On Monday May 20, 2019, Professor Manjiao Chi from the School of Law at the University of International Business and Economics (“UIBE”) held a presentation at STL on China’s Foreign Investment Law. Later in the day, Professor Chi also had a joint presentation with STL’s Professor Mark Feldman, talking about Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform and China’s Possible Policy Options. Both presentations were hosted by STL’s distinguished Professor Francis Snyder.
Manjiao Chi is a Professor and the Founding Director of the Center for International Economic Law and Policy (CIELP) at UIBE’s Law School in Beijing. He also holds visiting professorships and fellowships at a number of international organizations, leading law schools and institutions across the world. He frequently serves as arbitrator, expert and advisor in foreign related disputes.
Professor Manjiao Chi began by discussing China’s Foreign Investment Law (“FIL”) – the first national law of its kind since the economic reform in the late 1970s. FIL has been adopted by China’s National People’s Congress in March 2019. Professor Chi presented on the latest and boldest step China had made in its foreign investment governance regime. The presentation reviewed the making of FIL from a historical perspective, analyzed the major progress it had made and explored some potential defects that call for further law-making and implementation efforts.
Later in the afternoon, Professor Manjiao Chi and Professor Mark Feldman presented on the issue of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform and China’s possible policy options. This joint presentation provided an up-to-date discussion of the various aspects of the ongoing ISDS reform, as well as China’s possible position and consideration in this highly contentious issue.
As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL), a Sino-American Expert Forum on “Legal and Funding Issues for Successful Startups” was held in Shenzhen on Sunday December 2nd. The full-day program was organized by STL in partnership with University of California Berkeley Law School’s Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT). Speakers and panelists included world-leading academics, lawyers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
The forum was officially held in the auditorium of Peking University HSBC Business School. Philip McConnaughay, Dean and Professor of STL, briefly reviewed the history of STL’s establishment and the progress which STL made during the past ten years. Wu Yundong, Chancellor of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, emphasized the importance of startups and extended his sincere welcome to foreign experts. Erwin Chemerinsky, Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Berkeley Law, spoke highly of the forum and the rich discussions that took place between Chinese and American experts and scholars.
The first session was on “Entity Formation and Early Financing” and was moderated by Adam Sterling, Executive Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Business. The session began with David Thomas, Vice President of Industry Research and Analysis of Biotechnology Innovation Organization delivering his lecture on the special issues in biotechnology. Subsequently, Lin Lin, Assistant Professor of Law and Finance of National University Singapore lectured on private equity and crowd-sourced funding in China and Asia. Lastly, Liu Fang, Partner of Broad & Bright, as an expert in Corporate law in China and the United States, provided the Chinese perspective on the matter.
Before proceeding to the second session, Lu Shan, the Deputy Director of the Shenzhen United Propert and Share Rights Exchange, gave a very interesting talk on venture capital. The second session was on “Regulatory and Trade Issues”. Mark Cohen, Senior Fellow and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, lectured from the perspective of patent protection and mentioned the recent trade dispute between China and the US.
Under the theme of “Advanced Financing”, the third session was moderated by STL Professor Sang Yop Kang. Adam Sterling, the executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, launched the discussion by providing a general overview of the issue. He was followed by Professor Kang who presented unique insights on corporate governance and control issues. Finally, Ling Tong, a lawyer with FangDa, closed the session by providing the Chinese perspective on the matter.
The fourth session was moderated by Robert Merges, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosata Professor of Law and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology of Berkeley Law. Speakers in this session reflected on the varies means through which startups’ new ideas are protected. Li K, General Manager of Chinese Academy of Sciences Intellectual Property Investment Company, delved into the issue of IP investment. While Jeff Cao, Senior Researcher of Tencent Research Institute, and LI Binxin, Partner of Baker McKenzie/Fenxun complicated the discussion by providing varying Chinese perspectives. They affirmed the importance of innovation for startups and proposed constructive suggestions in fostering and protecting those ideas.
Subsequently, a very inspiring keynote speech on startups was delivered by Dong Shaoling, who is the CEO of RabbitPre and was named Forbes “Top 30 Under 30” in 2017.
Finally, the event ended after the fifth session on “Employee Issues” with inspiring talks by Robert Merges, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosata Professor of Law and Director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology of Berkeley Law and Zhu Shaobin, Partner of Morgan Lewis, as they shared their experiences in human resource management.
With more than 1000 people from all over the world registering to attend, the Forum was designed to foster a rich and creative discussion on the rapidly evolving field of startups in Shenzhen and Greater Bay Area.
Related News (in Chinese):
Shenzhen Special Zone Daily
Yangcheng Evening News
The International Court of Justice’s landmark February 2019 advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius has been analysed by STL Assistant Professor Stephen Minas, in an article for the journal Transnational Legal Theory.
The advisory opinion from the ICJ is the latest in a long-running series of legal processes, which resulted from the United Kingdom’s separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius, prior to granting Mauritius independence as a sovereign nation. In its opinion, the ICJ concluded that as a result of the UK’s detachment of the Chagos Archipelago, the decolonisation of Mauritius remains incomplete.
In the article, titled “Why the ICJ’s Chagos Archipelago advisory opinion matters for global justice—and for ‘Global Britain’”, Dr. Minas placed the advisory opinion in the context of decades of prior litigation, including in the English courts and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, brought against the UK by both the Republic of Mauritius and by the displaced Chagossians, who want to return to their homeland. Dr. Minas discussed the potential significance of the opinion, both on the topic of decolonisation and more broadly.
In the STL course Advanced Transnational Law, taught during Quarter 3, Dr. Minas taught the series of Chagos-related litigation as an example of transnational legal process, involving multiple national and international courts and tribunals, and multiple areas of substantive law. Commenting on the synergies between teaching and research, Dr. Minas said: “The Chagos advisory opinion offered students an example of transnational legal process in action which implicated critical questions of legal interpretation and justice. At the same time, the discussions in class were of great benefit in prompting the development of the article. This is just one example of how research and teaching are deeply complementary activities.”
On May 9, 2019, STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence Susan Finder wa invited to speak in Hong Kong on Reforming How China Disciplines Judges at a one-day conference on Judicial Cooperation and Judicial Reform in China. The conference was jointly organized by the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong; Centre for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), City University of Hong Kong & EU-China Legal and Judicial Cooperation (EUPLANT).
Professor Finder spoke on the first panel in the morning session, which was devoted to examining China’s judicial reforms. The afternoon session focused on issues of judicial cooperation. She commented in the afternoon on the presentations on the China International Commercial Court. Other participants in the conference included senior judges from Shenzhen, Hainan and Zhuhai, scholars from all three Hong Kong law schools, and scholars based at Queen Mary College, London.
STL Visiting Assistant Professor Danny Friedmann was invited to write the editorial for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (Oxford University Press).
The editorial is called Strict liability for OSPs vindicated in the age of omniscience (open access) and is about internet intermediary liability. Since 2010, Professor Friedmann has published several times about why safe harbors for online service providers in case of copyright and trademark infringements do not work. In the newly adopted EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market his vision of abolishing the safe harbor has been vindicated.
Reading enriches people’s soul and, in some ways, movies are dynamic books. To celebrate the World Reading Day on April 24, 2019, STL Law Library held a successful movie night. The movie was “On the basis of sex”, a 2018 American biographical film based on the life and early cases of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She was a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford. She was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. President Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat on August 10, 1993.
The movie focuses on the time Ginsburg spent studying in law school as well as her working as an agent of litigation in one case. By applying her exceptional legal wisdom, she took the Moritz case, a case where a male was discriminated against in tax reduction, as her starting point for establishing a series of precedents based on gender discrimination. Her efforts powerfully contributed to American female’s equal protection progress.
Students shared their thoughts with professors after the movie. Reflections ranged from the romantic to the philosophical. One student, for example, contemplated Ginsburg’s personal life and wondered if she missed the green passion of her early career fighting for women. Another considered how the change Ginsburg brought about in the world was not brought by a single person, but by the power of an entire society. Some were in awe of the court system and analyzed the merits of the American legal system in light of Ginsburg’s story while others focused on her strategy for promoting gender equality by choosing a case where the victims of discrimination were white men, not women. That student reflected that “although Professor Mark Rosenbaum shared the story in last quarter’s Constitutional Law class, this movie reflects the wisdom of Ginsburg more deeply”.
The event was designed to allow a more informal, fun setting for students to engage with legal ideas and see how these ideas come to life. Through the movie, students saw how powerful ideas that deeply shape societies are formulated by people. The event marked one of many to come in STL’s efforts to provide a wholesome educational environment for its students.
On April 18, STL Professor Ray Campbell was invited to talk about AI and Law by ThinkIN China (TIC) in Beijing. The theme of the workshop was “AI-typical Courts: How Could AI Transform China’s Legal System?” Professor Campbell was joined by Dr. Benjamin Liu, Senior Lecturer at University of Auckland. Professor Campbell focused on the use of AI in courts and mediation. He has written extensively about the changing dynamics of the legal profession and the role of innovation and regulation in the delivery of legal services.
ThinkIN China is an intellectual community founded by a group of international young researchers who live and work in China. Their goal is to build an informal platform of discussion and cooperation for Chinese and foreign academics of all ages. To that end, ever since its inception in 2010, ThinkIN has organized monthly workshops with renowned Chinese and international scholars and researchers.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M Admissions (Chinese Mainland students), please click here.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M. Admissions(Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan students), please click here.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 J.D./J.M. Admissions(International students), please click here.
For more information about PKU-STL’s 2019 LL.M. Admissions (International students), please click here.
On April 11th, nearly 30 students took part in a program focusing on interviewing and fact development. The session was held in the moot court 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 Professor Lindsay Ernst from Hong Kong University. Professor Ernst specializes in developing interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities focused on advancing social justice. She also teaches courses in legal research and writing, human rights research and methodology, and international human rights advocacy and practice.
This special class provided students with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the importance of questioning clients in a suitable manner that allows the lawyer to tell the judge the story of his or her client. Professor Ernst started the class with a game. She divided the class into several small groups. Each group had three students: one is the “creator” who uses Lego to create new shapes, while another is the “questioner” who can only ask creator questions, and finally the third player is the “re-creator” who will make the same shape as the creator based on the information he obtained from the conversation with the questioner and creator.
The “creator” here represents the client or the witness, the “questioner” is in the position of the lawyer, while the “re-creator” plays a role similar to the role of the judge. The questioner in this game is controlling because he must decide what information is useful and necessary so that the re-creator can made the same shape.
Professor Ernst explains that “it is really important for a lawyer to know how to ask questions appropriately, either asking your clients or witnesses. You really have to put yourself into the position of a judge to think what information is necessary for recreating the story”. One of the students affirmed the educational value of that game, “the experiment is a perfect analogy to the relationship between the lawyer, the witness and the judge. It taught me that misunderstanding cannot be avoided but can be minimized through asking good questions”.
On March 30, 2019, STL held its first Law Fair in Shenzhen. The daylong event invited 10 domestic and foreign recruiters to attend, including AnJie Law Firm, Fangda Partners, Global Law Office, King & Wood Mallesons, JINGSH Law Firm, JunHe Law Firm, Linklaters LLP, TransAsia Lawyers, Sidley Austin LLP and TianTong & Partners.
The Law Fair was mainly aimed at students graduating in 2020. The event provides employers with the opportunity to introduce their organization and advertise potential vacancies in a more direct and personalized manner. It began with an information session which segued into CV reviewing and concluded with some on-site interviews. Both students and potential employers expect to further their cooperation and were grateful for the opportunity to establish a solid connection.
STL graduates are popular among employers. With a nearly 100 percent placement, they already have captured the attention of the world’s leading law firms, companies, government offices, NGOs and universities. These employers recognize that the true value of STL’s J.D. and J.M. degrees includes far more than simply educating students about the content of different areas of Chinese and American law.
This was STL’s first time hosting such an event and it certainly will not be its last.