STL had a strong showing at the 17th Peking University Young Teachers’ Teaching Competition, December 9 in Beijing. John Aycock, Lecturer of Law and Director of Graduate and International Programs, and Yi Seul Kim, C.V. Starr Lecturer of Law, both earned top prizes in the Humanities and Social Sciences category. Aycock earned First Prize and the Best Lesson Plan Award; Kim earned Third Prize. Dozens of faculty from Peking University’s Beijing and Shenzhen campuses participated in the competition.
Aycock, who also serves as the coach of STL’s Vis International Arbitration Moot team, presented a class on contract law and advertisements as enforceable offers. Kim presented on reading judicial opinions and the duty to warn.
“Peking University’s encouragement of continuing education opportunities such as the teaching competition reinforces the University’s commitment to students’ educational experience as a top priority,” said Aycock.
“This was a very good opportunity to meet passionate teachers who experiment with unique teaching methods. I learned a lot from this experience,” said Kim, a graduate of STL’s Class of 2014, who went on to earn her LL.M. from Harvard Law School.
STL has enjoyed a track record of success at the PKU Young Teachers Teaching Competition. In 2015, Nathaniel Reisenberg, then C.V. Starr Lecturer of Law, won the First Prize in the Teaching Competition.
“STL’s tradition of positive reception in these events is a testament to the effectiveness of the unique teaching style we utilize, blending lecture, the Socratic method, and practical elements into a cohesive whole. There are numerous benefits to more robust engagement from students in seeking answers to difficult questions. Indeed, this is why many of our students decided to come to STL,” remarked Aycock.
STL was represented by Professor Francis Snyder and 3L student Ni Lili at an international conference on “60 Years after the Treaties of Rome: What is the Future for the European Union,” November 27-28, 2017 in Macau. Professor Snyder and Ni Lili presented their research paper, “Three Faces of China – EU Cooperation: From the Beijing Olympics to One Belt, One Road.” The conference was jointly organized by the European Union Academic Programme in Macau and the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau.
This is not the first time Professor Snyder and Ni Lili have collaborated on a research project. Earlier this year, they co-authored two articles, “Apples from China and the Emerging World Food Trade Order: Food Safety, International Trade and Regulatory Collaboration between China and the European Union,” which was selected for publication in the Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (Oxford University Press, 2017), and “A Tale of Eight Pesticides: Risk Regulation and Public Health in China,” which was published in the European Journal of Risk Regulation.
On December 15, STL and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (PKUSZ) hosted the first PKUSZ Technology Finance Forum. The Forum was moderated by STL Professor Zhu Daming and brought together regulators and business leaders in the technology finance industry, several of whom are Peking University alumni, to discuss developments, challenges and opportunities in the FinTech industry.
In his welcome address, STL Dean Philip McConnaughay remarked that, “Technology is disrupting and transforming financial services in ways we could not have imagined ten or even five years ago. And the innovations in financial services are causing additional innovations and benefits throughout society. We think of STL in much the same way. STL is the only law school in the world to offer a dual degree program in both China Law and American Common Law, which we increasingly blend and supplement in ways responsive to the advanced internationalized economy of Shenzhen and the Greater Pearl River Delta. Our goal at STL is to disrupt and transform legal education and legal services in much the same way as technology is transforming financial services.”
Keynote speakers included Professor Qian Yulin from East China University of Political Science and Law, Professor Ge Weijun from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Huang Hengzhong, Director of Shenzhen Nanshan Hi-Tech Incubator.
On December 11, STL welcomed David Faigman, the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law and Chancellor and Dean of the University of California Hastings College of Law. Professor Faigman, who also holds an appointment as Professor in the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, delivered a public lecture on “The Challenges of Integrating Scientific Research Into Legal Decision Making.” Professor Faigman is an acclaimed scholar of law and science and scientific evidence. His talk focused on the capacity of courts and the respective roles of judges and juries in evaluating the reliability of scientific evidence. He discussed the 1993 landmark case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that judges are gatekeepers and must ensure that the underlying basis for the scientific evidence is reliable and valid. He described the courts inconsistent application of the Daubert standard and offered his suggestions for best practices in this area.
Professor Faigman was joined by his colleague, Keith Hand, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Global Programs at UC Hastings. STL and UC Hastings are working on a collaboration agreement regarding student and faculty exchange.
Professor Faigman received his M.A. (Psychology) and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is the author of three books and over 50 articles and essays appearing in publications, such as the Chicago, Pennsylvania and Northwestern University law reviews, Science, Sociological Methods & Research, Nature, Neuroscience, and Oxford Press. He is a co-author of the five-volume treatise, Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with Cheng, Mnookin, Murphy Sanders & Slobogin). He was a member of the National Academies of Science panel that investigated the scientific validity of polygraphs, served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s Report, “Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods,” and is a member of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Network.
Professor Francis Snyder, a world-renowned expert on food safety law and policy, was invited to participate in the 2017 Food & Health Forum on “How Innovation Impacts Quality of Life,” November 21 in Hong Kong. He presented his paper, “Food Safety, Food Quality and Sustainable Development: Research at Peking University School of Transnational Law, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School.” The Forum, which was billed as a “meet up between Italian and Hong Kong experts,” was devoted to a range of topics, including the challenges of food safety and innovation and how to facilitate a strong bioeconomy. The event was co-organized by the World Food Forum, the Consulate General of Italy for Hong Kong and Macau, the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government in Italy, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
Frank Wu, one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States on questions of Asian American identity and trends in legal education, visited the STL community on December 6 for a public lecture and meetings with faculty. Professor Wu is a Distinguished Professor at University of California Hastings College of Law. He previously served as Chancellor and Dean at the school. In 2013, he was voted the most influential dean in legal education in a poll by National Jurist magazine. He is a former dean of Wayne State University Law School and a former member of the law faculty of Howard University. He was the first Asian American to hold each of these appointments.
Professor Wu spoke with STL students and faculty about his experience as an American of Chinese heritage and the challenges presented by stereotypical assumptions in U.S. society. He also talked about his work as Chair of the Committee of 100, an invitation-only non-profit group of highly successful and influential Chinese Americans founded by Yo-Yo Ma, I.M. Pei and others, with the twin missions of promoting positive U.S.-China relations and the civic participation of Chinese Americans.
Peking University School of Transnational Law’s International Environmental Moot Court (IEMCC) Team earned “Best Memorial Award” and the Silver Medal in the East Asia Qualifying Round of the “Stetson University International Environmental Moot Court Competition,” November 29-December 2 at Soongsil University College of Law, Seoul, Korea.
The Stetson International Environmental Moot is one of the world’s premier moot court competitions focusing on environmental law issues. STL’s strong performance in the Qualifying Round earned team members Chen Yangjie ’18 and Tang Hao ’18 a trip to Stetson University in the United States for the International Finals in March 2018.
“It is the first time that I participated in a moot court competition and I feel very fortunate about the outcome and for all of the support from STL and our coach,” remarked Chen Yangjie, who also received the individual “Second Oralist Award.”
“It is really a great honor to represent STL in IEMCC. Yangjie and I prepared for our own issues respectfully, but we also helped each other by making suggestions during the preparation. In the competition round, we cooperated well, learned from each oral round and then made adjustments in our approach. Our success was the result of our cooperation and preparation, as well as from the good advice of our coach. From my perspective, moot court is a really good opportunity to develop and improve your legal skills,” said Tang Hao.
“The Stetson Environmental Moot is the premier international environmental moot in the world. I am happy that Tang Hao and Chen Yangjie represented STL at this Moot and that they impressed judges with their advocacy and analytical skills. Only two teams from all of East Asia will proceed to the international rounds. I’m happy that STL will send one of those teams in the first year we have ever participated,” said IEMCC team coach Assistant Dean Christian Pangilinan.
Professor Ray Campbell was one of several leading experts invited to speak at the LexTech 2017 Conference on “The Future of Law,” November 4-5 in Kuala Lumpur. Professor Campbell participated in a panel on “ AI and Big Data: Can Lawyers Be Replaced?” His remarks focused on, “Is AI Just Hype?” He was joined on the panel by lawyers from Linklaters, Lexis Nexis and Zico Holdings. 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 was the first of its kind legal technology conference that brought together private, public and regulatory organizations to “share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to compete in the ever-changing legal landscape of South East Asia.” The conference aimed to identify leading-edge issues in legal tech that might contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing lawyers, law firms and legal tech start-ups.
On October 30, 2017, Professor Mark Feldman and John Aycock, director of STL’s international programs, visited the Malaysian Bar Council in Kuala Lumpur for invited presentations to Bar members. Professor Feldman, a scholar of international investment treaty arbitration, delivered remarks on “Mega-Regional Free Trade Agreements: Asia as 21st Century Rule-Maker.” His remarks focused on Asia as the new center of gravity for international investment law rule-making. This is occurring largely as a result of two developments: (i) the negotiation of two mega-regional free trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), both based in Asia and both proceeding without the United States, and (ii) the stalling-out of a third mega-regional free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).
Director Aycock devoted his presentation to legal developments in China’s Pearl River Delta, which included an introduction to STL’s unique program of legal education.
Professor Feldman and Director Aycock also visited the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration during their visit to Malaysia.
On October 30, STL hosted a panel of experts to discuss the case of missing Peking University Shenzhen (PKUSZ) graduate Zhang Yingying, who graduated in 2016 with a master’s degree in environmental engineering. She disappeared in early June 2017 while studying as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in the United States. A University of Illinois post-graduate student has been charged with her kidnapping and criminal proceedings are under way. Zhang Yingying remains missing.
The panel of experts invited to discuss the case surrounding Zhang Yingying’s disappearance included Wang Zhidong, a senior lawyer representing Zhang Yingying’s family, and Dr. Liu Shiquan, a noted forensic scientist. Both guests shared their findings before a standing-room only audience of students and professors from STL and the entire PKUSZ community, as well as several practicing lawyers and interested members of the public. The program was organized and moderated by STL Distinguished Professor from Practice, Dr. Thomas Yunlong Man, a scholar of comparative evidence. The event was broadcast live by Southern Metropolitan Daily, a Shenzhen-based news outlet.
Wang Zhidong is the founder and managing partner at Wang, Leonard & Condon, and is a nationally-acclaimed immigration attorney. As a member of the Sino-U.S.legal team representing Zhang Yingying’s family, he plays an important role as a public spokesperson on behalf of the family. He devoted most of his remarks to a discussion about the procedural process relating to the prosecution of the suspect, covering several important issues such as federal jurisdiction, death penalty, changes in the defense teams and strategies and prospects of a criminal conviction.
Dr. Shiquan, aided by detailed photographic analysis, offered an explanation of the police and FBI investigative processes. He shared insights into the cooperation between Chinese police and the FBI that he helped to coordinate and that resulted in critical leads to identify the suspect. Dr. Shiquan earned his Ph.D degree from People’s Public Security University of China and is a post-doctoral fellow at China University of Political Science and Law. He is responsible for crime scene investigation and evidence identification and has been involved in numerous high-profile cases.
Following the presentations by Wang Zhidong and Dr. Shiquan, a prominent local criminal lawyer, Mr. Liu Hui, offered brief comments focusing on the differences between U.S. and Chinese criminal proceedings.
The experts then took questions from the audience. The Q&A was extremely engaged and from time to time emotional as several of Zhang Yingying’s former classmates recalled their relationship with her and asked how they might assist in the effort to solve her case.
The program also included extensive participation by several STL students who worked under the supervision of Professor Man to prepare background information to help guide the audience through the nuances of the case.