Professor Francis Snyder Recognized with 2018 China Friendship Award

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.”

FrancisProfessor 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.

STL Building Earns Accolades for Educational Design

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.

STL’s Founding Dean Jeffrey Lehman Named One of China’s Most Influential Foreign Experts

微信图片_20180416081444STL’s Founding Dean Jeffrey Lehman was recognized as one of the 40 most influential foreign experts since China’s reform and opening up 40 years ago.  The award was announced by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) at SAFEA’s 16th China International Talent Exchange Conference in Shenzhen on April 14, 2018.

“Jeffrey Lehman is especially deserving of this recognition.  He has personally established two of the most forward-looking intuitions of higher education in China, both of which promise a lasting and significant impact on China’s relationships with the global community,” said STL Dean Philip McConnaughay.

Lehman currently is the Founding Vice Chancellor of New York University’s Shanghai campus.  He was the Founding Dean of STL, serving from 2007-2012.  Previously, he was President of Cornell University and Dean of the University of Michigan Law School.

Lehman’s additional achievements and awards include China’s esteemed Friendship Award, the highest honor for “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress,” and the Shanghai Magnolia Gold Award, presented annually in recognition of major contributions by members of Shanghai’s expatriate community.  Lehman also is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Peking University.

More information about SAFEA’s Influential Foreign Expert Awards is available here.

A Day in the Life of a U.S. Judicial Extern: Four STL Students Share their Experiences

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:

Timeframe Assignments
Sep 5-Nov 16 Drafted 15 Direct Appellate Review Summaries.
Sep 5-22 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.
Sep 28-29 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).
Oct 10-17 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.
Nov 13-16 Drafted a Single Justice Opinion on gatekeeper petition.
Oct 30-31 Attended the Justice for All 2017 Working Group Summit.
Sep 5-Nov 10 Oral arguments:

  • 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.

Professor Feldman Participates in the 2018 China Arbitration Summit

Mark Feldman-2018 China Aribitration Summit-copyOn September 16-17, Professor Mark Feldman was invited to attend the 2018 China Arbitration Summit in Beijing.  The Summit was co-organized by the Supreme People’s Court of China, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, as well as the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC).  It is one of the most influential gatherings in the field of international commercial arbitration.

In celebrating the New York Convention’s 60th anniversary, the Summit aimed to reflect on the legacy of international dispute resolution mechanisms of enforcement available hitherto.  Moreover, it sought to examine the prospect of diversifying and internationalizing dispute resolution mechanisms and exploring the ways in which the integration of different legal cultures has impacted dispute resolution.

Professor Feldman participated in a panel entitled Retrospect and Prospect: 60th Anniversary of New York Convention.  The Panel was moderated by Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of UNCITRAL.  Other panelists included Shen Hongyu, Presiding Judge of Supreme People’s Court of China, Kap-You (Kevin) Kim, Vice President of ICC International Court of Arbitration, Leng Sun Chan, Deputy Chairman of Singapore International Arbitration Center, Roman Zykov, Secretary General of Russian Arbitration Association, Emmanuel Jacomy, Partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP, and Matthew Richardson, Partner of Alston & Bird LLP.

In his talk, Professor Feldman addressed the question of whether there have been any major developments with regards to international dispute resolution and enforceability over the past ten years, since the 50th anniversary of the New York Convention.  He concentrated on two significant developments, namely, (1) the entry into force of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements in 2015, and (2) the shifts towards greater institutionalization as demonstrated by the EU’s establishment of an Investment Court System as well as the launch of international commercial courts in jurisdictions including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and China.  Professor Feldman observed that for states pursuing greater institutionalization to resolve international disputes, there currently are two options available with respect to enforceability: first, testing the outer limits of the New York Convention, and second, seeking to advance the existing regime for enforcement of foreign judgments.  Professor Feldman concluded that China and Singapore, by pursuing “option two” with respect to their recently-launched international commercial courts (seeking to advance enforceability of foreign judgments), ultimately are supporting the New York Convention by not testing its outer limits.

Professor Feldman is a leading scholar of international investment law and investment arbitration.  Recently, he has been appointed by the Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement (CIDS) to serve as a member of the CIDS Academic Forum on Investor-State Dispute Settlement.


Professor Kang Invited Presentation in Seoul

Sang Yop Kang, Professor of Law at STL, was invited to present on his work at an international conference, “Pioneering a Trans-Pacific Vision in Corporate Law and Capital Market Law,” held at Seoul National University School of Law.

Professor Kang’s presentation was titled “Hostile Takeovers in China.”  It was based on his draft on the Vanke case and the Chinese takeover mechanisms.  In his presentation, Professor Kang discussed the episode of Baoneng Group’s hostile takeover attempt of Vanke and delved into several corporate governance issues in relation to the Vanke-Baoneng case.  First, Professor Kang analyzed the relationship between ownership structures and hostile takeover attempts.  He also considered, in the Chinese context, the (in)efficiency of the market for corporate control as well as the role of a white-knight.  In addition, he examined the significance of the insurance industry and companies in the Chinese M&A market and the suspension of stock trading as a defensive tactic.  Furthermore, Professor Kang elaborated on the comparative analysis of the issuance of new shares and a poison pill strategy.  Also, he evaluated the financial regulatory system in China and explored a variety of political implications that the Vanke case and Chinese takeovers may bring.

Professor Kang teaches and researches in the areas of corporate governance, corporate law, law and economics, capital markets and financial market regulations.

Professor Man Received Indiana University’s Distinguished Service Award

STL Professor from Practice Thomas Y. Man received a Distinguished Service Award from Indiana University at the Indiana University 2018 Alumni Conference & Reunion held in Beijing, September 22, 2018.  Professor Man obtained a J.D. degree from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in 1997.  He is a member of the inaugural Dean’s Global Advisory Board of the Maurer School of Law.  Indiana University President Michael A. McRabbie and Dean Austen Parrsh of Maurer School of Law presented the award to Professor Man at the IU China Bicentennial Alumni Gala and Recognition Ceremony.  Professor Man is one of the two recipients of the inaugural Distinguished Service Award, along with Curt A. Ferguson, President of The Coca-Cola Company – Greater China and Korea.

In connection with the conference, Professor Man also spoke as a panelist at a penal discussion titled “The Changing Global Legal Profession: Society and Impact” and attended the Maurer School of Law Dean’s Global Advisory Board meeting.

Professor Minas Presents at EU Conferences on Energy & Environment in the Belt and Road Initiative

PNG image-1In the summer of 2018, Stephen Minas, Assistant Professor at STL, participated in several European forums on energy, trade and investment law.

At the University of Split in Croatia, Professor Minas participated in the Energy Community’s Summer School program.  The Energy Community is an international organization established by treaty.  Its  mission is to integrate the European energy market through harmonizing the legal framework in the areas of energy, the environment, and climate change.  The annual Summer School is an intensive training week for young leaders focusing on European energy sectors in transition.  In tackling this subject, the training covers, among other things, European energy policies, laws, and markets.

Similarly, at the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London, Professor Minas participated in a Jean Monnet Chair Workshop on international trade, investment and the rule of law.  Named after one of the European Union’s founders, the Jean Monnet Chair program has been created to help bolster teaching and research on EU matters.  The workshop was co-hosted by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.

At the workshop, Professor Minas delivered a presentation titled “A ‘New Era’ for Sustainable Investment? Environmental Standards in the Belt and Road Initiative, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank”.  He also chaired a panel on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which included presentations on institutional investors, CSR in trade and investment, and transnational labor law.

Research assistance was provided for Professor Minas by two of STL’s capable students, Wei Chanchan and Zhang Min.

Professor Norman P. Ho Invited to Present at CUHK Law

On September 7, 2018, STL Associate Professor Norman P. Ho was invited to deliver a public lecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law (“CUHK Law”).  Professor Norman P. Ho is a scholar on legal theory and legal history.  His lecture was titled “Confucianism and Chinese Law, Past and Present.”

The lecture was part of the ongoing Greater Chinese Legal History Seminar Series, a monthly event that features speakers on Chinese legal history.  The Series is organized by Steven Gallagher, Associate Professor of Practice & Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at CUHK Law and Lutz-Christian Wolff, Wei Lun Professor of Law at CUHK Law & Dean of the Graduate School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Photo Credit: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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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