Peking University School of Transnational Law celebrated the opening of its new “STL Building” with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, March 20, 2017. The event marked a major milestone for the STL community and introduced a new landmark on Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus (PKUSZ).
The 8,900 square meter STL Building was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), one of the world’s premier architectural firms, in cooperation with Shenzhen-based Huasen Architectural & Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Participants in the STL Building dedication ceremony included Professor Wu Yundong, Chancellor of PKUSZ, Philip McConnaughay, Dean of STL and Vice Chancellor of PKUSZ, Jeffrey Lehman, Founding Dean of STL and current Vice Chancellor of New York University’s Shanghai campus, and Jill Lerner, managing principal at (KPF). The ceremony was held in the main atrium of the STL Building and was attended by hundreds of STL students, faculty, and alumni, as well as scores of PKUSZ leaders, government officials, architects and contractors, community members and other distinguished guests.
In his welcome remarks, Dean McConnaughay observed that STL’s success was a combined effort of so many of the people present. “It is wonderful to see so many STL graduates, students and friends and former and present STL colleagues here today – so many people who have had so much to do with the establishment and success of STL,” said Dean McConnaughay. “It was clear from the outset that STL would require a building that gives expression to the importance and forward-looking character of our law school, while providing an environment in which we all can comfortably study, learn and interact,” he said.
Dean Lehman praised the commitment of Peking University and the City of Shenzhen to work together to envision a new kind of architectural home for STL’s pioneering style of legal education. “This is a building that, just like the law, looks completely different, depending on the perspective with which you approach it. It integrates many different architectural cultures into an original, creative new style. This style speaks to our shared future – our need to harmonize differences as we transcend boundaries,” said Lehman.
“The new building realizes our vision to successfully combine formal education with informal learning,” said Jill Lerner of KPF. “The building satisfies STL’s unique teaching and learning demands, where faculty and students engage not just in the classroom, but also in the hallways and common areas,” she said.
“In this new building, STL will make even greater strides on the path of success,” said Chancellor Wu, who mentioned several of STL’s groundbreaking achievements as evidence of the bright future STL enjoys.
The STL Building was completed in January 2017. Classes in the building commenced at the start of the spring semester on February 20, 2017.
Located immediately between the beautifully restored Dashahe River Parkway and the PKUSZ campus central plaza, the STL Building serves as the gateway for the PKUSZ campus. The centerpiece of the new building is a grand tiered atrium with spectacular outward views of the landscaped pathway running the length of the Dashahe River. Additional building features include one 100-person classroom that can be converted into a high-tech moot courtroom; three additional 100-person classrooms; an on-site law library equipped with the latest in digital research platforms; four 60-person classrooms; four 20-person classrooms; several intimate seminar rooms; legal clinic and student organizations suites; outdoor terraces and reading gardens; highly functional faculty and administrative offices; and abundant student study space. The building represents a place for intellectual discourse, friendships forged and memories made.
“STL is a school that trains legal minds, shapes personalities, and ultimately cultivates future leaders,” said 3L student Li Yidan. “The new building is a great home for STL. The open spaces encourage interactive learning and the abundant sunlight brings life to the black letter law.”
Wang Teng, a 4L student at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL), has been selected as a 2017-18 Schwarzman Scholar, an elite scholarship program for top graduate students.
Wang Teng is one of 129 Scholars chosen from around the world to earn a fully-funded scholarship to study at the new Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The one-year master’s degree program for Schwarzman Scholars “is designed to prepare its graduates to build stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world and to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century.” Each Scholar will earn a degree in global affairs with a focus in one of three areas: public policy, economics and business, or international studies.
As a Schwarzman Scholar, Wang Teng will focus his studies on public policy. Longer-term, he is interested in reforming the judicial system and improving social justice in China.
“It will be an exciting new journey. I greatly appreciate the wonderful platform STL provided me. Besides the unique curriculum with cutting-edge legal knowledge, my interest in improving and reforming China’s judicial system was inspired and enhanced during my study in STL,” said Wang Teng.
“Wang Teng’s well-earned recognition in the highly selective Schwarzman Scholars program reflects well on STL’s standing as a law school that graduates future leaders. The faculty is proud of Wang Teng’s achievement. We are confident he will excel as a Schwarzman Scholar, just as he has as a student at STL,” said Philip McConnaughay, dean of STL.
Wang Teng joined STL in 2013 and will graduate in July 2017 with a dual degree Common Law Juris Doctor (J.D.) and China Law Juris Master (J.M.). STL is the only law school in the world to offer a combined J.D./J.M. program of study. Wang Teng earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Xiamen University in 2011. He spent his senior year of college studying political science at American University in Washington D.C. as an exchange student; he spent part of his 3L year at STL as an exchange student at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law studying European Union law and international law. Among his many accomplishments, Wang Teng served as editor-in-chief of the Peking University Transnational Law Review, received the National Scholarship for graduate students, and interned at King & Wood Mallesons Beijing office.
The Schwarzman Scholars program, which recognizes academic excellence, leadership accomplishment, and significant promise to contribute to a deeper understanding across cultures, was founded and largely funded by Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of Blackstone, a global investment firm. Schwarzman contributed $100 million USD to establish the program and is overseeing a campaign to raise an additional $350 million USD from private sources to fully endow the program.
To view the full list of Schwarzman Scholars, please click here.
Professor Zhu Daming’s new Japanese to Chinese translation work, The Spirit of Corporate Law, was published by China Law Press in October, 2016. The author of the original work is Professor Hideki Kanda, an internationally renowned scholar of corporate law from the University of Tokyo.
The translated work is Professor Zhu’s latest contribution to the Japan Commercial and Financial Law Book Series, which he edits and translates. The Spirit of Corporate Law covers five chapters: the definition of corporate law, the structure of a stock company, a stock company’s fund procurement, corporate restructuring, and the future direction of corporate law.
Under Professor Zhu’s editorship, the Japan Commercial and Financial Law Book Series includes monograph and code translation aimed at advancing China’s knowledge of Japanese commercial and financial law. To date, three books in the Series have been published to great acclaim: Japan Corporate Law Explained, The Philosophy of Corporate Law and Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.
Professor Zhu earned his Ph.D. and LL.M. from Hitotsubashi University in Japan and is a prominent scholar of corporate law, with special focus on financial law and comparative commercial law. Earlier this year, he was appointed as a Director of the prestigious China Law Commercial Law Society. He is the author of over thirty scholarly articles and seven monographs and translated works. He teaches Chinese commercial legal system, mergers and acquisitions, and company law in STL’s cutting-edge J.M. curriculum.
Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) began the 2016-17 academic year welcoming 99 new students, including 90 J.D. and J.M. students, four LL.M. students (from Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru and Ethiopia) and five exchange students (from Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil, and the United States). The new J.D./J.M. class includes students from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States and Canada.
Dean Philip McConnaughay officially welcomed students to STL during orientation on August 14-16. “Your time at STL will provide you with a deep understanding of the law of China, America, and the EU, and with the superior analytical and advocacy skills essential to cross-cultural and transnational exchange. This is why STL graduates are in such high demand by China’s and the world’s leading law firms, government agencies, NGOs and companies. This also is why STL graduates are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dean McConnaughay in his welcome to new students.
The orientation program included discussions with faculty and upper-level students about academic and student life at STL and how to succeed in STL’s cutting edge and academically rigorous English-language J.D. and China law curriculums. Students also participated in small group case briefing exercises designed to help them analyze a judicial opinion, which is essential for success in STL’s interactive case study method of teaching.
On August 25 and 26, the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate Campus (PKUSZ) will hold its opening ceremony for all new graduate students. This year’s program will focus on team-building and leadership development, as well as on the campus’s efforts to deepen multidisciplinary relationships among the eight schools on PKU’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus: School of Electronic and Computer Engineering, School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, School of Environment and Energy, School of Urban Planning and Design, School of Advanced Materials, HSBS Business School, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Transnational Law.
United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito spent a full week in residence at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) this past week teaching a seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court to STL students and offering an extended and candid Q&A session for the entire STL community. Justice Alito was accompanied by Georgetown University Law Center Visiting Professor John Baker.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay said, “Justice Alito’s visit provided an extraordinary opportunity for STL students to spend extensive in-person time every day for an entire week with a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The seminar focused on the recent case of RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community [579 U.S. ___ (2016)], with STL students ultimately preparing and presenting moot oral arguments to Justice Alito, just as if they were appearing before the Supreme Court. The week was extraordinary and we are deeply grateful to Justice Alito for providing STL students with such a historic opportunity.”
3L student Li Yidan said of her seminar experience, “To be able to spend five days with Justice Alito and Professor Baker is something beyond imagination. None of us would have expected to have this opportunity; but STL made it happen and it is the most honorable and exciting moment of my life…. The 5 minutes before Justice Alito speaking as an appellate attorney before the Supreme Court cast a spell on me. I gave a roadmap, carefully unfolded my first argument, watched every look on his face to adjust every sentence I said, and neatly answered the first question he asked. The 5-minute argument brought together everything STL has been teaching me — the analytical reasoning skills I develop in rounds and rounds of Socratic questioning, the English language skills I acquire in legal writing classes, and the argumentative skills I learn in participating in moot court competition.”
3L seminar student Zhu Liusheng said, “It was an amazing experience to argue before Justice Alito. I have listened to many Supreme Court oral arguments on audio, but this was the first time to have one of the Justices in front of me asking me questions. There was a moment that I even felt like I was in the U.S. Supreme Court! Justice Alito asked me very probing questions that went to the core of the legal issues, which opened a window for me to see how Justice Alito thinks. I am truly grateful for this wonderful educational opportunity.”
1L student Hu Yue asked Justice Alito a question during the community-wide Q&A. She said of her experience, “It was my great honor and a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to and even talk to Justice Alito in person. For me it is an extremely unique experience to ask Justice Alito a question and have Justice Alito kindly reply to me with patience, which is a great inspiration for my law studying and career planning.”
2L student Qin Shijie said, “I was extremely excited to be picked out of the large, enthusiastic crowd and become the first one on such an extraordinary occasion to raise questions to Justice Alito. As he responded to me in such a thoughtful and gracious manner, with almost every word he articulated carved in my mind, I couldn’t help recalling the past year of burying myself in the casebooks, where I was frequently intrigued by the complexity and beauty of those novel legal questions. And now, a real Justice is standing in front of me, and speaking to me.”
4L seminar student Yu Yadian said, “Before law school, when I had almost zero knowledge about the Supreme Court of the United States, and just started to read The Nine, if someone had told me that one day I would argue a case in front of Justice Alito, and be grilled by his hard questions, I would definitely think that person is crazy. This experience will constantly remind me of how privileged I am as a law student, and reassure me in my future career — I argued my first Supreme Court case while I was still in law school, nothing should ever terrify me!”
4L seminar student Pei Yiliang said, “Everyone in the seminar was impressed by the humility and candidness of Justice Alito. Our discussions spanned a wide variety of topics and the experience has forged a bond between us.”
Justice Alito also met during his visit with former Vice President of Peking University and current Vice Chair of the Peking University Council, Professor Hai Wen, with Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School Chancellor, Professor Wu Yundong, and with members of STL’s faculty.
2016 marks Justice Alito’s 10th year on the United States Supreme Court. He took his seat January 31, 2006, following his nomination by United States President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. Justice Alito served previously as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and as an official of the United States Department of Justice.
STL’s program of pairing international students with Chinese host students featured in U.S. News & World Report. The story is available here.
Peking University moves up 4 spots to #17 in the 2017 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, a prestigious peer ranking of the best universities in the world. According to Times Higher Education, the 2017 World Reputation Rankings “are based on the world’s largest invitation-only survey of leading academics. The survey asks scholars to name no more than 15 universities they believe are the best for research and teaching, based on their own experience. The result is a list of the top 100 most powerful university brands as judged by those best-placed to know the most about excellence in higher education.”
Peking University, or “Bei-da,” as it is known in Chinese, is China’s first and most renowned comprehensive research university. The University was founded in 1898 as the Imperial University of Peking and is regarded as a symbol of modern Chinese education. PKU has developed into a comprehensive world-class research university with campuses in Beijing and Shenzhen offering courses in the natural sciences, engineering sciences, humanities, social sciences, and medicine. For more information, visit the Peking University web site here.
On June 2, 2017, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) welcomed The Honorable Professor SuYeong-Chin, a former Justice of the Judicial Yuan of Taiwan who is renowned throughout the world as one of the leading scholars of civil law.
During his visit, Professor Su delivered a public lecture on “Judge-made Law for China,” which was followed by a Q&A session for the entire STL community. STL Professor Mao Shaowei moderated the lecture and Q&A, which was held in the new STL Building and attended by hundreds of law students, faculty and distinguished guests.
2L student Bai Zhuochen said after the public lecture, “Professor Su’s presentation was very enlightening. His discussion of the philosophies at the core of the Anglo-American law system (Common Law) and the Romano-Germanic law system (Civil Law) were very insightful. His comments gave me a deeper appreciation of the advantages of my comparative J.D./J.M study at STL. We are very fortunate to have such an important law scholar visit STL.”
1L student Ni Ruizhang also was impressed by Professor Su. “As a new law student, I benefited from Professor Su’s introduction of civil law concepts and his forward-thinking interpretations. Following his guidance, I believe China’s civil law system will continue to develop and advance. Professor Su is a highly respected judge and law scholar, and students are very eager to have him visit STL again,” said Ni Ruizhang.
In addition to his public lecture, Professor Su also led an engaging roundtable with STL faculty on the topic of “Civil Law v. Case Law: A Third Way for China?”
“Professor Su’s visit was inspiring on many levels,” said Professor Mao Shaowei. “STL began the AY16-17 academic year with a visit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and we are ending the academic year with a visit by The Honorable Professor Su. These are momentous occasions for STL and we are very grateful for the time and special attention these eminent jurists devoted to our law school,” he added.
Professor Su currently serves as Chair Professor at National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan. He was the Honorable Justice and Vice President of Judicial Yuan (Taiwan) from 2010 to 2016. Before that, he served as Dean of College of Law, National Cheng-Chi University, Vice Chairperson of Fair Trade Commission, and Chairperson of National Communications Commission. Professor Su obtained his LL.B. from National Taiwan University, Taiwan in 1972 and his doctoral degree in law (Dr.jur.) from University of Munich, Germany in 1981. He writes widely on private law, economic law, constitutional law and judicial reform.
C.V. Starr Professor of Law Francis Snyder’s groundbreaking book, Food Safety Law in China: Making Transnational Law, earned recognition at the 2017 Gourmand International Cookbook Awards, May 27-28 in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. The book was recognized as “Best in the World” in the “Best Wine and Food Law Book” and “Best Food Safety Institutions Book” categories.
The Gourmand International Cookbook Awards is one of the most prestigious awards competitions in the entire culinary world. It was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Each year, the Gourmand Awards looks across the globe and honors the very best food and wine related books, including digital and print, as well as television programs. This year, books from over 200 countries competed for top honors in the competition.
Food Safety Law in China: Making Transnational Law traces the development of China food safety law and policy from the 2008 melamine infant formula crisis to today. Professor Snyder demonstrates that advances in China’s food safety standards during this period were influenced heavily by cross-border factors, as well as by institutions deeply embedded in Chinese society. Substantial challenges remain for China’s approach to food safety law and policy, but Professor Snyder offers numerous proposals for possible solutions. Ultimately, Professor Snyder predicts that China will embark on a regulatory path that both incorporates lessons learned from other countries and provides new strategies from which the rest of the world will learn.
On receiving the award, Professor Snyder thanked Peking University School of Transnational Law and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School for their encouragement and support. Given the culinary distinction of the award, he also joked, “I was so happy I almost ate my book!”
The Gourmand Awards recognition of Professor Snyder’s book is a testament to the universality of his work and its important contributions to society across multiple dimensions.
Twenty-six students from STL recently took part in a two-day intensive trial advocacy program designed to introduce them to trial techniques and strategies and sharpen their advocacy skills. The May 10-11 program was held in the new STL Building and was organized by STL Associate Clinical Professor of Law Nicholas Frayn, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who previously worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York City. Professor Frayn was joined by Ye-Ting Woo and Evan Williams, two U.S. federal prosecutors with substantial trial experience in criminal and civil matters, and STL Lecturer in Law Shama Farooq, also an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The program afforded students an unparalleled opportunity to develop and fine-tune their advocacy skills before their peers in an atmosphere where experienced trial lawyers were readily available to provide feedback and advice.
“This program offered me a great opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise of skilled trial lawyers. Throughout the program, we participated in preparing and delivering opening statements, direct examination, cross examination and closing statements. We also learned the importance of story telling in the courtroom, which I’ve come to learn is really an art,” said Zhu Dianmeng, a 1L student who participated in the trial advocacy program.
STL is a leader in teaching lawyering skills. The law school’s J.D./JM. curriculum is rich with courses and programs offering real world practice experience.