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).
C.V. Starr Professor of Law Francis Snyder and Yi Seul Kim, senior C.V. Starr Lecturer of Law, recently authored the article, China’s 2015 Food Safety Law: Crossing the River but Feeling the Stones and Avoiding Low Branches?, which was featured as “Editor’s Choice” in the June 2018 issue of the Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (Oxford University Press). The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law is one of the leading journals in the world that covers Chinese law in a comparative perspective. An abstract of Professor Snyder’s and Kim’s article follows:
This article provides an overview of China’s 2015 Food Safety Law (FSL 2015). It analyses the main innovations of FSL 2015 compared to its predecessor, FSL 2009, which was China’s first-ever legislation expressly on food safety. It shows that FSL 2015 represents a dramatic step forward in China’s regulation of food safety. It also sets FSL 2015 in its social and economic context, drawing on the logic ascribed to Deng Xiaoping. It first emphasizes the gradual normative progress of Chinese food safety legislation, using the metaphor of crossing the river by feeling the stones—in other words, by step-by-step gradualism, exploration, and experimentation. Then, it notes that many stones in the watery pathway may be slippery, risky, insecure, or painful and that major difficult challenges remain. Finally, it considers certain structural obstacles or systemic features as overhanging branches to minimize or avoid; they constitute continuing issues in ensuring safe food in China. The article also compares FSL 2015 with selected features of food safety law in the European Union, the USA, and Brazil. While showing that FSL 2015 draws substantially on an international normative repertoire for food safety, it also emphasizes the extent to which FSL 2015 has specific Chinese characteristics.
STL Professor from Practice Thomas Yunlong Man was a keynote speaker at the Third International Symposium on Sino Swiss Evidence Science organized by Sino Swiss Evidence Science Research Center, June 25 – 27 in Hangzhou. More than 70 scholars from China, Switzerland, the United States and Australia participated in the symposium.
Professor Man presented on “Allocation of Burden of Proof in Chinese Civil Litigation.” Other keynote speakers included Professor Ronald J. Allen from Northwestern University, Professor Zhang Baosheng from China University of Political Science and Law, Professor Christophe Champod from University of Lausanne, Professor David Caruso from University of Adelaide, and Professor Jeff Cheng-Lung Lee from Qatar Police Academy.
STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence Susan Finder, a leading expert on China’s judicial system and the author of the widely read Supreme People’s Court Monitor blog, was interviewed in a recent issue of the People’s Court Daily. In the interview, which took place at the 19th Applied Law Forum in Beijing, Professor Finder spoke on “How & Why I Research the SPC: Some Tentative Views on Judicial Reform,” in which she shared insights about the professionalization of courts and judges, judicial fairness and transparency, and judiciary autonomy. The interview is available in Chinese here.
STL LL.M. student Victor Contreras Kong from Chile recently was interviewed by the Nanyan Observer. Victor is in the first year of his LL.M. program and is the highest ranked fencer in Chile. Below is an excerpt from the interview:
Because of his global interests, according to Victor, the LL.M. program at STL really stood out: “It’s a well-recognized program, not just in China but all over the world. A lot of international enterprises put their eye on it.” Victor wasn’t mistaken; last academic year the percentage of STL graduates employed following graduation was an impressive 97.8%. He wasted no time pursuing those global interests upon arrival. His classes for the first semester included International Intellectual Property Law, International Business Transactions, and European Law.
Even more intriguing, STL provided an opportunity to live in and learn about China. Without really knowing why, Victor says he felt drawn to the country: “I wanted something different.” Later in the conversation, he added, “First, they are a major partner in trade with Chile. So for being a lawyer, this is super useful. And not just the job part. Just to live in a different country is super cool.” Victor enthusiastically explained that he even found out about a scholarship offered by the Chinese Government, “I applied for the scholarship at the [Chinese] Embassy…and I got it. So, of course, I had to take it!” …
Victor didn’t quite know what to expect moving to China with never having been here, but things are going rather smoothly. He is teaching and training at the fencing club, finishing up his second semester of law courses, and accumulating victories in competitions, like his 1st place finishes in the solo and team categories of the South American Fencing Championships. Victor is now the highest ranked fencer in Chile and ranked in the top 100 for his category in the world. His dream is that in 2020 he will have obtained his LLM and be on his way to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
To view the full article, please visit here.
Professor Mark Feldman has been appointed vice chair of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA). The Academic Council, made up of top academics in the field of international arbitration, is a key constituent body of the ITA, one of the world’s leading educational forums for scholars and practitioners of international arbitration. Professor Feldman’s appointment as vice chair is for a three-year term beginning in AY2018-19.
On June 19, STL hosted Dr. Shahla Ali, Associate Professor and Associate Dean at Hong Kong University Faculty of Law. Professor Ali offered a lecture on “Reforming Court Mediation: Lessons from Global Experience,” in which she examined comparative empirical data from a diverse group of countries to explore the association between court mediation (mandatory and voluntary) and perceptions of justice, efficiency and confidence in courts. The lecture drew on the extensive research on which Professor Ali based her new book, Court Mediation Reform: Efficiency, Confidence and Perceptions of Justice (Edward Elgar, 2018).
Professor Ali’s research and practice focus on questions of governance, development and the resolution of cross-border disputes in the Asia Pacific region. She has consulted with USAID, IFC/World Bank and the United Nations on issues pertaining to access to justice, peace process negotiation training and land use conflict resolution. She serves as a bilingual arbitrator (English/Chinese) with CIETAC, HKIAC (ADNDRC), SIAC and is a member of the IBA Drafting Committee for Investor-State Mediation Rules, the DOJ Mediation Regulatory Framework Sub-Committee, the UN Mediation Roster and the FDRC Appointments Committee.
On June 8, members of STL’s Public Interest Law Foundation (“PILF”) held the “Fourth Annual PILF Auction.” PILF is a student-run organization devoted to promoting public interest law and the pro bono responsibilities of lawyers. STL’s PILF is the first in China.
The theme of this year’s auction – “Just Bid It” – set a festive mood for the evening, where scores of students, faculty and PKUSZ community members gathered in the STL Building and actively bid on items donated by faculty, alumni, students, and local businesses. Auction items included a Hong Kong Victoria “junk boat” dinner cruise donated by Dean Philip McConnaughay; lunch in Aix-en-Provence, south of France with Professor Francis Snyder; a hiking trip at Shenzhen Bay with J.M. faculty; a beautiful calligraphy work by PKUSZ Chancellor Wu Yundong; yoga and dancing lessons from students; and many other fun and popular items. Auctioneers for the event were Visiting Assistant Professor Jason Buhi and 2L student Evann Wu.
Proceeds from the annual PILF auctions help fund students’ unpaid summer internships with pro bono and public interest organizations. Last summer, PILF funded seven students in public internships positions around the world, including Zhicheng Public Interest Lawyers in Beijing, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Beijing, and federal judicial clerkships in the United States. In prior years, PILF fellowship recipients interned with Earth Rights International in Thailand, UNCITRAL in Incheon, ABA Rule of Law Program in Beijing, ABA Justice Defender Program in Washington D.C., ACLU of Southern California, and Common Language in Beijing.
“The PILF auction is a great event which supports students and enables them to develop their skills in public service. Many thanks to the organizers who made it all happen,” said Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Christian Pangilinan.
Associate Professor Norman Ho’s latest article, Chinese Legal Thought in the Han-Tang Transition: Liu Song’s (D. 300) Theory of Adjudication, was deemed “very interesting and recommended” by the Legal Theory Blog, an influential scholarly blog focusing on legal theory. The Legal Theory Blog is managed by Lawrence Solum, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
On June 2 and 3, STL Distinguished Professor from Practice Thomas Yunlong Man participated in the “5th Roundtable on International Law: Emerging Areas” in Beijing. The Roundtable was jointly sponsored by Chatham House and China University of Political Science and Law. Professor Man delivered remarks on “The WTO Dispute Settlement Body in Dispute: Crisis or Opportunity for New Direction?” Roundtable participants included scholars and researchers from University of Oxford, University of Sydney, Peking University and other top universities.