Professor Sang Yop KANG was invited to a corporate law conference on “Boards of Directors: Composition and Process” at Leeds University (UK), January 15-16, 2018. The conference was co-sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Leeds University School of Law, and the Centre for Comparative Corporate Governance (CCC-CG) of the Deakin University Law School, Australia. Conference presenters included leading corporate law professors and practitioners from the U.K., U.S., Europe and Australia. Joining Professor Kang from China was Professor LIU Junhai (刘俊海教授) of Renmin University (中国人民大学).
Professor Kang presented his research on “Independent Director System in a Controlling Shareholder Regime: Korea.” He explained theories on the independent director system with comparative analysis of the system in the U.S., China, and Korea. In addition, he participated in a panel discussion of shareholder primacy (shareholder wealth maximization) and stakeholder primacy (stakeholder welfare maximization).
On January 17, STL Dean Philip McConnaughay participated with the former President of Croatia, the Ambassador Extraordinare of the Slovak Republic, the Mayor of Bacău, Romania, the Deputy Mayor of Athens, Greece, and senior government officials of Shenzhen, Hainan, and Shanwei in the “2018 Forum for International City Partnership and Industry Cooperation under the Belt & Road Initiative, ” organized by the China Federation of Industrial Economics and Development Research Center of the Shenzhen Municipal Government.
The principal purpose of the Forum was to explore opportunities for enhanced cooperation and to promote innovation across economies within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Shenzhen’s unique role as one of the largest drivers of innovation in the world was central in all discussions of how to facilitate economic exchange in the BRI.
Dean McConnaughay’s remarks focused on the striking parallels between the massive infrastructure investment China currently is making in roads, high-speed rail, and ports interconnecting BRI countries and the extraordinarily rapid urbanization and economic growth that resulted from China’s massive infrastructure investment interconnecting the major cities of the Pearl River Delta over the past few decades.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay was one of four distinguished panelists at a Chulalongkorn University conference on “Rethinking Legal Education from Global Perspectives,” January 8-9 in Bangkok. The other panelists were David Kennedy, the Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School; Hon. Surakiart Sathiratai, Thailand’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former dean of Chulalongkorn Faculty of Law; and Vitit Muntarbhorn, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Gender Equality and Professor Emeritus at Chulalongkorn Faculty of Law.
The program was introduced by Bundhit Eua-Arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University. Professor Pareena Srivanit, the first female dean of Chulalongkorn Faculty of Law, offered welcome remarks and noted, “We are very impressed by the innovative approaches to legal education utilized by Peking University School of Transnational Law and greatly appreciate [STL’s] contribution to legal education reform in China and Asia.”
As part of Dean McConnaughay’s visit, the Chulalongkorn law faculty expressed great interest in ongoing collaboration and exchange with STL.
On January 12, STL welcomed a delegation from the Faculty of International Law of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). The CUPL delegation was led by Dean KONG Qingjiang and Party Secretary and Vice Dean GU Yongqiang and included several faculty and administrators from CUPL. The delegation visited STL in order to learn more about STL’s unique approach to transnational and Chinese legal education and to discuss possible collaboration opportunities between CUPL and STL.
Belt and Road Scholarship for LL.M. Studies
Peking University School of Transnational Law – Shenzhen, China 2018
China has launched its signature “Belt and Road Initiative” to drive economic cooperation, facilitate trade, and develop infrastructure throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe. The projects made possible through the Initiative bring together different cultures, languages and legal contexts. The smooth implementation of exchange among parties from Belt and Road countries, as well as the resolution of any commercial disputes that may arise, will require highly adaptable lawyers familiar with the blending of legal systems and traditions increasingly characteristic of the global economy.
Recognizing this, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) is proud to announce the Belt and Road Scholarship for its LL.M. program. This merit-based opportunity for applicants from countries associated with the Belt and Road Initiative will help contribute to a legal profession equipped to navigate this unique set of challenges and beyond.
- Application Deadline: The application deadline for the Belt and Road Scholarship is March 31, 2018. Qualified candidates will be invited to interview.
- Scholarship Award: The Belt and Road Scholarship covers twenty five (25) percent of STL’s full program tuition.
- Entrance Requirements: Applicants must meet the following admission criteria:
- Be a national citizen of one of the countries in the Belt and Road action plan or any other country associated with the Initiative;
- Law background or training: Law degree (J.D., J.M., or LL.B.), or licensed to practice law in home country, or masters-level degree in a related area with significant law background;
- English proficiency as demonstrated by: native speaker, completion of a program taught entirely in English, or test scores: a minimum score of 92 in TOEFL IBT or 6.5 in IELTS with 7.0 in IELTS writing; and
- Timely completion of STL’s online application and submission of all required supporting materials.
Applicants who satisfy the eligibility requirements automatically will be considered for the Scholarship. Please refer to STL’s LL.M. application web page for more details.
Professor Nitzan Shilon’s research on CEO stock ownership policies was cited in High-Multiple Stock Requirements Rise, an article featured in the December 4, 2017 issue of Agenda, a Financial Times publication devoted to issues concerning corporate directors and boardrooms. The article reports on a rise in CEO stock ownership polices among S&P 500 companies, including increases in the median stock-ownership requirement. Pros and cons of these trends were discussed in the article, which drew on Professor Shilon’s research in CEO Stock Ownership Policies – Rhetoric and Reality, in which he questions the efficacy and transparency of most stock ownership policies.
Following is an excerpt from High-Multiple Stock Requirements Rise:
Indeed, recent academic research has also called these policies into question. Nitzan Shilon, professor at Peking University School of Transnational Law, authored a 2015 paper in the Indiana Law Journal that discussed several concerns.
One of the big ones is accountability, he says. Practically none of the policies describe the consequences of a CEO’s dipping below the stock-ownership threshold. Many of the plans allow CEOs to count unvested stock toward stock-ownership minimums, and very few adopt meaningful stock-retention policies, he says. And most of the grace periods — the years during which CEOs are able to amass stock to meet the threshold after being hired for the job — are not much shorter than the average tenure for a CEO. A five-year grace period does not mean much for a CEO whose tenure will most likely not last more than nine years, the average tenure for a departing S&P 500 CEO in 2016, according to The Conference Board.
According to Shilon’s research, two thirds of Fortune 250 policies would allow CEOs to unload all of their stock without facing consequences. The other problem, he says, is that this ineffectiveness is camouflaged.
“With stock-ownership policies, the firm explicitly states that those polices help to achieve certain goals, such as alignment with shareholders, curb of excessive risk taking, that they should work against short-term policies. They hold the policies to have very important goals, but at the same time, most of them basically hold policies that do not have any bite,” Shilon says, in an interview with Agenda.
“They’re paper tigers in reality, but they’re held to attain very important goals.”
LL.M. student Hannah Getachew from Ethiopia recently wrote about China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” creating new opportunities for the development of renewable energy in Africa. The article, “B&R to Open New Path for Renewable Energy in Africa,” was published on Ecns.cn, the official English-language web site of China News Service (CNS). The article is available here.
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.