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.
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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 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.
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.
The potential for a new treaty to protect high seas biodiversity was on the agenda at the Ocean Law and Governance International Symposium on “Marine Scientific Research and the Law of the Sea”, which was held in Hangzhou during 26-27 October with participation from STL. The symposium was jointly organized by the Centre for Ocean Law and Governance/Guanghua Law School, Zhejiang University, and the National Collaborative Centre for South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University.
STL Assistant Professor Stephen Minas participated in the session on “Emerging Challenges to the Freedom of Marine Scientific Research”, with a presentation on the topic on marine technology transfer in a new international legally binding agreement on the protection of biodiversity in areas of the sea beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), which is currently being negotiated. Professor Minas discussed options for technology transfer through the new agreement, building on lessons learned from the technology programs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Professor Minas’ presentation drew on his recently article published in AJIL Unbound. Other speakers in the same session included Erik Franckx, Professor of International Law at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), QIN Tianbao, Professor at Wuhan University Institute of International Law, and Anastasia Telesetsky, Professor at University of Idaho College of Law.
The symposium was held as United Nations talks to establish a BBNJ agreement enter an important phase. An international preparatory committee on the new agreement delivered its report in mid-2017. Following this, an intergovernmental conference was convened to negotiate the new agreement, and held its first session in September 2018. Further negotiating sessions will be held in 2019 and 2020.
Professor Ray Campbell was one of the leading scholars to be invited to speak at the LexTech 2018 Conference, October 26 in Kuala Lumpur. Professor Campbell participated in a panel on “AI & BIG DATA: AI – POCALYPSE OR A NEW ERA,” and spoke on “AI Judges: The Minority Report or Jarvis?”. He focused on the use of AI in courts and mediation. Professor Campbell has written extensively about the changing dynamics of the legal profession and the role of innovation and regulation in the delivery of legal services.
LexTech 2018 aimed to drive legal technology adoption in the region and strengthen the regional legal technology community. This year’s event drew out the largest audience yet with over 15 sessions covering cutting-edge topics. The event created a unique opportunity for attendees to hear from, and meet with, industry leaders who are shaping the future of this legal field.
On October 14, 12 alumni representatives from different classes assembled in Shenzhen for STL’s first Alumni Advisory Board meeting. Established last year, the Alumni Advisory Board is an important advisory forum that represents the interest of alumni, and connects STL and alumni with STL’s progress. Dean Philip McConnaughay and STL’s senior administrative team made presentations and responded to questions and suggestions during the meeting.
STL’s administration provided detailed reports on developments and achievements in admissions and student recruiting, J.M. and J.D. curriculum development, faculty appointments, career placement, communications, international programs and exchanges, fund-raising, the creation of new opportunities for STL graduates access to U.S. bar examinations and admission to practice, and the recognition of STL’s 10th Anniversary.
The Advisory Board weighed in with many valuable suggestions regarding all of these matters, and with specific commitments to help – and enlist other alumni to help – with all law school objectives. The Board and STL administration are planning a major 10th Anniversary celebration weekend for Spring Semester 2019.
STL hosted 2018 Admissions Open House for prospective law students all over China on October 13. The Open House offered interested students a unique opportunity to experience STL’s cutting-edge dual degree J.D./J.M. program of education.
The full day program included the welcome ceremony by Dean Philip McConnaughay and the J.D. class. Students also participated a lecture on Challenges and Benefits of Learning Common Law and Civil Law Simultaneously by J.M faculty and a discussion panel with current STL students.
For more information on the admission process or future Open Houses at STL, please follow us on Wechat or contact email@example.com.