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.
Following up on their visit to Harvard University Law School in January for the LawWithoutWalls (“LWOW”) Kickoff, STL students Li Yidan (3L) and Wang Wei (2L) joined their teammates from top law and business schools around the world to present their team projects at the LWOW “ConPosium” at the University of Miami, April 22-23, 2017.
During the two-day ConPosium, STL students and their teams showcased their innovative projects to the LWOW community before a panel of multidisciplinary judges, who assessed the substance, viability and creativity of each project. Li Yidan’s team, which included students from Germany and France, favorably impressed the judges. Their project on using artificial intelligence (“AI”) applications to streamline the work of in-house lawyers in reviewing low-risk and repetitive documents earned top billing and recognition as “Winner of Creativity.”
“In the course of LWOW, I talked with numerous experts and scientists in the field, which helped me to understand the relationship between law and technology, ” said LiYidan of her LWOW experience. “As we learn important skills in legal analysis, research and interpretation during law school, we also should focus on the technological innovation that is happening in the legal profession,” she added.
2L student Wang Wei participated in LWOWx, LWOW’s on-line counterpart program that teams up students and professionals from around the globe to develop cutting-edge solutions to law, business, and technology-based problems. Wang Wei’s LWOWx team won the on-line competition and earned a fully-fundedtrip to join the ConPosium in Miami.
“The problem our team addressed was combatting adolescent cyberbullying. The first issue we had to overcome was the logistical challenge of being a single team spread across multiple time zones. Our team was very supportive of each other and exhibited mutual understanding and tolerance, which was one of the keys to our success,” said Wang Wei.
“I am very thankful to STL for giving me this amazing opportunity. In addition to learning new legal and business concepts, I also acquired many new transferable skills, such as shooting videos, marketing strategies, and the importance of engaging with the broader world, ” added Wang Wei.
LawWithoutWalls is a project run by the University of Miami that teams 100 students from 30 of the world’s leading law and business schools with academic, business, entrepreneur, and legal mentors to tackle cutting edge issues at the intersection of law, business and technology. STL is the only school in Asia to participate in this unique cross-disciplinary, cross-border program.
On April 28, STL hosted Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Founding Dean of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Soniapt, India. Professor Kumar delivered a public lecture on “Corruption and Good Governance in India: Establishment of a Rule of Law Society,” which was followed by a Q&A with STL students and faculty. During his visit, Professor Kumar and STL dean Philip McConnaughay signed an Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation between JGLS and STL aimed at strengthening research and student exchange opportunities between the schools.
Professor Kumar was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he obtained his Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degree; a Landon Gammon Fellow at the Harvard Law School, where he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree, and a James Souverine Gallo Memorial Scholar at Harvard University. He was awarded a Doctor of Legal Science (S.J.D.) by the University of Hong Kong. He also obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of Delhi, India, and a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree from Loyola College of the University of Madras, India.
JGLS offers a multi-disciplinary legal education with a view to producing world-class legal professionals, scholars, and public servants. It is the first global law school in India.
STL is the only law school in China – and the only law school in the world – to offer a full post-baccalaureate Common Law Juris Doctor (J.D.) curriculum alongside a complete China law Juris Master (J.M.) curriculum, thereby preparing STL graduates for the mixture of Common Law, civil law, and Chinese legal traditions increasingly characteristic of the global economy.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay was a keynote speaker at the 29th Shenzhen Legal Forum/2017 Global Intelligence Forum on “International Legal Talent Cultivation under the Background of Innovation,” on April 15, 2017 in Shenzhen. The Forum was sponsored by the Shenzhen Legal Society, the Shenzhen Bureau of Justice, and Benchmark Chambers International.
Dean McConnaughay’s remarks concerned, “Educating Legal Talents for a Globalized Age: Lessons from Shenzhen,” which he delivered to an audience of over 300 legal professionals. He spoke about the importance of a Chinese legal professional equipped to serve a sophisticated economy based on technological innovation, financial services and internationalization and that is capable of competing head-to-head with dominant British and American multinational law firms.
Shenzhen and the Greater Pear River Delta are at the forefront of transnational exchange and legal and commercial developments here likely will preview similar developments throughout China and throughout the world.
Other keynote speakers and panelists included Director General Zhou Yuansheng of the Department of Lawyers and Notarization, PRC Ministry of Justice, Executive Vice President of Renmin University, renowned Professor Wang Liming, and Professor Gao Xiqing, the principal architect of China’s capital markets regulatory system.
STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence Susan Finder, STL Assistant Dean Chen Keru, and STL Director of Development and Career Services Zhang Chenli also attended the Forum.
The 2017 Global Intelligence Forum is intended to promote the development of the legal infrastructure necessary for sustained economic growth and innovation in Shenzhen and the Greater Pearl River Delta.
Please click here to read Dean McConnaughay’s keynote speech, which was posted on WeChat by Benchmark Chambers International.
Times Higher Education (“THE”) ranked Peking University second among 300 institutions from 24 Asian countries in THE’s Asia University Rankings 2017.
On March 11, STL hosted the “First Chinese-Foreign Commercial Law Forum,” organized and led by Professor Zhu Daming, one of China’s leading scholars of comparative commercial law. The Forum brought together 41 top law professors from prestigious universities around China, including, among others, Tsinghua University, China University of Political Science and Law, Zhejiang University, Sun Yat-sen University, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, and Peking University. The theme of the Forum was, “Normalization of Company Resolution Act.” Forum participants prepared papers on relevant topics and presented on their areas of expertise.
The Forum was the first academic conference held in STL’s new building. Dean Philip McConnaughay extended a warm welcome on behalf of STL and said the law school was honored to host such a distinguished group of scholars, whose work is contributing to the advancement of commercial law theory, practice and reform throughout China.
Under Professor Zhu’s guidance, STL looks forward to making the Forum an annual event. Professor Zhu teaches Chinese commercial legal system, company law, and mergers and acquisitions at STL.
STL established the new “PKU-STL Alumni Association” on March 20 in Shenzhen, in conjunction with the dedication of the new STL Building. The inauguration ceremony was attended by over 100 alumni and STL faculty and friends. The launch of the PKU-STL Alumni Association marked a much-expected milestone for STL, which now boasts five classes of highly successful and trailblazing graduates. The mission of the new Association is to promote the interests of STL by fostering meaningful opportunities for alumni (i) to stay connected to the law school and to network with each other, (ii) to provide support and mentoring of students, and (iii) to provide counsel to the law school’s administration and faculty with respect to trends and developments in the market for legal services.
The ceremony was officiated by STL’s Vice Dean Emeritus Stephen Yandle, who greeted the returning alumni and reminded them that STL would always be happy to welcome them home. Niu Hongwei, Vice-Chancellor of Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus (PKUSZ), extended his congratulations on behalf of PKUSZ and shared his hope that synergies would be developed between the STL Association and the PKUSZ Alumni Association.
STL’s Director of Development and Career Services, Zhang Chenli, whose efforts were instrumental in establishing the new Association, discussed the principal objectives of the Association and the mechanics of how it will function (e.g., membership, meeting plan, and so forth). He applauded the enthusiasm of STL alumni and said the new Association was a great opportunity for graduates to keep in touch with the work of STL and to participate in the law school’s development.
The inaugural chairperson of the Association, Zhou Bin (class of 2012), and two current 2L students, Qin Shijie and Fan Fumei, rounded out the group of speakers. They all expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this landmark event for STL.
Following the ceremony, STL’s Student Union hosted a “house-warming” and networking party for students and alumni in the coffee lounge of the new STL Building.
Wang Hui, an alumnus from the class of 2014 who works for JunHe LLP in Shanghai, said that what he learned in STL attaches great importance in his career. At STL, he learned many essential skills that include the capability to analyze problems, the ability to research and construct compelling legal memos and other important documents, and the confidence to communicate in English. “Current students should cherish their school days at STL and make full use of the rich learning resources, ” he said.
Post-graduate placement of STL graduates is nearly 100 percent by the time students graduate. STL graduates hold positions with leading Chinese and multinational law firms, companies, NGOs and government offices worldwide. STL graduates pursuing academic careers have been accepted into advanced degree programs at several of the world’s most selective universities, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Chicago, Science Po, College of Europe and others.