiences in Hong Kong. He examines Ruskola’s account of Chinese Law, especially Chinese traditional law, as compared to that depicted by other Chinese scholars.
The following day was divided into four workshops. The first was titled “Comparative Law And The Problem of Legal Orientalism: What’s Next?”, the second was titled “The United States and the Legacy of Legal Orientalism”, while the third was titled “Historical Origins and Impacts of Legal Orientalism” and finally the fourth, “ Comparative Law and Chinese Legal Reform.”
These workshops further investigated the concept of legal orientalism from several angles. Some speakers interrogated the very existence of the phenomenon, challenging some of the claims of legal orientalism, while considering the implications for comparative law or of any study across legal systems. Other speakers considered how the phenomenon of legal orientalism has shaped legal development in the US while others considered how orientalizing notions of Chinese law may influence legal reform in China.
The workshops were moderated by STL’s faculty while speakers included professors from Peking University, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Emory University, and Hong Kong University.
During Fall 2017, three STL students and one graduate undertook prestigious judicial externships in the United States. LI Mengshi (class of 2017), LI Yidan and ZHENG Xinjia (class of 2018), and ZHANG Xi (class of 2019) share their experiences.
LI Mengshi: Clerk for Chief Justice Ralph Gants, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Boston, Massachusetts)
During my internship at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), I performed tasks typically assigned to legal interns from U.S. law schools. My daily assignments included legal research and writing on cases pending oral argument, as well as analyses of cases seeking direct appellate review. Guided by the Chief Justice and his clerks, I drafted an opinion regarding a defendant who was seeking further appellate review of his murder conviction.
To help current and future STL students get a better picture of the daily life at the SJC, I lay out a high-level itinerary below:
|Sep 5-Nov 16
||Drafted 15 Direct Appellate Review Summaries.
||To explore the possibility of a dissent, researched on whether certain type of Sexual Offender Registration Board (SORB) classification would infringe upon liberty interests that is a per se miscarriage of justice warranting retrial.
||To prepare the court before oral arguments, researched on the appropriateness of certain probate conditions imposed on individuals with drug addictions, and what might be the legitimate court-initiated measures (detention or involuntary inpatient treatment).
||Researched on the applicability of collateral estoppel in a parallel civil action when the underlying criminal appeal is pending; and then researched where the doctrine of abatement ab initio applied to the underlying criminal appeal (meaning once a defendant is dead, the criminal case is invalid from the beginning), whether and how would collateral estoppel apply.
|Oct 23-Nov 9
||Helped to draft a speech on the intersection between behavioral health and criminal justice reform based on Judge Minehan’s draft; discussed the topic with Judge Coffey and forensic scientist Stephanie; coordinated with organizers of the Event; attended the Event.
||Drafted a Single Justice Opinion on gatekeeper petition.
||Attended the Justice for All 2017 Working Group Summit.
|Sep 5-Nov 10
- Sat in oral arguments at the SJC. Participated in discussions with the CA team after the Justices’ consultations.
- Sat in oral arguments at trial court level, including the Land Court Department, the BLS, and mental health court as a specialty court.
|Sep 5-Sep 19
||Attended the Clerk/Intern Orientation Program of the 2017-2018 Court Year spanning standards of appellate review, finality of judgments, and preparing an opinion ready for the editing process.
|Sep 5-Nov 16
||Attended lectures and social law events, featuring:
- a talk by Harold Koh on the development of international criminal law after the Nuremberg Trial,
- the State of the Judiciary event summing up the achievements and future plan of Massachusetts, and
- the 325th Anniversary of the SJC chaired by 4 Chief Justices
In addition to formal trainings and works at the SJC, I also enjoyed many fun events. Ranking first are meals with the Chief Justice and the Chief’s Cohort, led by our beloved Carina. To this day, I always think of moments like strolling from Mike’s Pastry to the Bill Russell statute with the Chief after dining at the North End, warm and relaxing after-work café breaks with Carina, and a hilarious bus ride to New York with Angelica (another intern for the Chief). I highly recommend any STL student loving the law to apply for such a court internship. It will be tremendously rewarding!
LI Yidan: Clerk for Chief Judge Patti Saris, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts)
The responsibilities of interns include assisting and observing court proceedings, conducting research/writing bench memo/drafting order regarding any assigned case, proofreading and cite-checking as requested by the law clerks. As is true in any professional law office, the work done by interns is the foundation. Judicial interns need to clearly identify the legal issues, lay out the legal standards in the particular jurisdiction, and thoroughly engage with the evidence on the docket. The key is to be as patient and thorough as one can. When I was working, I did as much research as I could and wrote as succinctly as I could.
In addition, communication was another import aspect of this job. The assignments would come from law clerks or the Chief Judge herself. The first step was to know what I was expected to do with each assignment. Sometimes they would tell me their initial assessment and ask me to confirm it. Sometimes they would tell me to “do whatever is necessary” with the case, which means I need to exercise my best judgment to advise the Judge on what she needs to do with regard to either a motion or a hearing. Once I developed my own understanding of the assignment, I would quickly touch base with the law clerks to exchange ideas. A quick talk like this would reduce the risks of misunderstanding and increase efficiency.
This job also required me to work under pressure. Anything can happen in court, including emergency cases or motions that require quick reactions. It makes a difference under these stressful circumstances if you are able to spot issues with surgical precision and efficiently research and analyse the issues. I always reminded myself to stay level-headed and to think logically. I would highly recommend this internship to STL students who not only want to experience authentic American legal practice, but also have the drive to meet new challenges on a constant basis.
ZHENG Xinjia: Clerk for Chief Judge Geoffrey Crawford, United States District Court for the District of Vermont (Rutland, Vermont)
My daily responsibilities included attending court hearings, reviewing submissions from counsel, conducting legal research, drafting legal memos, and checking citations for final judgments. I worked on cases involving the defense of entrapment by estoppel and negation of intent, the validity of arbitration agreements, disputes over jurisdiction, and claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (“FDCPA”), criminal law, contract law and the U.S. Constitution.
During my internship, I went to the Second Circuit in New York where Judge Crawford was invited to serve as a guest judge. In the Second Circuit, I observed and appreciated the very high level performance of elite litigators. I also got chances to meet with state court judges, state prosecutors, lawyers, law school professors and law students in Vermont. We also were honorably invited to visit the Vermont Bar Association and participate in their Annual Meetings.
This internship broadened my horizons. It upgraded my understanding of the U.S. judicial system and served as valuable legal professional training, as well as a wonderful cultural exchange experience.
I am really grateful for the training I received from STL, including but not limited to STL’s dual-degree curriculum, moot court opportunities and law review, all of which enabled me to successfully complete my judicial internship. The skills I learned in STL allowed me to comfortably adjust to new conditions, use my problem solving skills to analyzing new legal problems and present my legal analysis confidently in front of Judge Crawford and colleagues.
Meanwhile, this experience also reminded me of my mission and dedication as a law school student who has received nearly eight-year legal training in both Chinese law and American law. Being able to understand the differences in legal regimes, judicial practice, professional environments as well as social and cultural traditions, I was obliged to confidently represent our deeply loved country in cross-border legal communications and gracefully mitigate the gaps in transnational law practice.
“Not everything that can be counted counts; not everything that counts can be counted.” A brief quote in memory of my unforgettable internship in the District Court of Vermont.
ZHANG Xi: Clerk for Chief Judge Geoffrey Crawford, United States District Court for the District of Vermont (Rutland, Vermont)
During this externship, I conducted in-depth legal research to support court orders and opinions, and I attended drug court every two weeks. Judge Crawford was very kind to let us audit every hearing, even the routine ones. Observing hearings was one of the favorite parts of my externship.
I learned a lot from this incredible externship, including refining my research and advocacy skills. I have heard that the first supervisor/mentor in one’s career can have an influence over the course of your career. I feel so lucky and honored that I started my career with Judge Crawford and the U.S. District Court of Vermont. Judge Crawford’s commitment to his work and his kindness toward colleagues left a deep impression, which will empower my career constantly.