Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) began the 2019-2020 academic year by welcoming new students from throughout China and around the world. The new class includes 151 students in the Common Law J.D. and China Law J.M. dual degree program, along with 11 LL.M and several exchange students from different countries, including Canada, Norway, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Argentina. Overall, STL hit a new record for student enrollment.
In order to help students to get used to the teaching mode and regulations of STL, STL held a series of activities on August 9 -11, including a welcome ceremony, theme lecture, current student experience exchange, professor symposium, case study seminar, library resources introduction and campus tour, among other things.
The life in STL is full of joy, but the work pressure can also make it full of stress. Often, that transition into law school life is the hardest for first year students and STL works hard to smoothen this change. Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School will host its campus-wide orientation for all new students on 29th – 30th this month. It is a good chance to get to know more friends and start a new journey.
From July 31 through August 7, 2019, Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) hosted Summer Honors Camp for over 100 students from China’s most respected universities. This included Peking University, Fudan University, Wuhan University, Sun Yat-Sen University among others.
The Camp started with a welcome speech from Dean Philip McConnaughay. In keeping with our traditions, STL have prepared an introductory course on J.D.&J.M. In class, students experienced the charm of the Socratic teaching method and the bilingual teaching environment.
At the same time, under the leadership of the C.V. Starr instructors, students began to learn about case analysis methods , before practicing it in a mock court.
During the Summer Honors Camp, the students visited the Tencent headquarters, experiencing Shenzhen’s cutting-edge development of science and technology. They also visited the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration and Shenzhen Nanshan Intellectual Property Protection Center.
In addition, STL also invited alumni and students from different undergraduate backgrounds to hold sessions for the SHP students. During those sessions, alumni and students shared their unique views on study, life, work and family and actively answered a series of questions raised by SHP students.
On August 7, the closing ceremony of the Summer Honors Camp was held at STL. Dean Philip McConnaughay acknowledged the students’ performance at the Camp and later, alongside honorary Deputy Dean Stephen Yandle, presented them with certificates and souvenirs.
STL’s SHP program was established in 2009. Many of STL’s students and alumni had participated in SHP before enrolling in STL. For more information about SHP 2020, please contact email@example.com.
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.
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.
May 20, Lecture, CHI Manjiao/Mark Feldman: ISDS Reform and China’s Possible Policy Options
May 20, Lecture, CHI Manjiao: China’s Foreign Investment Law: The Making, Merits and Murkiness
April 26, Lecture, WU Xiaofeng: Legal Issues and Public Policy on Physician – Patient Relationship
April 23, Lecture, Bjørnar Borvik: The European Approach to Legal Regulation of Hate Speech
April 15, Lecture, FU Yulin: Referee Thinking and Burden of Proof
April 13- 14, Alumni Weekend & PILF Auction
March 29, Lecture, LIANG Genlin: Principle of legality, Hierarchy and Individual Justice
March 23-27, the 9th Asian-Pacific M&A Moot Competition
March 16, Lecture, ZHANG Gu: Transfer and Migration
March 16, Lecture, ZHANG Gu: Legal Issues of Land in China
March 14, Lecture, Andrew Harding: Constitutionalism and Development: A Mismatch or A Dream-Team?
March 8, Lecture, CHEN Duanhong: Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macao
January 6, Lecture, LIU Yan: The Name and Nature of Big Asset Management
December 29, Lecture, ZHANG Gu: Finding and Applying Legal Norms: CHEN Ying V. LUO Ronggeng Case as a Case Study
December 17, Book Launch, Current Developments in Climate Change Law
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
On April 13, STL community celebrated its 10th anniversary with an alumni weekend. To mark this milestone, STL has launched a months-long series of lectures and forums that culminated in this alumni conference. During the event, STL graduates, students and faculty heard from STL’s founding members along with many esteemed members of China’s legal community.
In his welcoming remarks, incumbent Dean McConnaughay recalled a conversation he had with STL’s founding Dean, Jeffrey Lehman where Dean Lehman had insisted that no law school in the world was going to have greater impact than STL, not just on the development of the legal profession in China, but on the legal profession and, even more, on legal education worldwide. Dean McConnaughay reflected on how, at the time, those words were an inspiring vision. But today, as STL’s impact continues to grow, they are an inspiring reality.
The incumbent Dean of Peking University HSBC Business School, Hai Wen, was the the first to conceive of the idea that has become STL today. He recalled how the initial idea of creating STL as an experiment in legal education back in 2008 has confronted many doubts. Now law faculties in China, Europe, the United States, Russia and elsewhere continually seek more information about STL and its innovative program. Moreover, STL graduates now hold leading positions with world-leading law firms, multinational corporations, elite government office and NGOs.
Founding Dean and current Executive Vice Chancellor of NYU’s Shanghai campus, Jeffery Lehman focused on the significance of the rule of law in a country and in human beings affirming that the success that STL has achieved was a result of a combination of innovation, boldness and dedication. He believed that STL would continue to carry out its missions and make greater progress in the next decade.
Vice Dean Emeritus Stephen Yandle added that STL is not only a dream, but also a dream that has come true while STL Professor Mark Feldman talked about the “STL generation”. STL reflects larger trends in legal education, which have developed alongside greater global connectivity. Just as people no longer use landlines or compact discs, a legal education that fails to look beyond one’s own borders is no longer accepted. Additionally, professor Mao described STL as “unique”: unique legal education program, unique curriculums and unique teaching methods. STL has attached great importance to education and the development of its students and as such is becoming a utopia for legal education, attracting worldwide faculties and students.
Also among the speakers was Deputy Presiding Judge of The First Circuit Court of the Supreme People’s Court, Zhang Yongjian. Judge Zhang expressed his great wishes to STL. He has witnessed some STL students doing internships with The First Circuit Court of the Supreme People’s Court and was impressed by their working performance. He believed there should be further cooperation with STL. Subsequently, STL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The First Circuit Court of The Supreme People’s Court and agreed on several major areas for cooperation, including internship, academic exchanges and research.
There is no question that the impact that was envisioned a decade ago has been slowly but surely unfolding. More critically, there is no telling where the ripple effects of the creation of STL will end. As STL celebrates its 10th anniversary, all indicators seem to confirm that the creation of STL will surely go down in history as a legendary transformative moment in legal education.
The first law careers panel of the 2019-2020 academic year of STL was held on September 20 at Room 108. This panel was moderated by Professor Norman Ho and consisted of four leading corporate, litigation and IP partners from top law firms: Steve Kwok of Skadden, Michael Lin of Marks & Clerk, John Moore of Slaughter and May, and Choo Lye Tan of K & L Gates.
Steve Kwok’s (Skadden) practice areas include litigation, government enforcement and white collar crime, and cross-border investigations. Before he joined Skadden, he was the resident legal advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, representing the United States in dealings with Chinese law enforcement authorities on criminal matters, particularly corruption, money laundering and fraud cases. He also previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and clerked on the US Supreme Court (to Justice Anthony Kennedy).
Michael Lin (Marks & Clerk) manages the Life Sciences group in Marks & Clerk’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices. He provides IP-related services for companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical, bioscience, materials science, and mechanical fields. He once worked as a Patent Attorney at a large multinational FMCG Company specializing in pan-Asian patent matters in the chemical and mechanical fields.
John Moore (Slaughter and May) represents investment banks, corporations and private equity funds on capital markets, M&A and private equity transactions. He was a senior in-house counsel at Goldman Sachs. He also previously served as Deputy Chairman of the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Choo Lye Tan (K&L Gates) practices in the areas of securities, corporate finance, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, funds and public and private equity issues. She is qualified to practice in a variety of jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Bermuda, and she is also a barrister in the UK. She frequently advises on cross-border transactions under offshore and Asian laws, particularly in the areas of asset protection, fund-raising, securities offerings, employment, and tax.
At the beginning, four partners shared one of their typical workdays. Michael Lin said that his workday usually begins with replying clients’ emails. As an IP attorney, he works around clients’ needs and may deal with different technical areas and legal issues each day, which is quite different from his previous in-house experience. Steve Kwok mentioned that for lawyers working in international law firms, in addition to daily legal research and writing tasks, it is common to communicate and coordinate with colleagues and clients in different time zones, and the working hours will be extended accordingly. John Moore said that as a lawyer specialized in corporate and capital market, his ultimate goal is to promote and facilitate transactions. His daily work changes depending on the specific stage of transactions. The daily work of Choo Lye Tan might include conference calls with clients, research on the market regulations, and providing clients with legal advice on multiple jurisdictions.
When asked about the reasons for choosing the current practicing areas, Steve Kwok believed that before making a choice, we need to consider what kind of lawyer we want to become. We should choose the field that we are interested in and good at, instead of solely focusing on the economic revenue. In terms of himself, he became a litigator because he likes to argue and to study in the handling of cases, which is also at his advantage. Michael Lin’s choice is connected with his educational background: he previously worked as a biochemist, and he was interested in both scientific theory and legal services, and naturally became a patent attorney. John Moore and Choo Lye Tan chose the current practicing fields for their interests in business. They mentioned that every individual company is the epitome of its industry and follows the business rules to guide their behaviors. Lawyers can be the storyteller of the company during their services. Choo Lye Tan also encouraged students to be open-minded and to find their own areas of expertise in their studies and practices.
In the next open questioning session, the four lawyers gave patient and detailed answers to the questions that students were concerned about. When asked if the scientific background is a necessary requirement for an IP lawyer, Michael Lin believed that it depends on the requirements of clients, the regulations of different jurisdictions, and the specific practicing areas. When asked how Chinese lawyers can better engage in international legal affairs, Steve Kwok said that language and cross-cultural communication skills are essential, and lawyers should accurately understand clients’ needs and respond to and resolve them in ways that are acceptable to clients. Regarding the question of the career development of female lawyers, Choo Lye Tan replied that female lawyers should put their professional skills first and try to do their best as lawyers, rather than paying too much attention to the label of “vulnerable groups” or labeling themselves as “female” lawyers. In answering the certificates helpful for corporate lawyers, John Moore pointed out that the most important thing is to understand the company’s accounting information, and certificates like CPA and CFA are not necessarily required. In addition, the four lawyers gave their own advice on issues such as lawyers’ licenses and choice of worksite.
STL Assistant Professor Stephen Minas participated in the conference on the theme of ‘UNited for Climate Justice’ in New York. The conference, a side-event of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, was the culmination of a year-long initiative of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) focused on identifying policies and legal reforms to tackle climate change at the international and national levels. Dr Minas participated in the UNited for Climate Justice steering committee, chaired by the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, and also drafted the executive summary of the initiative’s proposals.
In his remarks, Dr Minas emphasized the need for climate change policy to respect and give effect to fundamental human rights and freedoms, while also addressing emerging human rights challenges such as climate displacement. Dr Minas also discussed the importance of finance to the transition to a climate-neutral economy and some of the key financial reforms and instruments involved, including sustainable procurement, green bonds and carbon disclosure.
Conference speakers included Luis Alfonso de Alba, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit; Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans, The Nature Conservancy; Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation; Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, Spain; and Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark.
On September 16, 2019, Conversation Hour hosted former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development and Minister of International Cooperation in Egypt, Dr. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin. As one of STL’s visiting professors this quarter, Dr Ziad Bahaa-Eldin was invited as a guest speaker to discuss business law in the Arab world with STL’s faculty members and students. It was moderated by STL’s research and writing specialist, Dina Yehia.
Dr. Ziad Bahaa-EIdin is an Egyptian lawyer and expert on financial law, investment and company laws, governance, compliance and economic legislation. He is currently a Visiting Professor at STL. He launched the conversation by providing some background information about law in the Arab World. He pointed out that the Arab world is very diversified, with great differences in the economies, politics and culture of the various countries. He then discussed the Arab world’s legal system emphasizing that it had been greatly influenced by the European continental civil law system. When talking about the significance and influence of the Islamic law, he argued that, for the most part, Sharia is not directly applied as law, but remains as a philosophical influence on the law-making process. Finally，he put forward several reform suggestions that would allow the Arab world to better attract investment. Specifically, when asked about the areas in which reform would do the most to promote business and investment, he said that both judicial and administrative reform are important. Judicial reform is needed to create more space for investment and administrative reform is needed to better organize the economy. Conversation Hour concluded after a stimulating discussion.
Conversation Hour is part of STL’s Legal English offerings. It provides the students with a chance to discuss ideas – legal or otherwise. It is also a great way for Chinese and international students to meet and mingle and a forum for all to work on their networking skills and practice conversing in English. This Conversation Hour was rewarding for all attendees since it offered the faculty and students a unique opportunity to discuss the business law in the Arab world with an expert in this area.
On September 14th and 15th, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) successfully held the Second “International Conference on Facts and Evidence”. This conference was co-sponsored by the “2011 Plan” – Collaboration Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, STL, and the Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science of China University of Political Science and Law (Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, Ministry of Education). It brought together distinguished jurists and historians from Peking University, Qsinghua University, China University of Political Science and Law and other top universities in an inter-disciplinary dialogue between law and history concerning facts and evidence.
The conference consisted of two units. The first unit discussed facts and evidence from the perspective of jurists while the second discussed them from the perspective of historians.
On September 14th, Professor Zhang Baosheng from China University of Political Science and Law moderated the first unit where four jurists presented their varying perspectives. Professor Zhang Baosheng focused on the comparative analysis of the methods used in evidence law and historical fact-finding. Professor Long Zongzhi from Sichuan University discussed the similarities and differences between the verification methods used in law and history. Professor Shu Guoying from China University of Political Science and Law gave a detailed analysis of three basic concepts of law and history: fact, evidence and proof. Finally, Professor Thomas Yunlong Man from STL took the Burr-Hamilton duel and the trial on Burr’s crime of treason as examples to make a comparison between historical research and fact-finding in judicial adjudication. Each speech was followed by a heated discussion.
On September 15th, Professor Thomas Yunlong Man from STL moderated the second unit where four historians presented their academic speeches. Professor Zhong Weimin from Qsinghua University illustrated his view that history is not an evidence science, neither is law. Professor Zhang Xupeng from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences discussed how historians treat evidence. Professor Li Longguo took the Donation of Constantine as an example to discuss the facts and evidence in historical changes. Finally, Associate Professor Feng Jinpeng from Tianjin Normal University illustrated his opinion on the “presumption of guilt” in the trial of Socrates. At the end of each speech, the lecturer answered questions from the experts and students to further their understanding.
This conference offered a unique opportunity for jurists and historians to discuss facts and evidence together and provided a forum for divergent perspectives to be heard. At the closing ceremony, Professor Thomas Yunlong Man highly praised Professor Zhang Baosheng’s foresight to promote the inter-disciplinary dialogue between law and other subjects concerning facts and evidence.
The two chairmen of the conference expressed their ardent anticipation for the Foreign Expert Workshop of the Second International Conference on Facts and Evidence, which is due to take place in November in STL.
Research on the Legislation of Japanese Commercial Trust, translated by Professor Zhu Daming, has been officially published by the Law Press in June 2019. The book consists of nine chapters.
This book is compiled by the Japan Business Trust Research Institute, which is composed of 10 academic representatives and 8 practical representatives.
Zhu Daming is Assistant Dean for Continuing Professional Education and Associate Professor of Law at Peking University School of Transnational Law. He joined STL in 2014 from Tsinghua University, where he was an assistant professor of law. He received his LL.B. from Fudan University and his LL.M. and Ph.D. from Hitotsubashi University in Japan. He has served as a Visiting Specialist at the National Taiwan University College of Law. He is a scholar of financial law and comparative commercial law.