On June 30, 2016, Professor Mark Feldman, a leading scholar of international investment and treaty arbitration, was invited to meet with senior officials of the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission/Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (“SCIA”) to discuss the development of SCIA and issues related to investment arbitration. Professor Feldman’s meeting with SCIA President Liu Xiaochun and Yang Tao, Director of SCIA’s Qianhai Department, was followed by a noon-time lecture to SCIA staff, during which Professor Feldman talked about jurisdiction, transparency and timing issues in the context of investment arbitrations in commercial arbitration institutions, such as SCIA.
Professor Feldman regularly is invited to present on economic law issues. He currently serves as a member of the E15 Initiative Task Force on Investment Policy and, earlier this year, he was an invited expert to the G20 International Trade and Investment Workshop in Nanjing. He also serves on the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), as a Global Associate at the National University of Singapore’s Centre for International Law, and as an arbitrator of the Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration. Professor Feldman teaches contracts, international business transactions, and international investment treaty arbitration at STL.
Professor’s Feldman’s visit to SCIA is an example of the deepening relationship between STL and SCIA. SCIA’s permanent staff includes an STL graduate and several STL students work at SCIA as interns. Like STL, the first and only law school in China to offer an American-style J.D. degree, SCIA was the first commercial arbitration institution in China to include foreign arbitrators on its panel. Today, in anticipation of playing a larger role in regional commercial dispute resolution, SCIA has enacted new rules of procedure especially accommodating of international differences and has appointed an even larger panel of multinational arbitrators.
On Friday, July 1, 2016, the STL community celebrated the fifth Commencement Ceremony of Peking University’s School of Transnational Law. The ceremony recognized the excellence of STL’s 93 J.D./J.M. graduates and the first two LL.M. recipients in the history of STL, one from Panama, the other from South Africa. Dean Philip McConnaughay said of the graduates, “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 rules and practices eventually emerge from the meeting and modification of all of these. You are true transnational lawyers.”
Dean Philip McConnaughay
During the commencement ceremony, which was held in the Moot Court at Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus, the graduates and their families heard from Professor Wu Yundong, Chancellor of the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School; STL’s Founding Dean and current Executive Vice Chancellor of NYU’s Shanghai campus, Jeffrey Lehman; Professor Mark Feldman; and graduating students Jing Menglong (J.D./J.M.) and Jonathan Goldberg (LL.M.).
Founding Dean Jeffrey Lehman
Dean Lehman urged the graduating class to use their legal skills as a force for positive change: “Each of us has a responsibility. … We must explain that ideas should be judged on the basis of whether they are true or false, good or evil, and not on the basis of whether the person who first spoke them was Muslim, or American or Chinese. We must speak out against racism and xenophobia. … STL has helped you develop the skills of a transnational lawyer, including the ability to understand a problem from both your perspective and from the perspective of someone who disagrees with you. For a lawyer in an interconnected, interdependent world, this skill is critically important. It is what a lawyer needs in order to help her clients build relationships with people from different cultures, and other countries.”
Chancellor Wu Yundong
Chancellor Wu extolled the graduates, as members of the Peking University family, to strive for excellence in everything they do, but also never to forget that honesty, integrity and sincerity are the virtues that will determine how they are regarded by society.
Professor Mark Feldman
Professor Feldman reminded the graduates that their STL education opens doors of opportunity in the global economy: “We are Peking University’s School of Transnational Law, but an STL education extends far beyond lawyering: we are preparing professionals to thrive in a 21st century global economy, whether as lawyers or in other capacities. We have reinforced the skills of analytical rigor, creative problem solving, and persuasion. As STL graduates, you now have the opportunity to apply those skills in previously untested settings and in groundbreaking ways. Today, you are law school graduates, but, equally important, you are 21st century transnational professionals. You are exceptionally well-equipped for success. Congratulations and best wishes as you begin your remarkably varied careers.”
Like the classes before them, the Class of 2016 is pursuing positions in leading multinational and top-tier Chinese law firms (e.g., Fangda, Kirkland & Ellis, Freshfields, DLA Piper), the legal departments of leading multinational and Chinese corporations and financial institutions (e.g., Huawei, Tianxing Capital), government agencies (e.g., Beijing District Court, People’s Procuratorate of Haidian District), SOEs (e.g., National Development Bank, Minsheng Bank) and advanced degrees (e.g., University of Chicago, Peking University). A few graduates have even started their own businesses.
Jing Menglong from J.D./J.M. Graduating Class
Jing Menglong, who provided the address on behalf of the J.D./J.M. students, spoke of the pride of being a Beida graduate, but also of the responsibility that goes along with it: “As we were told when we came here, ‘Peking University shapes great leaders.’ ‘Greatness,’ as I understand, is not only the expectation placed upon us, but also the principle we should follow. Greatness can be used to describe those among us who devote themselves to make our society better and advance the ideas of our country. It can also be reflected by common people, who set up ones’ goals and temper ones’ virtues in daily lives. Greatness can be seen at critical moments. Greatness can be established on trivial things. Greatness can be heard when we realize social justice. It is also not silent when we care about our own behaviors and care about the people around us. We are so lucky that greatness is what STL and Peking University have taught us before we step into our… journey ahead.”
Jonathan Goldberg from LL.M. Graduating Class
Jonathan Goldberg, of South Africa, spoke on behalf of STL’s first LL.M class: “Apart from the actual courses, I have met the most amazing people in China, Peking University in particular. My professors were all so friendly and eager to engage. My peers, from all over the world, gave me insight into their home countries and customs. The administrative staff are always so willing to assist. It has really been a great experience. … I have loved my time here at PKU Shenzhen. I look forward to coming back to the campus in the future and seeing how far the campus has come.”
On July 2, 2016 Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School celebrated its campus-wide commencement. Peking University President Lin Jinhua attended the ceremony.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
On July 2, 2016, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School celebrated its campus-wide commencement. Peking University President Lin Jinhua attended the ceremony.
STL students Zhang Junqi (class of 2016) and Zhu Liusheng (class of 2018) were selected as recipients of the prestigious Jones Day International Legal Fellowship, a highly competitive merit scholarship awarded annually to 12 outstanding students from China’s leading law schools. Winners receive a 22,000 RMB scholarship to support their studies. The scholarships were awarded on June 17 at the “2016 International Legal Fellowship Award Ceremony” at the Westin Chaoyang Hotel in Beijing.
In his acceptance speech, Zhang Junqi expressed his gratitude to Jones Day for the firm’s commitment to Chinese legal education and his “great appreciation to STL for the unique transnational J.D./J.M. legal education it provides.” He said that STL students are perfect candidates for the Jones Day International Legal Fellowship because the award criteria align very closely with the strengths of STL students. Fellowship applications are reviewed by a Jones Day selection committee that judges applicants’ analytical capabilities and interpersonal and writing abilities, all essential skills for today’s global lawyers.
Zhu Liusheng credited STL’s Socratic teaching as one of the drivers behind his successful application: “A high level of logical and critical thinking is required to win the fellowship. STL’s teaching method helped me develop these capabilities.”
Jones Day is a full-service multinational law firm with 44 offices in major centers of business and finance throughout the world, including offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Since 2014, the first year STL students were invited to participate in the Jones Day Fellowship program, five STL students have been awarded fellowships.
On June 23, 2016, STL and Benchmark Chambers International co-hosted the 18th Shenzhen Legal Forum featuring Harvard Law Professor Matthew Stephenson, a distinguished visiting professor at STL. Professor Stephenson delivered remarks on, “FCPA and Its Implications to China Companies Doing Business in the U.S.” Over 200 lawyers and leaders from the Shenzhen Lawyers Association, the Shenzhen Academy of Legal Culture, the Luohu District Court, the Qianhai Authority, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade attended the Forum held at Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus.
Professor Stephenson discussed the principal provisions of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which was passed in the United States in 1977. He discussed the expansive interpretation of “official” used by U.S. enforcement authorities. FCPA also imposes accounting transparency requirements under the Securities Exchange Act on all entities, including foreign entities, listing on the U.S. stock exchange. He stressed that stepped-up investigations and prosecutions under FCPA demand that companies undertake effective risk assessment, due diligence and compliance measures.
Professor Stephenson is a world-renowned scholar of the application of positive political theory to public law, particularly in the areas of administrative procedure, anticorruption, judicial institutions, and separation of powers. He teaches courses on statutory interpretation and international anti-corruption law in STL’s cutting-edge J.D./J.M. curriculum.
(Xia Zhiyi, STL 3L Student on left)
Interview with Zhiyi Xia, STL Class of 2017
I. Introduction to UNCITRAL and its Regional Centre
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), established 50 years ago, is the core legal body of the United Nations (UN) in the field of international trade law, focusing on the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.
The UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNCITRAL-RCAP), located in the Republic of Korea, was established in 2012 and its main objectives include: (a) promote the dissemination of international trade norms and standards, in particular, those elaborated by UNCITRAL; (b) provide technical assistance and capacity building to States with respect to the adoption and uniform interpretation of UNCITRAL texts; (c) engage in coordination activities with international and regional organizations; and (d) function as a channel of communication between States in the region and UNCITRAL.
II. My Work at UNCITRAL-RCAP
My daily work here consists of three parts: legal research, document drafting, and translation.
As to legal research work, it is mostly related to CISG and International Arbitration. For example, I was assigned to collect academic literature and judicial cases related to UNCITRAL texts, especially the 1958 New York Convention and CISG, for the past 12 months. Another unique experience was reviewing a member State’s existing arbitration law and offering comments on how to modernize and improve the legislative texts, which introduced me to a brand new perspective on the legislation of arbitration law.
Document drafting is the most challenging work. Since UNCITRAL-RCAP needs to correspond with its various counterparts in the region, most of which are governments of member States, major arbitration institutions and academic institutions, various letters of correspondence need to be prepared and transmitted every day.
Usually, I was instructed to draft correspondence from scratch and then submit my work to my supervisor for review. Sometimes I felt frustrated when I found little of my original text in the supervisor’s revised draft, but my supervisor is always very nice and I am learning a lot about how to improve my writing.
Translation work is also essential to my responsibilities since most documents that are transmitted to Chinese counterparts need to be bilingual. More translation work may be needed as the Centre is building up its Chinese web site.
In addition, I am very happy that I managed to establish a linkage between UNCITRAL-RCAP and STL through the Centre’s annual UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Day program, which aims to promote UNCITRAL texts in prestigious universities across the region. I do really hope that STL and UNCITRAL can form a good relationship in the future via my contribution and would like to encourage all STL students to contribute to STL as much as they can.
III. What Influenced My Decision to Seek the Internship at UNCITRAL-RCAP?
I have always wanted to obtain work experience within an international environment, which makes the UN a perfect option.
Indeed, it turns out that UNCITRAL-RCAP is very international with colleagues from Portugal, Korea, Bangladesh, and Hong Kong SAR.
IV. How STL Education Helped to Prepare Me for the Internship
My education in STL is truly instrumental for me to obtain the internship opportunity, as well as undertake my work here.
First, STL offers numerous courses related to UNCITRAL texts, which include the CISG, 1958 New York Convention, Mauritius Convention on Transparency, UNCITRAL Model Law, UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, and so on. At STL, I have taken courses, such as International Commercial Arbitration Seminar, Treaty Arbitration, and CISG courses, all of which prepared me with substantive knowledge of UNCITRAL’s texts.
Second, my moot court experience in the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot) was definitely an advantage, since UNCITRAL-RCAP is a supporter of various international moots, including the Vis Moot, International ADR Mooting Competition, and Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot.
Third, my one-semester exchange study at EBS Law School in Germany (one of STL’s foreign partner schools) was greatly valued by UNCITRAL-RCAP. According to my colleagues, almost all previous interns have studied or worked in a foreign country before, and they tend to think overseas experience can reflect the candidate’s ability to work and communicate in a cross-cultural environment.
V. Living and Working in South Korea
Since most Koreans do not speak English, it is difficult for me to communicate with them. English, however, is essential for my work at UNCITRAL-RCAP. Proficiency in Korean is not essential to my work or to my ability to live and travel throughout the country.
UNCITRAL-RCAP’s office is located in the Central Park of Incheon city, one of the most beautiful and cozy business districts in Korea. In general, the working environment here is nearly perfect, except for its high accommodation costs.
Since there are many international organizations in the surrounding area, there are many activities available for foreigners, such as Korean cooking day and Korean language courses. All of these activities, which provide a platform for networking, are free of charge, which is important for non-paid interns.
In addition, I was very lucky to homestay in a Korean family where all members could speak very good English. They invited me to join their family trip and barbecue together, which was really a great experience.
During the internship, I also learned about the UN’s recruitment system and I truly feel that STL graduates are perfect candidates for UN jobs due to our unique Juris Doctor and Juris Master education.
All UN recruitment information is available on the UN careers website, and I would like to encourage more STL students to apply for both internship and full-time positions in the future.
(Office View at Songdo, Incheon, Korea)
STL Professors Ray Campbell, Sang Yop Kang, Danya Reda, and Christian Pangilinan delivered invited presentations at the 13th Asian Law Institute Conference on, “Asian Perspectives on Legal Globalization.” The conference was held May 19-20, 2016 at Peking University School of Law in Beijing.
Professor Campbell, a scholar of civil procedure and professional responsibility, presented his paper, “Clash of Systems: U.S. After-the-Fact Regulation Through Litigation Versus Chinese Resistance to Discovery.” Professor Campbell teaches civil procedure, professional responsibility and cross-cultural negotiations at STL.
Professor Kang delivered a talk on his paper, “Cumulative Voting, Corporate Groups, and Individual Investors.” He also chaired a panel discussion on private law. Professor Kang is a scholar of corporate governance, including Chinese corporate governance and corporate governance and economic policies in East Asia, law and economics, securities regulation, law and finance, and institutional investors. He teaches courses in corporate governance, economic analysis from the corporate perspective, securities regulation, and East Asian economic structure.
Professor Reda, a scholar of administrative law, civil procedure and Islamic law, presented her paper, “Reading Wael Hallaq in Shenzhen.” She teaches Islamic law, administrative law, and civil procedure at STL.
Professor Pangilinan participated in a discussion on human rights in which he discussed his paper, “The Right to Leave Under International Law and ASEAN States’ Regulation of Outward Labour Migration.” He also moderated a panel on international law and globalization. Professor Pangilinan, a C.V. Starr Lecturer of Law and Director of TNLP and Academic Support, teaches refugee law in addition to teaching in and directing STL’s legal writing and transnational practice program.
The Asian Law Institute, of which STL is a member, was established in 2003. Its overarching goal is to provide a platform for Asian legal scholarship and to facilitate greater interaction among legal scholars in Asia and those working on Asian law-related issues.
(Russian Prime Minister Mr. Dmitri Medvedev on right)
On May 18, 2016, Dean Philip McConnaughay delivered invited remarks on the topic of “Law Schools: Best International Practices,” at the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dean McConnaughay was invited to the Forum by former Russian Federation Deputy Minister of Justice, Elena Borisenko. The Forum was opened by Russian Prime Minister Mr. Dmitri Medvedev, who also participated in a plenary discussion on “Trust in Law – Mechanism for Global Crisis Resolution.”
Dean McConnaughay’s remarks focused on how STL’s unique location in Shenzhen, at the intersection of China’s pluralistic legal traditions and Hong Kong’s common law tradition, influences STL’s blended China law/American law curriculum and offers a preview of future worldwide commercial and legal practices as China’s global economic influence continues to grow.
The Forum, now in its sixth year, brings together Ministers of Justice, Chairpersons of Constitutional Courts, Secretaries General of international organizations, partners of leading international law firms, senior counsel of major multinational companies, representatives of state authorities, and legal scholars from over 80 countries to promote ideas related to the development of Russian jurisprudence and legal education and the modernization of Russian law in accordance with the best international practices. This year’s Forum was held in the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage Museum.
Earlier in the month, Dean McConnaughay presented his paper, “The Potential of Private Commercial Arbitration for Facilitating Economic Growth in Less Developed Countries,” at the May 8-11, 2016 Biennial Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (“ICCA”) in Mauritius. Keynote speakers for the conference included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-mon, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohammed El Baradei, and ICJ Vice President Judge Adbulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
Professor Zhu Daming has been appointed a Director of the China Commercial Law Society, the largest commercial law academic society in China. The prestigious appointment was confirmed at the May 7-8 annual meeting of the China Commercial Law Society held at The University of International Business and Law in Beijing, with over 400 scholars in attendance. The Commercial Law Society is a division of the China Law Society, the leading professional organization that connects the Chinese legal academy with China’s legal practitioners.
Professor Zhu’s appointment as a Director of the Commercial Law Society reflects his standing as one of China’s most prominent scholars of commercial law, with a special focus on comparative company law and financial law. Before joining STL in 2014, Professor Zhu was assistant professor of law at Tsinghua University. He teaches Chinese commercial legal system, mergers and acquisitions, and company law in STL’s cutting-edge J.M. curriculum.
Peking University moves up 11 spots to #21 in the 2016 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, a prestigious peer ranking of the best universities in the world. According to Times Higher Education, “the 2016 World Reputation Rankings employ the world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands, based on the judgement of senior, published academics––the people, the organization believes, are best placed to know the most about excellence in universities.”
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.
STL Professor Jin Zining, one of China’s leading scholars of administrative law, was invited by the University of Trento in Italy to deliver a series of six lectures focusing on the structure and major requirements of China’s administrative law system. The lectures are scheduled from April 10, 2016 through April 21, 2016.
Professor Jin is the author of many leading books and articles, including Administrative Law at Risk (2014), the first major scholarly work in China to analyze “risk” from the perspective of administrative law. As one reviewer noted, Professor Jin’s research on environmental risk regulation is “the most advanced in China.” Professor Jin has been an invited Visiting Research Fellow at Columbia University Law School and at the renowned Institutum Jurisprudentiae of the Academia Sinicia in Taipei. She teaches Chinese Administrative Law, Chinese Environmental Law, and Chinese Administrative Litigation Law in STL’s innovative J.M. program.