In the summer of 2018, Stephen Minas, Assistant Professor at STL, participated in several European forums on energy, trade and investment law.
At the University of Split in Croatia, Professor Minas participated in the Energy Community’s Summer School program. The Energy Community is an international organization established by treaty. Its mission is to integrate the European energy market through harmonizing the legal framework in the areas of energy, the environment, and climate change. The annual Summer School is an intensive training week for young leaders focusing on European energy sectors in transition. In tackling this subject, the training covers, among other things, European energy policies, laws, and markets.
Similarly, at the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London, Professor Minas participated in a Jean Monnet Chair Workshop on international trade, investment and the rule of law. Named after one of the European Union’s founders, the Jean Monnet Chair program has been created to help bolster teaching and research on EU matters. The workshop was co-hosted by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.
At the workshop, Professor Minas delivered a presentation titled “A ‘New Era’ for Sustainable Investment? Environmental Standards in the Belt and Road Initiative, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank”. He also chaired a panel on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which included presentations on institutional investors, CSR in trade and investment, and transnational labor law.
Research assistance was provided for Professor Minas by two of STL’s capable students, Wei Chanchan and Zhang Min.
On September 7, 2018, STL Associate Professor Norman P. Ho was invited to deliver a public lecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law (“CUHK Law”). Professor Norman P. Ho is a scholar on legal theory and legal history. His lecture was titled “Confucianism and Chinese Law, Past and Present.”
The lecture was part of the ongoing Greater Chinese Legal History Seminar Series, a monthly event that features speakers on Chinese legal history. The Series is organized by Steven Gallagher, Associate Professor of Practice & Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at CUHK Law and Lutz-Christian Wolff, Wei Lun Professor of Law at CUHK Law & Dean of the Graduate School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Photo Credit: The Chinese University of Hong Kong
STL Professor Sang Yop Kang’s article, “Game of Thrones”: Corporate Governance Issues of Children’s Competition in Family Corporations“, recently was published by the Berkeley Business Law Journal, one of the leading corporate law journals. The article explores a “game of thrones” in a family corporation when the children of a parent-controller compete to become the successor. Taking a theory-based approach, the article examines the negative externality problems shareholders and creditors face from such a “game of thrones” and explores whether shareholders have legal or non-legal recourse.
Professor Kang previously presented this article at a conference of leading law scholars held at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Professor Kang teaches and researches in the areas of corporate governance, corporate law, law and economics, capital markets and financial market regulations.
China’s Supreme People’s Court has appointed three current and former STL professors to a Committee of Experts established to advise China’s new International Commercial Court (CICC). Distinguished Scholar in Residence Professor Susan Finder, Emeritus Professor Peter Malanczuk, and former Visiting Professor Gary Born joined 29 other experts at an August 26 induction ceremony in Beijing that included members of the Sureme People’s Court and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce. The CICC Expert Committee is the first ever appointed by the People’s Supreme Court that includes members from outside Mainland China.
Professors Finder and Malanczuk were invited to address the gathering. Professor Finder concluded her remarks by saying that the new Court should use this opportunity to train a new generation of Chinese international judicial personnel (including STL students).
On August 25-27, 2018, Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) hosted 106 students from China’s prestigious universities for Mini Camp. Throughout the two day program, students were introduced to STL’s cutting edge English-language J.D. and China Law J.M. curriculums. They also met with STL current students to discuss life at STL and attended STL’s Intramural Moot Final.
It was the second time STL held Mini Camp. Like Summer Honors Program, some current students participated in last year’s mini-camp before enrolling in STL.
One of the students said after the Mini Camp, “Impressed by all its faculty members, I can not take my eyes off STL. There is no such place in China that can render excellent academic as well as professional training in both Chinese law and American law. Also, a series of questions put forward by different professors in the class affords me a glimpse into the philosophy of STL that not only encourages deep thinking but also enlightenment in one’s life. STL helps you learn laws, but it goes beyond laws. In the most innovative city, with the most innovative curriculums and professors, STL is a shining example of pioneering spirit.”
STL students had the opportunity to test their advocacy skills in competition this month through the 2018 STL Intramural Moot Court Competition. STL students were invited to join the competition by submitting an argument on behalf of one side in a fictional U.S. Supreme Court case. Participants then argued in preliminary and semi-final rounds to determine which four participants could argue in the final round on Saturday, August 25.
This was the first Intramural Moot Court Competition organized by STL’s Moot Court Board, a group of upper-level students who previously represented STL in moot court competitions.
Four STL 2Ls, Zhang Fengming, Lin Yifu, Cui Luting, and Yin Wenjie advanced to the final rounds. Each finalist presented their arguments before a panel of four judges: Dean Philip McConnaughay, Susan Ning, partner at King Wood & Mallesons, Duncan Watson, partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Gu Dai, an STL alumna, partner at Yi & Partners. The judges were impressed by all four finalists. Cui Luting received the prize for Best Oralist from the judges. Lin Yifu received the prize for Best Written Submission from the Moot Court Board.
Students who participated in the Moot Court will now have the opportunity to apply to join STL’s Moot Court Program, which sends teams to several national and international moot court competitions every year, including the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Competition, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot, the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot, the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot, among others.
Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) began the 2018-2019 academic year welcoming new students from throughout China and around the world. The new class includes 124 students in Common Law J.D. and China Law J.M. dual degree program, along with 11 LL.M. and several exchange students from different countries, including Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and others. Total new students number hits the record of STL’s history.
Orientation started on August 12 to welcome new students and lasted for three days. Events included opening ceremony; introductions to STL’s academic rules and policies, student services and career resources, Legal English Center; a library tour; discussion panels with upper-lever students, faculty and alumni. New students also attended a lecture on Professionalism and a class on how to read and analyze a judicial opinion that included a case briefing exercise.
On August 30-31, the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (“PKUSZ”) will host its campus-wide orientation for new graduate students. PKUSZ is home to eight elite graduate schools: the School of Electronic and Computer Engineering; the School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology; the School of Environment and Energy; the School of Urban Planning and Design; the School of Advanced Materials; the HSBC Business School; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Transnational Law.
On July 28 through August 4, 2018, Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) hosted over 100 students from China’s and World’s most prestigious universities, including Peking University, Fudan University, Wuhan University, Sun Yat-Sen University and Oxford University for Summer Honors Program (“SHP”). SHP at STL is an opportunity for outstanding college students to spend a week in residence experiencing the academic and daily life in China’s most innovative law school setting.
Throughout the 7-day program, students were introduced to STL’s cutting edge English-language J.D. and China law J.M. curriculums. Students experienced actual law school classes taught by STL’s distinguished multinational faculty, participated in case briefing exercises and moot court arguments, met with current STL students and alumni to discuss life at STL and visited Tencent. Students also traveled to Hong Kong for two days, observing proceedings at Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
STL’s SHP program was established in 2009. Many current STL students and alumni participated in SHP before enrolling in STL. For more information about SHP 2019, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 19, 2018, the STL community celebrated the seventh Commencement Ceremony of Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL). The ceremony recognized the extraordinary achievement of STL’s 96 J.D./J.M. graduates and 2 LL.M. graduates.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay began the ceremony with a brief address to the graduates. “You have successfully completed the world’s only American Law Juris Doctor, China Law Juris Master dual degree program, much of it in English and all of it extremely demanding,” he said.
“All of you are now members of an elite group of lawyers prepared to understand and practice the law of China, the law of the United States, the law of the United Kingdom, the law of the European Union, and whatever laws, rules and practices eventually emerge from the meeting and modification of all of these. You are true transnational lawyers, and we hope, the kind of ethical lawyers and professionals who will continue to make STL proud,” remarked Dean McConnaughay.
This year’s commencement was held in the International Conference Center on Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus. During the ceremony, graduates and their families heard from STL’s Founding Dean and current Executive Vice Chancellor of NYU’s Shanghai campus, Jeffrey Lehman; The Honorable Pei Xianding, Chief Judge of The First Circuit Court of The Supreme People’s Court; STL Professor Zhu Daming; and graduating student Yuan Ziyan.
Dean Lehman’s speech included a thoughtful reflection on the importance of persuasion to effective transnational lawyering. Dean Lehman said,
The reason why I believe it is so important to focus on “persuasion” rather than “argument” is that “persuasion” incorporates a crucial, essentially human quality, the quality of empathy for other people. …
Persuasion means offering your listener, in terms that they can appreciate, a logical path that will carry them from where they are to where you want them to be. The best transnational lawyers are able to feel empathy for people who are very, very different from them. People who speak other languages. People who grew up in different cultures. They are able to bridge enormous gaps, combining the virtues of two very different cultures and creating very powerful transnational partnerships. By nurturing within you the transnational lawyer’s ability to persuade effectively, STL has prepared all of you to lead lives of accomplishment and contribution.
STL Associate Professor Zhu Daming addressed the graduates on behalf of the faculty. His remarks inspired graduates to use their legal training to create a better world for themselves and for society. “The purpose for which we chose law, why we kept expanding our knowledge base is not solely that we could become legal professionals or that we could gain great wealth. As legal practitioners from Peking University School of Transnational Law, I hope you become professionals who always harbor the dream of the rule by law, who always have the courage to shoulder responsibilities, who remain down-to-earth and keen to contribute, and who possess both legal wisdom and ethics,” urged Professor Zhu.
In his keynote address, Chief Judge Pei offered four principle aspirations for STL graduates: first, aspiring to be a noble and ethical person; second, aspiring to be a legal practitioner who holds firm beliefs and strong convictions; third, aspiring to be worthy of the great promise and opportunities afforded by China’s continued development; and fourth, aspiring to be a human being who contributes to the whole of society.
Judge Pei also lauded STL graduates and the special education they have received. “STL is an international law school providing a unique global legal education during a period of reform and opening-up, with the geographical advantages of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, and a combination of senior professors and outstanding students. … During this promising period with great opportunities, STL graduates, with their strong legal foundations, are thus able to be talents who contribute to society through their dedication to China’s and the world’s peaceful development and progress, ” he said.
Like the classes before them, the Class of 2018 is pursuing positions in leading multinational and top-tier Chinese law firms (e.g., Fangda, Linklaters, Kirkland & Ellis, Zhong Lun, Hui Zhong, Freshfields, Han Kun, Jun He), the legal departments of leading multinational and Chinese corporations and financial institutions (e.g., Ping An, DJI Drones, Huawei, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, SoftBank in Tokyo), government and judicial agencies (e.g., Hebei Provincial Government, High Court of Tianjin, Shenzhen Government), and SOEs (e.g., China Securities, China Agriculture Bank). A few graduates have even started their own businesses.
Yuan Ziyan, who provided the address on behalf of the graduates, talked about how her STL education has provided her with more than just legal knowledge. “For me, being at STL enabled me to realize that the most important thing in my life is possibility. Studying both U.S. law and Chinese law in STL introduced me to new perspectives and afforded me precious opportunities to meet and talk with great minds from diverse backgrounds. … I learned how important critical thinking is when looking at the world. I began to discover more possibilities of life, and all of these are valuable gifts STL has give me,” said Yuan Ziyan.
Congratulations, STL Class of 2018!
On July 4-6, 2018, Assistant Professor Stephen Minas participated in the 16th Annual Colloquium of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law hosted by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1948, IUCN is a leading global environmental organization with a diverse membership of States, NGOs, academic institutions and business associations.
The theme of the colloquium, “The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience,” focused on the intersection of technology and law. Professor Minas presented on the role of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Technology Executive Committee (TEC) in furthering technology development and transfer under the Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement.
Summarizing the colloquium, Professor Minas observed, “Creative thinking on bringing together technological innovations and innovations in governance to protect our shared environment has never been more necessary. IUCN and its diverse network are playing a key role in this effort, and we were fortunate indeed to be hosted by the University of Strathclyde and the wonderful city of Glasgow to continue the discussion.”
Professor Minas is a member of IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL).