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STL: A Bridge between China and the World —— Remarks on the STL 15th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. LIU Xiaochun

President of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA)

Honorable Chancellor Zhang, Chairman Hai, Dean Lehman, Dean McConnaughay, Dean Yandle, Dean Feldman, faculty members, distinguished guests,dear STLstudents andalumni,

Good morning!

It is my great honor to attend today’s STL 15th Anniversary “Birthday” Event. First of all, happy birthday, dear STL!

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my view on STL: a bridge that links civil law and common law, theory and practice, east and west.

However, to be honest, 15 years ago, when I first came to know STL, my view was notsoclear, some doubts came into my mind. On October 22nd, 2008, I was invited to gather some PKU alumni based in the Greater Bay Area to attend the Launching Ceremony of STL. I was impressed that many famous scholars, senior judges and government officials from China, US and other countries also attended the ceremony. In that event, I heard from the former Chancellor Professor Hai Wen and the founding Dean of STL, Professor Lehman, that STL offers both US law and Chinese law education to the students. It was a great innovation with great ambition to cultivate transnational legal talents with international vision and global competitiveness for China. I was excited to hear the idea, but in the meantime, there were some doubts in my mind: how to manage the differences between civil law and common law and teach both of them to the freshmenwhodo not have legal education background? How to fill in the gap between theory and practice? How to balance the requirement of traditional legal education with global need for international talents?

After 15 years’ interactions with STL, I have the answers now. In my mind, STL is serving as a bridge linking us all together. This bridge has been built brick by brick, with the joint efforts of the STL’s faculty members and students.

Firstly, the bridge is built by the great contribution of the faculties of STL.

Here I would like to share with you three stories of three STL professors.

The first story is about Dean Lehman. On June 16th, 2012, I invited Dean Lehman and many faculties of STL to attend the Unveiling Ceremony of the new name of South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, that is the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, which we call SCIA. It was at the time that SCIA established statutory body governance mechanism based on a unique pioneer legislation of Shenzhen. An international Council serves as the decision body of SCIA, which works to improve itsindependence, impartiality andinternational credibility. Dean Lehman delivered an inspiring speech at thatceremony, highly praised the new mechanism and highlighted the importance of an international Councilto improve SCIA’s impartiality and credibility.

The second story is about Professor Peter Malanczuk. He has served as a Council Member of SCIA since 2013 and mainly in charge of the development of SCIA Arbitration Rules. He led us to creatively formulate the SCIA Guidelines for the Administration of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, which made SCIA the first arbitration institution in Chinese mainland to hear investor-stateinvestmentdisputes and administer arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

The third story is about Dean Mark Feldman. On June 27th, 2018, Professor Mark Feldman attended the SCIA arbitrator training event in New York and moderated the Seminar on the topic “Is Chinese International Arbitration Impartial?” It was a heat topic that face the differences between China and U.S. Dean Mark Feldman shared his experience on Chinese arbitration and helped promote the value of China’s rule of law to the world.

Besides these stories, there are 12 STL professors listedonthe SCIA Panel of Arbitrators. They are: Prof. Peter Malanczuk, Dean Philip McConnaughay, Prof. Carole Basri, Prof. Francis Snyder, Prof. Mark Feldman, Prof. Stephen Yandle, Prof. Douglas Levene, Prof. Susan Finder, Prof. Thomas Yunlong Man, Prof. Sang Yop Kang, Prof. Qureshi Asif HASAN and Prof. Huang Hui. These STL professors are important intellectual assets of the SCIA to help solve cross-border disputes between the parties.

From the above,I realized that the faculties of STL are working as “bridge people”. They not only devote to teaching on campus, but also actively get involved in the legal community in China and have made great contributions to the development of Chinese international arbitration. It is them that build a bridge between law school and legal practice. It is also them that build a bridge linking China to the world.

Secondly, the bridge is reinforced by the excellent performance of the STL students.

Maybe you know, currently we have 9 graduates from STL who are working in SCIA now. They work in different departments and all have done a good job, such as case management, ADR research, cross border mediation, and international arbitration cooperation. (Some of them are among you today, such as Flora Wenhui Chi, the deputy director of the Department of International Arbitration Cooperation.)

Maybe you also know, SCIA has maintained a long-standing internship program with STL. According to my knowledge, there are at least 50 STL on-campus students who once had internships in SCIA. Furthermore, this year, we had a team from STL to participate in the FDI MOOT Shenzhen held by SCIA. The team from STL won the runner-up, and a student from STL, Xing Jiabao won the “Best Oralist”.

The excellent performance of STL students confirms the successful role played by STL as a “bridge”. More and more students are going out into the world from STL, using their knowledge of transnational law and diverse way of thinking to better solve transnational disputes and to make the world a better place.

I am very happy that I have the chance to witness and participate in the 15-years’ development of STL, a unique bridge that links the present and the future. Happy birthday, STL. Wish you a very bright future!

Thank you.

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