The week of March 20 included a public lecture, class visits, and several student and faculty meetings with senior International Monetary Foundation (“IMF”) official David Vannier. Mr. Vannier works closely with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and oversees the external affairs of the Managing Director’s office, including all speaking engagements, written correspondence, protocol and special projects for IMF management. Prior to joining the IMF, Mr. Vannier was a journalist covering international affairs for Business Week and The Financial Times.
Mr. Vannier’s March 21 public lecture focused on “The International Monetary Fund’s Role in the Global Economy.” He discussed the history of the IMF, its mission and organizational structure, the IMF’s relationship to other international institutions such as the World Bank and the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the IMF’s decision-making process. A lively Q&A followed the lecture.
In addition, Mr. Vannier provided guest lectures in several STL classes during his stay. The classes included Corporate Finance, International Financial Regulation, Treaty Arbitration, and a seminar on Corporate Governance Law and Policy. The discussion in each class contributed to student understanding of theoretical concepts in the real world of international monetary organizations. Class discussions were enriched by Mr. Vannier’s visits with students and faculty throughout the week.
Professor Norman P. Ho was the invited speaker for the February 4, 2016 session of NYU Law School’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute (“USALI”) Lunch Talk Series. USALI, co-directed by NYU Law professors Jerome A. Cohen and Frank Upham, is known as one of the United States’s preeminent research centers for the study of law in Mainland China and Taiwan. USALI’s weekly lunch talk series brings guest experts from the academic, government, and non-profit sectors to share their views on China and Chinese law; invited speakers in the series have included experts such as William Alford (Harvard), Ezra Vogel (Harvard), Benjamin van Rooij (UC-Irvine), Benjamin Liebman (Columbia), and Evan Osnos (New Yorker).
Moderated by Professor Jerome A. Cohen as a question-and-answer session, Professor Ho’s remarks focused on his background, research interests, views on China and Chinese legal history, and PKU-STL’s history and future development.
Norman Ho is a scholar of Chinese legal history (from Chinese antiquity up to the 12th century A.D.), legal philosophy, and Chinese law. He teaches courses on Property, Chinese Legal and Political Philosophy, Legal Theory, and International Capital Markets Transactions in Hong Kong.
Peking University School of Transnational Law’s Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team performed strongly at the recently concluded national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the largest and most prestigious moot court competition in China and the world.
The team, composed of four second-year students, Deng Zhicong ’18, Li Yidan ’18, Zheng Xinjia ’18 and Zhu Liuheng ’18, competed in the national rounds in Suzhou University on February 17-18, 2016. The team won three of their four rounds with wide margins and received three awards for best oralists — an exceptional outcome in a hard-fought national round.
Zhu Liusheng received the award for sixth best oralist. Deng Zhicong received the award for tenth best oralist, and Zheng Xinjia received the award for twelfth best oralist.
This year’s effort continues STL’s tradition of strong performances in the Jessup Moot Court. In 2013, STL’s team was the China National Champion, earning a spot in the international round in Washington D.C. In 2015, STL’s team advanced to the exhibition round of the international competition in Washington, D.C., where they unanimously defeated three teams from around the world.
Jessup team member Deng Zhicong credits the moot for advancing his advocacy skills. The Jessup, he says, “provides intensive legal training of legal research, analysis, writing and advocacy. We learned to tackle a complex legal problem, present an argument persuasively and work as a team.”
The four students on STL’s Jessup team are among 24 who participate each year in the law school’s international moot court program. This year, in addition to the Jessup team, STL teams have competed in the European Law Student Association WTO Moot Court and the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court. STL teams will compete in the Vis (Vienna) Competition and the Vis (East) Competition.
Professor Mark Feldman’s invited book chapter on investment treaty arbitration was published, along with other leading scholars and practitioners from throughout the world, in a World Bank book commemorating the 50th anniversary of ICSID, The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Building International Investment Law: The First 50 Years of ICSID was published in December 2015 and “celebrates the first 50 years of ICSID by showcasing the landmark cases that have been decided under its auspices.” The Book, edited by Meg Kinnear, Secretary General of ICSID, includes 50 chapters, each authored by an expert on the chapter’s particular focus.
Professor Feldman’s invited chapter, “Denial of Benefits after Plama v. Bulgaria,” analyzes the impact of the 2005 Decision on Jurisdiction in Plama Consortium Limited v. Republic of Bulgaria, which, for the first time, provided extensive treatment of a denial of benefits provision. The 2005 Decision has greatly influenced the operation of denial of benefits provisions, and has been the subject of scrutiny by scholars and practitioners. Professor Feldman’s analysis focuses on one finding of the Plama Tribunal that has had a considerable impact on investment arbitration jurisprudence: the proposition that a host State’s denial of benefits after an investment has been made constitutes a “retrospective” application of the treaty which cannot be given effect.
Mark Feldman, a leading scholar of international investment and treaty arbitration, previously served as Chief of NAFTA/CAFTA-DR Arbitration in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. As Chief, he represented the United States as a Respondent or non-disputing Party in more than a dozen investor-State disputes and provided legal counsel supporting the negotiation of U.S. bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters of free trade agreements. In January 2015, he was appointed to the high-level 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 purpose of which is to generate policy recommendations to worldwide governments, businesses and NGOs regarding the international investment regime.
U.S. law professor Deborah Merritt has posted an article about STL on “Law School Cafe,” a popular blog that focuses on legal education and the legal profession. Professor Merritt’s post about STL concludes that, “As China develops its legal system, and as transnational interactions accelerate, it is hard to identify a group of individuals better suited [than STL graduates] to advise China and the world on emerging legal issues. Graduates of elite law schools in the U.S. and U.K. will continue to lead governments, businesses and nonprofits, but STL graduates will be at their side.” For the full post go to http://www.lawschoolcafe.org/2016/01/18/peking-university/ .
On December 19, 2015, STL and the Beijing office of The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) co-hosted a Roundtable on “International Migrations and Persons of Undetermined Nationality.” The full-day Roundtable, held at the Sheraton Hotel in the Futian District of Shenzhen, brought together representatives from UNHCR and students and faculty from STL to discuss topics such as the UNHCR Mandate on Stateless Persons, nationality-related and migration research issues and China exit and entry administration, and the role of clinical legal education and pro bono legal service in addressing migration law and immigration law issues.
The timing of the Roundtable coincided with a December 18, 2015 news report from the United Nations that the number of forcibly displaced persons in 2015 “is likely to exceed all previous records, for the first time topping 60 million, meaning that one out of every 122 persons on Earth has been forced to flee their home.” Roundtable participants discussed UNCHR’s role in leading and coordinating international action to protect these people and to resolve refugee problems worldwide.
The Roundtable featured presentations by Francis Teoh, the senior protection officer from UNHCR, who presented on the work of UNHCR and provided a basic framework for the division of responsibility within the organization. He pointed out that lawyering and advocacy are essential aspects of UNHCR’s efforts to fulfill its mandate to help refugees and stateless persons. STL alumna Zhou Yu (class of 2014), who works as the protection associate of UNHCR’s Beijing office, described her work on behalf of the organization and the opportunities she had as an STL student to study and research issues around refugee law.
Roundtable participants also heard from Professor Luo Gang from Yunnan University School of Law, who presented on immigration in China from the perspective of the Yunnan frontier area, which has one of the largest concentrations of immigrants in China; Professor Wang Yi, a scholar with the Institute of Overseas Chinese History Studies at Tsinghua University School of Social Science; and STL alumna Ma Huilian (class of 2012), a Shenzhen-based lawyer, who talked about public interest law programs and clinical opportunities at STL, and the important contribution of STL in promoting public interest advocacy for disadvantaged groups.
The Roundtable concluded with a very active Q&A session. The 30-plus STL students in attendance asked about issues such as the relationship between migrants and statelessness, the difference between refugees and migrants, the nature and interest of the “sanfei” problem (issue of illegal migration, illegal residence and illegal employment), and administration of nationality for international migrations.
STL looks forward to continued collaboration with UNHCR.
Extending a streak of superb achievement dating back to 2013, Peking University School of Transnational Law’s (STL) Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team reached the semi-finals of the 13th annual CIETAC Cup in Beijing from December 7-10. The team is composed of 4 students – Ji Yang ’18, Jiang Xinxin ’18, Wang Yushi ’17, and Zhang Dongtian ’17.
This year’s CIETAC Cup was contested by 39 teams from law schools all around China. After arguing four times in the preliminary round, twice each on behalf of the moot problem’s claimant and respondent, the team’s cumulative score placed them third among all teams, a new STL record for post-preliminary round ranking. In the quarter-finals, the team bested Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, before seeing their strong run end in the semi-finals against East China University of Political Science and Law, itself a two-time CIETAC Cup champion.
The team’s exceptional performance followed the two consecutive CIETAC Cup championships STL garnered in 2013, the first year in which STL competed in the CIETAC Cup, and 2014.
Both Wang and Zhang also earned individual distinctions. Wang was recognized as the highest-scoring oralist out of all students at the competition, and also took home awards for Best Oralist in the quarter-final round and semi-final round. Meanwhile, Zhang was recognized as the fifth highest-scoring oralist out of all students. Both represented the respondent in the moot problem while their teammates, Ji and Jiang, represented the claimant.
The next stop for the team is Vienna where they will vie for even greater success at the international Vis competition in March. The international competition attracts teams from up to 300 schools from around the world.
Ji commented, “I had expected the experience would be memorable, but never knew it would be so indelible.” Crediting the team’s success to STL’s “unique legal education,” Jiang noted the many opportunities for “extensive daily reading” and to “intensify our oral argument skills” that prepared her and her teammates for the rigors of the competition.
Zhang remarked on the team’s terrific chemistry, “it was a pleasure to work with my smart, dedicated and trustworthy teammates. Without them, none of what we accomplished would have happened.” Summing up the entire experience, Wang said, “this was an amazing journey. The entire preparation process was tough, but fun. We never stopped pushing ourselves. We tried always to read more, to think deeper, to express better, and all of our self-challenging eventually turned into self-improvement.”
The CIETAC Cup is sponsored by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). The CIETAC Cup uses the same case problem as the international Vis competition, focused around the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, and simulating an actual arbitral hearing. The competition is held entirely in English.
The four students on STL’s Vis team are among 24 who participate each year in the school’s international moot court program. The moot court competitions provide intense training in legal writing and oral advocacy, helping to augment skills acquired in the school’s Transnational Legal Practice program. Faculty coaches work closely with each moot court team to guide learning while the law school provides financial support for travel.
This year, in addition to the Vis team competing in Vienna, STL has teams competing in the Vis (east) Competition (based in Hong Kong), the European Law Student Association WTO Moot Court (based in Geneva), the International Criminal Court Trial Competition (based at the Hague), the Jessup International Law Moot Court (based in Washington, D.C.), and the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court (based in Hong Kong).
By Eric H. Mao, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs
Professor Norman P. Ho was the invited presenter for the November 25, 2015 session of the Legal and Constitutional History Colloquium at New York University (NYU) School of Law, where he presented his paper, “The Legal Thought of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty.” The Legal and Constitutional History Colloquium, co-convened by Professors William E. Nelson and John P. Reid, is the oldest of NYU Law’s various colloquia, which are generally organized as weekly workshops/seminars where speakers from around the U.S. and the world are invited to present papers and works in progress. Invited presenters in the Legal and Constitutional History Colloquium in the Fall 2015 semester have included legal historians Morton Horwitz (Harvard Law School), Sir John Baker (Cambridge), and Sarah B. Gordon (University of Pennsylvania).
Professor Ho is a scholar of Chinese legal history (from Chinese antiquity up to the 12th century A.D.), legal philosophy, Chinese law, and comparative corporate law.
Professor Norman P. Ho with NYU Law Professor William E. Nelson, co-organizer of the prestigious NYU Legal and Constitutional History Colloquium
Dean Philip McConnaughay presented his paper, “Imitation and Innovation: The Case of Peking University School of Transnational Law,” at a November 19-20 symposium at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on, “Legal Education in Asia: From Imitation to Innovation.”
The theme of the symposium was Asia’s unique mix of common law, civil law and customary traditions and the need for legal education in the region to develop its own methods and objectives rather than rely exclusively on Western-style practices and curriculums.
Dean McConnaughay’s paper discusses how STL’s unique location, in Shenzhen, at the intersection of China’s pluralistic legal traditions and Hong Kong’s common law tradition, influences STL’s blended China law/American law curriculum and offers a preview of likely future worldwide commercial and legal practices as China’s global economic influence continues to grow.
Dean McConnaughay also served as a moderator, presiding over a panel discussion about legal education in South Korea and Indonesia.
Conference participants included faculty from Shanghai Jiao Tong KoGuan Law School, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Seoul National University School of Law, Kyoto University Faculty of Law, Thammasat University Faculty of Law, Singapore Management University, and other law schools.
The Peking University Transnational Law Review recently published Volume 3, Issue 1 (2015). The Issue includes articles on foreign-Chinese joint ventures, challenges in China-ASEAN food safety cooperation, a study of the investment contract terms and level of control of China’s sovereign wealth funds, VIEs in the context of foreign investment regulation in China, and VIE-structured enterprises in China’s domestic capital market. The Issue is available online by clicking here.
The Issue also includes a special interview with Professor Harold Koh, one of the world’s leading scholars of public international law, who visited and lectured at STL last year. Professor Koh, the Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, previously served as Legal Advisor to the United States Department of State, as Assistant Secretary of State, and as Dean of the Yale Law School.
The Peking University Transnational Law Review is a student-edited English-language journal with worldwide readership devoted to publishing scholarly articles about transnational law topics. Founded in 2011, the Law Review already has published several articles that have received international acclaim. A Study of the Risks of Contract Ambiguity, authored by STL Distinguished Visiting Professor Preston Torbert, for example, was one of the top ten most downloaded articles in the fields of Contracts, Commercial Law, and Securities Law on the worldwide Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), the leading digital network for scholars and practitioners. The Law Review is published in hard copy and is available on-line in several of the world’s leading academic databases, including HeinOnline, Chinalawinfo, Westlaw, LexisNexis, and CNKI.