European China Law Studies Association to hold the 15th Annual Conference

When: 24- 26 September 2021

The 15th Annual Conference of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) will be hosted by the Polish Research Centre for Law and Economy of China and the University of Warsaw School of Law and Economy of China. Since the ECLS’s main objective is to encourage comparative and interdisciplinary research on Chinese law, the conference will be a platform for scholars and professionals to exchange their ideas about Chinese law and policies. The organizers hope for many contributions in form of papers and presentations on the general topic of China’s legal system and in particular its recent development.

Although there is no strict specification on the choice of topic, the organizers especially welcome submissions that concern the following themes:

  • Blockchain, big data & artificial intelligence in China
  • Sino-US trade war and its legal implications for Europe
  • Legal aspects of the Belt and Road Initiative
  • Codification of Laws in China
  • Rule of Law and Chinese Constitutionalism
  • Chinese and Comparative Labour Law
  • Legal Issues of Poland-China Relations
  • Chinese law and society
  • China’s new structure of Party and state
  • National supervision law and the new supervisory mechanism
  • New developments in China’s judicial reforms
  • China in the international legal order.

Call for abstracts:

The ECLS welcomes the submission of abstracts/ papers for presentation, as well as proposals for full panel sessions. Both abstracts (max. 300 words) and proposals for panel sessions (max.1000 words) should include the title of the paper; name, institution, and email address of the author(s); and up to five keywords. Proposals for panel sessions should furthermore include abstracts of all proposed papers as well as a short integrative statement explaining the theme of the panel (all in one document).

Proposals for panels on recently published books are welcomed as well and are required to include a short explanation of the book’s importance and brief biographies of the participants.

Alternate formats of presentation as well as the participation of young researchers are also encouraged.

Proposals should be submitted online; the submission form can be found here: http://chinalaw.wpia.uw.edu.pl/ecls-annual-conference/. All proposals will be subject to peer-review by the organizing committees. The deadline for submissions of abstracts and panel proposals is 30 May 2021, and the deadline for submission of full papers is 6 September 2021.

All questions and suggestions can be addressed to eclswarsaw@wpia.uw.edu.pl.

This blog post was written by one of the Center’s interns, Johanna Fähnrich. Johanna is an exchange student from Germany. She will be studying law at the University of Helsinki until next summer and recently joined the team of the China Law Center because she is interested in learning about different legal systems and comparing them to each other.

Conference on China´s Rise/Asia´s Responses

When: 10-11 June 2021

The 15th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS) and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS)’s 14th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference will be organized as a joint virtual conference named “China´s Rise/Asia´s Responses”. The theme of the conference is broad and interdisciplinary. The conference seeks understanding about China´s rising influence in Asia and responses to that by different Asian countries. One of the topics of the conference is Politics and Law so legal researchers are welcomed to participate. Participants can share findings about the occurring and perception of China´s rise and reactions by different Asian states and social actors. The organizers are particularly hoping for interdisciplinary approaches.

The online conference will include keynotes, panels, roundtables and possible other formats, for which suggestions are welcome. Self-organized panels are strongly encouraged. Informal discussions and networking are not to be forgotten either. Participants can be scholars and doctoral candidates in social sciences and humanities. Keynote speakers of the conference include Professor of International Relations, William A. Callahan from London School of Economics, Associate Professor Camilla T. N. Sørensen from Royal Danish Defence College, and Professor Mette Halskov Hansen from University of Oslo.

Call for abstracts: The organizers are inviting proposals for panels, roundtables, and individual papers. Please send individual paper abstracts (max. 250 words), or a panel abstract (max. 300 words) in addition to 250-word abstracts for contributing papers by email to nacsnnc@helsinki.fi by 2pm, 25 January 2021. Abstracts should include name, title/position, email address and institutional affiliation.

Additionally, a two-day PhD workshop will take place before the conference. The workshop gathers promising PhD students concentrating on various Asian related topics. Students will get to present their works and get feedback from senior scholars. For detailed information about the PhD workshop and application instructions, please visit https://www.helsinki.fi/en/beta/chinas-riseasias-responses/phd-workshop. Deadline for applications is 25 January 2021.

More about the conference can be found at https://www.helsinki.fi/en/beta/chinas-riseasias-responses/about

This blog post was written by the Center’s interns, Elias Jakala. Elias is a sixth year law student at the University of Helsinki. He is a Bachelor of Law and trying to graduate as a Master of Law at the end of this semester. In addition to his studies, he works part-time at Attorneys Kuhanen, Asikainen & Kanerva Oy dealing mainly with real estate law. He has a special interest in Chinese law and society. The subject of his master´s thesis concerns attempts to bring German civil law into Chinese legal system at the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century. 

 

 

CHINA LAW WEEK 2020 SESSION 4: REFORM AND EMERGING ISSUES IN CHINESE PRIVATE LAW AND THE COURT SYSTEM

Chair of the session, Professor Jukka Mähönen, 23 October 2020

The China Law Week 2020 closed with a session on “Reform and Emerging issues in Chinese Private Law and the Court System”. It was chaired by Jukka Mähönen, Professor of Cooperative Law at the University of Helsinki and Professor of Law at the University of Oslo.

 

Professor Jin Haijun speaking on “Legal Reform and the New Chinese Civil Code: An Introduction”, 23 October 2020

In the first presentation, Professor Jin Haijun from Renmin University gave a brief insight into the Chinese newly made civil law codification. The new Chinese Civil Code was adopted in May 2020 and will be effective from the beginning of next year. Even though the Civil Code is new, Professor Haijun emphasized that most parts of its legislation are not new. For instance, already existing corporative law was basically incorporated in the new civil code. According to Professor Haijun, intellectual property rules were a hot topic during the drafting of the code. Professor Juha Karhu from the University of Lapland commented on the presentation by mentioning for example the way that the code was built putting together different pieces.

Professor Juha Karhu speaking on “Nordic Perspective on the New Chinese Civil Code”, 23 October 2020

Professor Karhu then proceeded with his presentation on the Nordic perspective on the new Chinese Civil Code. Some civil codes of the modern time were discussed, and their economic, political, and cultural background were explored to see why and how the codes were born. The presenter talked about the French Civil Code, the German “Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch”, the situation in the US, and the Chinese Civil Code 2020. Notably, the Chinese Civil Code is based on the economic rise with the opening-up policy and the socialist market economy. The Code also shows Chinese characteristics. It is inspired by various legal systems, but the systematic nature is based on the endemic questions in China.

Dr. Kangle Zhang speaking on “Emerging Issues in Chinese Finance & Business Law”, 23 October 2020

The third presentation was given by Dr. Kangle Zhang from Peking University Law School about emerging issues in Chinese finance & business law. In Dr. Zhang’s opinion, China is moving towards financial liberalization. There is a trend of providing necessary capital and offering the customers better returns than bank deposits. The establishment of Shanghai pilot free trade zone helps ease legal burden for trading and financial purposes.

 

Dr. Wei Qian speaking on “Do Positive Disability Policies Promote Social Inclusion of the Disabilities in China?”, 23 October 2020

The fourth presentation was held by Dr. Wei Qian from the China University of Labour Relations, School of Labour Relations and Human Resources. The pandemic raised a number of issues where the group of disabled elderly people were particularly affected. Local governments in China were fast to enact new policy, and set disabled people, as well as children and elderly people as priority groups that will receive special attention in any big crisis. Dr. Qian talked about how disability policies in China promote the social inclusion of disabled people and how the policies changed under the current Covid-19 situation.

Professor Björn Ahl speaking on “Chinese Court Reforms and their Impact on Decision Making”, 23 October 2020

The last presentation of the day and the China Law Week was held by Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne. He outlined the Chinese court reforms and their impact on decision making. According to Professor Ahl, there has been a contradiction in the reform dynamics between law and the political context within the judicial reform in China. This reform can be seen from a political context where there has been an enhanced dominant party state with violations of human rights. On the other hand, reform of the legal institutions has taken place where judges enjoy more autonomy in decision making to an extent that they never have been.

 

With 19 chairs and speakers from 7 countries and over 70 participants from 15 countries, the China Law Week 2020 had connected people with interest in Chinese law and legal culture from all over the world. Offering presentations and discussions on a broad spectrum of topics, the event had provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in the world of Chinese law.

The Finnish China Law Center would like to thanks the chairs, speakers, and participants conference for having made the China Law Week 2020 a resounding success. We hope to see you again in the Nordic China Law Week 2021!

 

The Center would like to thank our interns, Elias Jakala, Anwar Al-Hamidi, Anqi Xiang, Annette Rapo, and Johanna Fähnrich for contributing text for this article.

CHINA LAW WEEK 2020 SESSION 3: NEW CHALLENGES FOR CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE

Chair of the session, Professor Björn Ahl, 22 October 2020

The China Law Week 2020 continued with the third session on “New Challenges for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)”. It was chaired by Björn Ahl, who is Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne and Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki.

 

Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen speaking on “The Localized Approach in Understanding One Belt One Road’s Impacts”, 22 October 2020

Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Confucius Institute at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, gave the first presentation. Professor Chen talked about the localized approach in understanding One Belt One Road (OBOR)’s impacts. Her presentation covered two parts: the problems of China-centric approaches when studying the BRI’s actual impacts and the theoretical framework. Professor Chen uses the strategic action field (SAF) for her BRI research, which she defined as a “socially constructed arena” where actors constantly pull and haul their interests on a particular space and issue due to their contentious or unclear nature.

Professor Ronald C. Brown speaking on “China’s BRI in Central Eastern European Countries: “17+1”: Connectivity, Divisiveness, or Pathway to EU-China?”, 22 October 2020

The session continued with a presentation by Professor Ronald C. Brown. Professor Brown centered his presentation on China’s BRI in Central Eastern European Countries, through the concept of 17+1. The main issue here is whether the 17+1 concept helps China to connect with the EU or whether it divides it or could lead to a pathway to EU-China “pre-trade agreement”. BRI gains connectivity to China and maximizes economic growth opportunities but the questions of who is more important (EU or China) for 17+1 countries and who to give loyalty to if there is a conflict linger.

 

Professor Jin Haijun speaking on “An Overview of Intellectual Property Protection and Cooperation under the BRI”, 22 October 2020

Professor Jin Haijun from Renmin University held the next presentation with the title “An Overview of Intellectual Property Protection and Cooperation under the BRI”. He emphasized that China has launched several initiatives such as the Digital Economy International Cooperation Initiative and the Joint Statement on Pragmatic Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property for the BRI countries. China has further opted to include IP provisions in the Civil Code. It also has specialized IP courts and tribunals. China has also placed special attention on constant reforms for IP action, protection and cooperation among BRI countries, and patent court system reforms.

Professor Yifeng Chen speaking on “Transnational Labour Protection and the Belt and Road Initiative”, 22 October 2020

Associate Professor Yifeng Chen from the Peking University Law School followed with a presentation about transnational labour protection and the BRI. He highlighted the labour dimension of the BRI and introduced different approaches to incorporate labour into the BRI. They are: using the ILO conventions and encouraging ratification, promoting ILO fundamental labour rights protection, incorporating labour into international economic arrangement, and encouraging corporate social responsibility.

 

Professor Matti Nojonen speaking on “China’s Arctic Policy and the “Polar Silk Road” Initiative”, 22 October 2020

In the fifth presentation, Professor Matti Nojonen from the University of Lapland discussed China’s Arctic Policy and the “Polar Silk Road” Initiative. A few years ago, China introduced the “Polar Silk Road” Initiative. China has been involved in Arctic affairs and the Nordic economy for decades, which makes it easy for most states to adjust to the new project. Of course, there are still a lot of challenges to face. The project must be adjusted to local circumstances such as the existing national law and all involved countries and companies have to reach agreements on specific strategies.

The session closed with a panel discussion under the motto “What are the emerging challenges of the BRI?”

Panel discussion: Emerging challenges for the BRI, 22 October 2020

The Center would like to thank our interns, Sukhman Gill, Elias Jakala, Li Yuan, Anwar Al-Hamidi, Anqi Xiang, Annette Rapo, and Johanna Fähnrich for contributing text for this article.

 

CHINA LAW WEEK 2020 SESSION 2: CHINESE LABOUR LAW IN INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES

Chair of the session, Professor Ninon Colneric, 21 October 2020

The second session of the China Law Week 2020 was held under the theme “Chinese Labour Law in International and Comparative Perspectives”.  The Chair of the session was Professor Ninon Colneric, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities and Co-Dean at the China-EU School of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law.

 

Professor Sean Cooney speaking on “Digital Platforms and New Challenges for Labour Law”, 21 October 2020

Sean Cooney, Professor of Law at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne held the first presentation on labour and employment law challenges of digital platform-based employment. These platforms provide flexibility and opportunities for the workers and convenience for the consumers. However, empirical studies show that this new method of organizing labour is not without problem. The main questions addressed during the presentation are: should the workers be treated as employees, what collective bargaining should be allowed, how do the workers access social protection systems, and what methods are used for dispute resolution.

Professor Ulla Likkunen speaking on “International Employment Contracts in China – the Influence of Labour Law and Private International Law Trends”, 21 October 2020

The second presentation by Ulla Liukkunen, Professor of Labour Law and Private International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Finnish China Law Center was entitled “International Employment Contracts in China – the Influence of Labour Law and Private International Law (PIL) Trends”. The presentation discussed Chinese PIL and cross-border labour questions about international employment contracts. She noted that in China, PIL is still a young field of law with a late policy start. The development of Chinese PIL requires broader attention as labour rights need safeguards in a cross-border setting that substantive law alone cannot afford.

Associate Professor Yan Dong speaking on “Labour Disputes of Chinese Posted Workers in the B&R Countries”, 21 October 2020

The third presentation “Labor Disputes of Chinese Posted Workers in the B&R Countries” was held by Yan Dong, Vice-Dean and Associate Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law . He presented his research about Chinese workers posted in B&R countries. The number of Chinese posted workers increased gradually. However, the current literature gap exists. Data about workers’ labor issues in the B&R countries is incomplete. There are insufficient legal rules about applying Chinese labour laws under the doctrine of overriding mandatory rules. The research design is to collect all the cases by investigating the labor dispute in the B&R countries. The aims of Professor Dong’s study are to uncover the labor issues and test the doctrine of overriding mandatory labor rules in action.

Professor Ronald C. Brown speaking on “Labor Law Adjustments for Workers in China and the U.S. during the Pandemic”, 21 October 2020

The fourth presentation was given by Ronald C. Brown, Professor of Law at the University of Hawai’i Law School . In his presentation, he discussed how the Covid-pandemic has affected labour law in China and the US. When looking at reported cases and deaths, China has survived the pandemic more successfully. The presentation looked at reasons in labour law changes that contributed to this feat. On a high level, the approaches were very similar: funding packages, lockdowns, and mask recommendations, but the results were different. The presentation showed comparatively how high level policies were implemented and how the different cultures reacted to the response on a micro level.

Assistant Professor Yan Tian speaking on “The Change of the Image of Worker in China’s Law of Bankruptcy”, 21 October 2020

The session closed with a presentation by Yan Tian, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean at Peking University Law School. His speech was about the images of workers on China’s law of bankruptcy. Professor Tian first compared the old and new laws of bankruptcy to observe the changes in the images of workers. Secondly, he compared the laws of bankruptcy and the Chinese constitution. Finally, Professor Tian compared the past and future of the laws of bankruptcy.

The Center would like to thank our interns, Jakub Pincha, Zhe Zhao, Li Yuan, and Johanna Fähnrich for contributing text for this article.

 

CHINA LAW WEEK 2020 SESSION 1: CHINESE LAW AND LEGAL CULTURE – A DIVERSITY OF APPROACHES

The China Law Week 2020 kicked off with the first session entitled “Chinese Law and Legal Culture – a Diversity of Approaches”. The session was chaired by Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.

Chair of the session, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo  speaking on “Taking Account of History When Researching Contemporary Law”, 20 October 2020

The session began with a presentation titled “Taking account of History When Researching Contemporary Law” by Professor Letto-Vanamo. She emphasized the importance of history when researching comparative differences. In Professor Letto-Vanamo´s opinion, knowledge of contemporary politics alone is not sufficient to understand the reasons for comparative differences. She found that the only way to understand Chinese Law is to understand its history, not just legal history but for instance philosophical history and general Chinese mentality as well.

Professor Björn Ahl speaking on “Different Approaches to Chinese Legal Culture”, 20 October 2020

In the second presentation of the session, Professor Björn Ahl from the University of Cologne discussed the different approaches to Chinese legal culture. He first explained the Chinese legal culture, observing that Chinese legal culture as a residual concept lacks explanatory value, invites essentialized approaches to Chinese culture, and more prone to legal orientalism. Professor Ahl then introduced the Chinese legal culture in law-related Chinese studies at the University of Cologne, pointing out that learning Chinese law needs to start from an external and comparative perspective.

Associate Professor Joanna Grzybek speaking on “Dispute Resolution in China: A Language Perspective “, 20 October 2020

The third presentation on “Dispute Resolution in China: A Language Perspective” was given by Associate Professor Joanna Grzybek from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who is also Deputy Head of the Polish Centre for Law and Economy of China. Professor Grzybek started by giving the overall legal status regarding dispute resolution in China. She stated that due consideration should be given to how language affects international communication and our frames of mind. She stressed that not only legal, but also historical and sociological angles are needed in legal linguistics research.

Professor Johanna Niemi speaking on “Law and Gender: Finnish and Chinese Perspectives”, 20 October 2020

Professor Johanna Niemi from the University of Turku gave the next presentation on “Law and Gender: Finnish and Chinese Perspectives”. She focused on the positioning of the researcher while doing research in another culture and especially when working with the experts from a society different from the one the researcher is custom to. She highlighted the importance of remembering that post-colonial is not just history in many countries but something that still has an impact on the work culture and relationships to other countries even today.

Professor Kimmo Nuotio speaking on “Criminal Law in the Context of Rule of Law: Finnish and Chinese Perspectives”, 20 October 2020

The session closed with the last presentation about “Criminal Law in the Context of Rule of Law: Finnish and Chinese Perspectives” by Professor Kimmo Nuotio from the University of Helsinki. Professor Nuotio talked about how differently Finland and China approach criminal law and the concept of rule of law. In Finland, criminal law has to be compliant with the constitution, meaning that the state must ensure the protection of every individuals’ rights as well as the division of powers and an independent judiciary. In China, however, criminal law has a long tradition of enforcing justice with harsh methods and not guaranteeing fundamental rights or independence of the judiciary.

The Center would like to thank our interns, Elias Jakala, Li Yuan, Anwar Al-Hamidi, Sukhman Gill and Johanna Fähnrich for contributing text for this article.

Programme of China Law Week 2020 announced

The Finnish China Law Center is pleased to announce the long-awaited programme for the China Law Week 2020.

The event will include four information-packed sessions on the following topics:

  • Chinese Law and Legal Culture – A Diversity of Approaches
  • Chinese Labour Law in International and Comparative Perspectives
  • New Challenges for China’s Belt and Road Initiative
  • Reform and Emerging Issues in Chinese Private Law and the Court System

The detailed programme can be found here.

China Law Week 2020 is free of charge and open to the public. Participants can attend the whole event or individual sessions if they so wish.

Registration to the event is required. We kindly ask you to register by 18 October 2020 by completing the following electronic form: https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/China_Law_Week_2020_8204

For further questions and inquiries, please contact Le Bao Ngoc Pham, the Center’s Coordinator, at ngoc.pham@helsinki.fi.

China Law Week’s speakers. First row (from left to right): Associate Professor Chen Yifeng (Peking University), Assistant Professor Yan Tian (Assistant Dean, Peking University), Associate Professor Joanna Grzybek (Polish Centre for Law and Economy of China), Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo (Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki), Professor Ronald C. Brown (University of Hawai’i Law School). Second row (from left to right): Professor Kimmo Nuotio (University of Helsinki), Dr. Kangle Zhang (University of Helsinki), Dr. Wei Qian (China University of Labour Relations, School of Labour Relations and Human Resources), Professor Sean Cooney (University of Melbourne), Professor Yan Dong (Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law). Third row (from left to right): Professor Alan C Neal (University of Warwick), Professor Ulla Liukkunen (University of Helsinki, Director of the Finnish China Center), Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen (University of Helsinki, Director of the Confucius Institute), and Professor Jin Haijun (Renmin University). Last row (from left to right): Professor Juha Karhu (University of Lapland), Professor Björn Ahl ( University of Cologne, President of the European China Law Studies Association), Professor Matti Nojonen (University of Lapland), and Professor Johanna Niemi (University of Turku).

 

Asian Studies Days 2019: Science and University Policies in Asia

The Center for East Asian Studies, University of Turku, and the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies are organizing the Asian Studies Days to be held from 26 to 27 November 2019.

Event consists of the Conference Day with no restrictions on participants, and Doctoral Seminar which is open only to PhD candidates in Finnish Universities.

The Conference Day will take place on 26 November, between 12:00-17:00, at Publicum, PUB3, Assistentinkatu 7, Turku.

Registration can be done at https://link.webropolsurveys.com/Participation/Public/6151c9f3-c835-4e82-b13b-154adf9e6ecc?displayId=Fin1846973. The form is open until November 22.

The preliminary program and list of speakers can be found at http://www.asianet.fi/2019/asian-studies-days-2019-science-policies-in-asia/

For all inquiries please contact the Director of the Network, Outi Luova at outi.luova@utu.fi or tel 029 450 3058.

 

Background to the event

This year, the Asian Studies Days brings together people from academia, business, public administration, and civil society with a shared interest in Asia to discuss the recent trends, prospects, and challenges in the implementation of science and university policies in Asia. The theme is of topical importance considering the significant science capacities of China and many other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

The event aims to deepen understanding of the specific features in the academic research and education that should be taken into account when pursuing cooperation with Asian actors. The discussions will also help develop realistic and sustainable cooperation with Asian countries in the field of science, technology, and education.

 

Conference on Methodology of researching and teaching of Chinese law in Russia

On 18 October 2019, the Saint Petersburg State University in collaboration with the Polish Research Center for Chinese Law and Economy, the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, and Sino-Russian Legal Research Center of Jilin University will hold an International Conference on ‘Methodology of researching and teaching Chinese law.’

Time: Friday 18 October 2019, 10:00 – 17:40.

Venue: Assembly hall (room N 64), Saint Petersburg State University, 22nd Line of Vasilyevskyisland, 7.

The event is free and open to all that are interested in research and teaching of Chinese law to non-Chinese students.

The full program and list of speakers can be found in the conference programme.

For all inquiries please contact the Organizing Committee at chinalawconferencespbu@gmail.com.

About the Conference:

The Conference aims to create a platform for discussing and sharing ideas on the issues of Chinese law research and teaching in foreign universities, and to establish cooperation between specialists in relevant fields of Chinese law. The presentations focus on:

  • Defining the concept and the object of legal research.
  • Criteria for good legal research.
  • The role of practice in teaching and researching Chinese Law.
  • The contributions of comparative law to teaching and researching Chinese Law.
  • The interpretation of legal sources.
  • The use of interdisciplinary methods.
  • Quantitative empirical approaches to researching Chinese Law.
  • Building the syllabus for teaching different branches of Chinese Law.

Robots and Human Rights, Policies and Ethical Standards Discussed at Conference Hosted by University of Turku

Could there be robot rights comparable to the rights of humans?

What policies and ethical standards currently exist?

These pressing questions and others were addressed during the conference Robot and AI ethics: Dialogue between Europe and East Asia, held at the University of Turku between 12:00 – 16:00 on 22 November 2018. The event was free and open to the public to attend.

The University of Turku is a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center.

Background to the conference

According to the event organizers, East Asian countries are among the most advanced in the utilization of robots and the development of AI. Robots are already deeply embedded in the Japanese society, South Korea’s industry is the most robotized in the world, and China aims to become an AI super power by 2030.​

Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly transforming our societies. While robotics is quickly advancing, discussions on fundamental ethical issues, laws and policies lag seriously behind (and are far from being solved). These issues range from end-of-life decisions taken by engineers to defining human-robot relationships. While there has been an emerging literature on ethical challenges of robots and AI, little comparative research has been done on European and East Asian perspectives in this debate. ​

The aim of this event was to bring together scholars and practitioners from East Asia and Europe to discuss general perspectives and attitudes towards robots and AI as well as ethical aspects. The focus was on technology that already has practical applications, and thus is affecting our societies the most, like self-driving cars and care robots.

The event organizers were the Centre for East Asian Studies in cooperation with the discipline of Philosophy, the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Turku and the Turku AI Society.

For more information

Please contact University lecturer Sabine Burghart at sabine.burghart[at]utu.fi or University lecturer Outi Luova at outi.luova[at]utu.fi.

Annual ‘One Belt, One Road’ Law Summit Attended by Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki

On 27-28 September 2018, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki and a member of the board of the Finnish China Law Center, attended the 2018 annual summit of the New Silk Road Law Schools Alliance.

The Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, is one of the founding members of the Alliance.

The Summit was hosted by the People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) Law School, and was the fourth Summit since the establishment of the Alliance at Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2015, with the following two Summits organised respectively by the law schools of the University of New South Wales (Australia), and Wuhan University (China).

The 2018 Annual Summit included academic discussions and a meeting of Alliance deans.

The academic sessions included the book launch of the edited volume by Professor Wenhua SHAN, Professor Kimmo Nuotio, and Mr. Kangle Zhang. Professor Nuotio is Professor of Criminal Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki and Kangle Zhang, who also attended and spoke at the Summit, is a Doctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki.

The Summit also included presentations by participants from various member law schools on topics such as business activities and human rights along the Belt and Road (Professor Michael Hor of the University of Hong Kong), dispute settlement of electronic commerce (Professor Yun ZHAO of the University of Hong Kong), and environmental rights along the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative (Kangle ZHANG of University of Helsinki).

 

Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, in middle front of photo, pictured with other attendees of the Annual Summit of the New Silk Road Law Schools Alliance in RUDN University, 27-28 September 2018. Photo courtesy of RUDN University.

 

At the deans’ meetings, issues including academic collaboration amongst member law schools, publication of research results, comparative law education and student exchange programs.

Law Schools represented at the Summit include the University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, Wuhan University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, University of New South Wales, University of Belgrade, University of Bergen, People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), and the University of Helsinki.

Thanks to Kangle Zhang, Doctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, for contributing to this article.