Professor Nitzan Shilon presented his working paper, The Case for Managerial Signaling in Deciding Hostile Takeovers, at the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association (ALEA), which was held on May 15-16 at Columbia Law School. Professor Shilon served as the panel chair of the “Mergers, Acquisitions & Takeovers” session. The panel included the notable Professor Lucian Bebchuk from Harvard Law School and Professor Xiumin Martin from Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Kathryn Judge from Columbia Law School served as the discussant for Professor Shilon’s paper presentation.
ALEA is dedicated to the advancement of economic understanding of law and related areas of public policy and regulation. The association serves to promote research in law and economics and contribute to the growing acceptance of legal and economic perspectives by judges, practitioners, and policy-makers. The association was co-founded in 1991 by George Priest, A. Mitchell Polinsky, and Steven Shavell.
Dean Philip McConnaughay was one of four keynote speakers at the plenary session of the Annual Meeting of the European Law Faculties Association (“ELFA”) in Istanbul, Turkey on April 17. Dean McConnaughay’s address was titled, “Experiments with Legal Education in China: One Step Ahead of the EU and U.S.?” The other keynote speakers were The Hon. Marc Jaeger, President of the General Court of the European Court of Justice, Professor Leo Martinez, outgoing President of the Association of American Law Schools, and Professor Erika Techera, Dean of the University of Western Australia Faculty of Law. STL has joined ELFA as an Affiliate Member.
Read the Dean’s remarks by clicking here.
Development and Career Services Office organised a visit to the First Circuit of the Supreme People’s Court in Shenzhen on 22 April, 2015. Deputy Chief Judge Zhou Fan, Judge Liang Xiangyang, Presiding Judge Huang Jinlong, and Assistant Judge Chen Hongyu welcomed the group of faculty, staff and students.
Judge Liang Xiangyang introduced the First Circuit Court’s court rooms and facilities to the group. After that, Judge Zhou Fan introduced the background of establishing the First Circuit Court, its jurisdiction, staffing, organizational structure, facilities etc. Director of STL Development and Career Services Office, Zhang Chenli and Professor Jin Zining briefly introduced STL to the judges. Impressed by STL’s unique legal education, Deputy Chief Judge Zhou Fan and other Judges further learned STL’s curriculum and placement. In the end, students also got the opportunity to ask their questions to the judges as well.
With the visit, the group learned more about the First Circuit Court of the Supreme People’s Court. Meanwhile, it opened the door for further cooperation and interaction between STL and the First Circuit of the Supreme People’s Court.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay served as a panelist with respect to “The Rule of Law in China’s Free Trade Areas” at the first “China Free Trade Zone Arbitration Forum” on April 10, in Qianhai, sponsored jointly by the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration) and the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone.
Other speakers and guests included The First Circuit Court of The Supreme People’s Court Chief Justice Liu Guixiang, The Civil Fourth Court of Supreme People’s Court Chief Justice Luo Dongchuan, The Authority of Qianhai Chief Director Zhang Bei, the Chairs of the Arbitration Commissions of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Zhuhai, STL Professor Thomas Man, and STL Assistant Dean Chen Keru.
The forum was held to advance China’s national strategy of “One Belt and One Road” and expanding China Pilot Free Trade Zones (“FTA”). The forum explored how international arbitration serves the FTA commercial legal environment. The meeting established the China FTA Arbitration Cooperation Alliance.
Professor Mark Feldman has been appointed to the E15 Task Force on Investment Policy, sponsored jointly by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). The Task Force, led by Dr. Karl P. Sauvant, founding executive director and current senior resident fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment, is made up of distinguished investment and trade law and policy experts from academia, international organizations, and business. The first meeting of the Task Force was held March 23-24 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Task Force is part of the broader E15 Initiative, which aims, through non-partisan expert-led multi-stakeholder dialogue, to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade system.
Professor Feldman’s appointment to the E15 Task Force on Investment Policy reflects his status as of one the leading scholars of international investment and treaty arbitration. Before joining STL, Professor Feldman served as Chief of NAFTA/CAFTA-DR Arbitration in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the United States Department of State, where he represented the United States in more than a dozen investor-State disputes. He currently co-directs the Pearl River Delta Academy of International Trade and Investment Law and serves as a member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration’s Academic Council and as a Global Associate of the National University of Singapore’s Centre for International Law. Professor Feldman teaches Contracts, International Business Transactions, and Treaty Arbitration in STL’s innovative J.D. curriculum.
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.”
Professor Stephen Minas, a scholar of climate change governance, technology transfer and transnational legal structures, played an important role at the November 6-17 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. The Conference was the 23rd meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The annual COP meeting is the key venue for the international community to set the course of activity under the Climate Convention and the 2016 Paris Agreement.
Professor Minas co-organized a panel discussion on “Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy,” which was co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Foundation Jean Jaurès, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Transnational Law Institute (TLI) of King’s College London. The panel discussed practical options for addressing climate justice in a fair, progressive and socially equitable manner. Professor Minas spoke about the social dimensions of the EU’s Energy Union framework.
Other speakers on the panel included the President of the EESC, Georges Dassis; Cillian Lohan, EESC Rapporteur on Climate Justice; Agnès Michelot of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council; Anne-Beth Skrede, Adviser on Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development with the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions; Mart Raamat, representing the Estonian presidency of the EU; and Emily Hickson, Manager, Net Zero by 2050 at the B-Team, who discussed the business community’s engagement with unions and civil society in scaling up climate action.
Professor Minas also moderated a panel discussion on “A Just Transition, Economic Diversification and the Forum on Response Measures to Climate Change.” Speakers included William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, Manager, Mitigation and Transparency Support, UN Climate Secretariat; Peter Govindasamy, member of the Singapore delegation and member of the ad hoc Technical Expert Group; Steven Turnbull from the delegation of Australia; Nick Mabey, Chief Executive and a founding director of E3G; and Annabella Rosemberg, Policy Officer at the International Trade Union Confederation.
Later in the Conference, Professor Minas participated in the side event of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism, which works on climate technology development and transfer. The Technology Executive Committee (TEC) is the policy arm of the mechanism, providing reporting and recommendations on key technological developments; the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is the implementation arm, responding to technical assistance requests from developing countries. Professor Minas is a member of the TEC’s task forces on mitigation and climate technology financing. As part of the panel discussion, he presented on the TEC’s engagement with the research community and other non-party stakeholders.
Professor Minas also participated in a panel discussion as part of Law Day, hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN is an environmental network encompassing both government and civil society organisations. He is a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law and its Specialist Group on Climate Change. The panel discussion focused on opportunities for the Specialist Group to contribute legal advice and research to assist in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and related climate change instruments.
On November 8, the Law and Climate Change Toolkit was launched. The Toolkit is an online platform designed to assist countries in implementing the Paris Agreement through domestic legislation. The Toolkit is a collaboration of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the UN Environment, and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Professor Minas has been working with the project team to develop the Toolkit.
Further information about the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 is available here.
Professor Thomas Yunlong Man’s new book, English Colonization and the Formation of Anglo-American Polities, 1606-1664, is the first comprehensive examination of the formation of the uniquely “American” form of triadic government in the process of English colonization of North America during the first half of the seventeenth century. The book, published in October 2015 by China Social Sciences Resources Press, draws heavily on theories that Professor Man developed while earning his Ph.D. in American Constitutional History from The Johns Hopkins University. Before his career as a law professor and practicing lawyer, Professor Man taught in the History Department of Peking University and was a visiting fellow at the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
The eminent historian, Jack P. Greene, the Andrew Mellon Professor in the Humanities of The Johns Hopkins University, says of Professor Man’s book, “no modern work has thrown more light on [the origins of British colonial governance] than this original and penetrating study by Dr. (Thomas) Yunlong Man.” Professor Greene adds that, “Man’s study is fundamental to the understanding of the origins of English colonial governance,” and “should be required reading for those who want to understand the full dimensions of early modern European expansion.”
Professor Man joined STL in 2014 after 17 years of law practice in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions with a number of leading multinational law firms in Chicago, Shanghai and Beijing, including as a partner with Baker & McKenzie, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Hogan Lovells and Morrison & Foerster. During his law practice, Professor Man participated and led numerous cross-border transactions, including several projects that were named “Deal of the Year” in the China market by leading law publications (e.g., Texas Instruments investment in Chengdu, 2010, by China Business Law Journal, and Walwart investment in Yihaodian, 2012, by China Law & Practice). He was listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in the Mergers & Acquisition and Project Finance categories by International Financial Law Review in 2011.
Professor Man’s teaching and research areas include evidence law, constitutional law and comparative judicial process, dual language contract drafting and interpretation, and anti-bribery and ethics in international business transactions. He is a recipient of a grant from the “2011 Plan” of the PRC national government for his research in forensic examination and comparative judicial systems and he was appointed in 2015 to the governing board of the International Association of Evidence Science.
The Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) community appeared captivated on Saturday afternoon, March 14, when a standing-room only crowd of over two hundred students and faculty packed the Moot Court room to hear Professor Harold Koh’s talk, U.S. Engagement Through the Respect for the Rule of Law and Use of “Smart Power.” Professor Koh, one of the world’s leading scholars of public international law, is the Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. He previously served as Legal Advisor to the United States Department of State, as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and as Dean of the Yale Law School.
Professor Koh engaged the audience with insider stories about the Obama administration’s commitment to international engagement based on respect for the rule of law, as well as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s commitment to the use of “smart power” – a term encompassing defense, diplomacy, development, human rights, and other elements that fall outside of military “hard power.” Professor Koh also talked about the importance of equipping China’s next generation of lawyers with an understanding of transnational law practice. He said that STL graduates are uniquely prepared for the challenges of the global legal services marketplace because of STL’s innovative dual degree J.D./J.M. program of study.
Of note, Professor Koh has two important connections with STL. One is Associate Professor Mark Feldman, who served as Chief of the NAFTA Arbitration Section of the State Department’s Office of Legal Advisor while Professor Koh was Legal Advisor. The other is Vice Dean Stephen Yandle, with whom Professor Koh worked for many years while Dean Yandle was Associate Dean of the Yale Law School.
STL’s C.V. Starr Professor of Law Francis Snyder was interviewed by Teledifusao de Macau S.A. to talk about food safety in mainland China on March 12, 2015. Professor Snyder is one of the world’s leading scholars of European Union law and international economic law, particularly in the context of food safety policy. (Click the start button in the picture above to watch Professor Snyder’s interview.)