On 21 August 2017, the Finnish China Law Center hosted a guest lecture by Professor Xi Chao, Vice-Dean and Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The lecture, titled ‘Biased Securities Regulators? Evidence from China’, was introduced by Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center.

Prof. Xi Chao, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, discussing his research on Chinese securities regulators.

In his presentation, Prof. Xi discussed the much-debated question of whether securities regulators are sensitive to considerations that extend beyond the ‘mere merits’ of a case. While this question has received attention in the United States, little is known about the determinants of enforcement actions taken by regulators of Chinese securities markets.

Why is this important? Among other reasons, because the Chinese securities market is the second largest in the world.

During a stimulating presentation and discussion, Prof. Xi discussed his empirical research that involved manually collecting a new dataset on all so-called ‘disclosed’ securities enforcement actions, both formal and informal, taken against securities violations by Chinese securities regulators between 1998 -2016.

Prof. Xi’s research demonstrates that larger Chinese firms, those controlled by the state, those that are more politically embedded, and firms that cooperate more closely with securities regulators, are less likely to be targeted by regulatory enforcement actions. In addition, when these types of firms are targeted, they are more likely to fare better.

On the other hand, Prof. Xi’s research revealed what he considered a ‘counter-intuitive finding’: that closer personal bonds between people working in Chinese firms and securities regulators are likely to reduce the severity of enforcement actions, but are unlikely to minimize the likelihood of being targeted in the first place.

During his visit to Finland, Professor Chao also taught in the University of Helsinki Summer School Course, ‘Law and Society in China‘, coordinated and taught by the Finnish China Law Center’s postdoctoral researcher Dr. Yihong Zhang.


The Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki are pleased to announce a guest lecture by Professor Xi Chao, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong:

‘Biased Securities Regulators? Evidence from China’

TIME: 2 – 4pm, Monday August 21

PLACE: Law Faculty Meeting Room (P545), 5th floor of the Porthania Building (Yliopistonkatu 3, Helsinki).

The event is free of charge, open to everyone and no registration is needed.

Lecture overview

In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, a much debated topic in the academic and policy discourse on securities regulation is whether securities regulators are sensitive to considerations beyond just the merits of the case. While the literature is growing in regard to securities enforcement in the United States, little is known as of yet about the determinants of enforcement actions taken by the primary regulators of the Chinese securities markets, the second largest in the world. This research draws on a unique, hand-collected dataset on all disclosed securities enforcement actions, both formal and informal, taken against securities violations by the Chinese securities regulators during the period from 1998 through 2016. It offers a glimpse into the intensity of securities enforcement actions, both market-level and firm-level, in China. It also sheds important light on the determinants of Chinese securities enforcement practices. It shows empirically that firms that are larger in size, firms that are controlled by the state, and firms that characterize with a higher level of political embeddedness, and firms that cooperate more closely with the securities regulators are less likely to be targeted and, when they are targeted, they are more likely to fare better. A somewhat counter-intuitive finding of this research is that a closer personal bond with the securities regulators are likely to reduce the severity of enforcement actions, but are unlikely to minimize the likelihood of being targeted in the first place.

This research has been supported by a General Research Fund (CUHK-452913) from the Hong Kong SAR Research Grants Council.

Biography of Professor Xi

Dr Xi is Professor and Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He specializes in comparative corporate law, securities regulation, and financial regulation, and has published extensively in leading peer-reviewed international journals. He is Professorial Research Associate of the SOAS China Institute, University of London, and a Board Member of the European China Law Studies Association.

Further information

For questions about this, and other events organized or facilitated by the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, please contact Center Coordinator Stuart Mooney (stuart.mooney (at)

8th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law, 28-29 August 2017 (Helsinki and Tampere)

The Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Legal Culture, the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere are proud to announce that the 8th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law will be held in Helsinki and Tampere on 28-29 August 2017.

The seminar brings together senior academics from China and Finland to discuss current legal issues. The seminar is held once a year, alternately in China and Finland.

All interested people are invited to attend. The seminar is free of charge. Further details, including a seminar program and an attendance registration form, are available at the seminar’s event page.

We warmly welcome participation and look forward to fruitful and rewarding sharing of perspectives on topical and important legal issues of mutual concern.

Prof. Liu Zuoxiang holds a lecture on “The Relationship between Party Regulations and National Law” at the Center

Professor Liu Zuoxiang, Director of the Institute of Rule of Law and Human Rights at Shanghai Normal University, College of Philosophy, Law and Political Science, held a lecture titled “The Relationship between Party Regulations and National Law” at the China Law Center on May 30, 2017. After Prof. Liu’s lecture, Zhang Kangle, doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law and research fellow at Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, commented on Prof. Liu’s research.

Zhang Kangle (left), Prof. Liu Zuoxiang, Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Center, and Kimmo Nuotio, Dean of the UH Faculty of Law (right) after the lecture. Prof. Liu presented his latest publication and donated the book, together with his other works, to the Center’s library.

Currently, there is an ongoing academic debate in China on whether or party regulations applied to the members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may be considered national laws. Some scholars have argued that party regulations are in effect national laws. In his presentation, Prof. Liu demonstrated how party regulations and national laws are distinct from one another.

In a country run by the rule of law, the political party is not a legislative body – national laws must be based on the Constitution. The regulations or “norms” assumed by the party for its members cannot therefore be regarded as binding laws on the whole population. The role of the party is to ensure that its ideals, beliefs and aims are realized, enabled through self-discipline and strict administration of its members. Party rules are therefore applied only to party members in order to restrict their behaviour and ensure the members’ commitment to party ideals. The national law, on the other hand, is the basis of conduct for all citizens and embodies the will of the country, and therefore cannot be as strict and ideals-based as the rules for party members.

Yet, party rules can also be made into laws through a legislative process. Indeed, much of the regulations of the CCP have actually become national law, which may be the source of confusion between the two. Since the reform and opening up policy in the late 1970s, the CCP has been the main organ to pass laws. However, all laws passed by the party must first go through the National People’s Congress. Such power dynamics demonstrates that while being the organ to exercise state power, the party is still constrained by the Constitution, the will of the people and the rule of law.

Even though there are clear distinctions between party regulations and national law, there is still much confusion around the topic. One solution, proposed by a government official, is to apply a model of two governance systems, one for the party and another for the country. The two-system solution would clarify the application of party regulations and national laws and improve the party’s capacity to govern the country. Yet, challenges considering such an approach have arisen – for instance, whether party regulations should be applied over national law or vice versa, or whether or not the violation of party regulations, if not considered as legal code, should be punishable by law.

The distinction of party regulations and national law is a very timely topic, and Prof. Liu’s attempt to shed light on the ongoing debate in China was fascinating indeed. The development of the relationship between party regulations and national law will be interesting to follow, and is an issue that China watchers, researchers and those interested in the rule of law development in China should keep an eye on.

Author: Cristina D. Juola

Professor Shen Wei holds a lecture on Arbitral Awards Enforcement in China

Dean, Professor Shen Wei from Shandong University Law School held a lecture titled “Entanglement between Judicial Centralization and Local Protectionism in China: the Case of Arbitral Awards Enforcement” at the Finnish China Law Center on May 23, 2017. During his presentation, Prof. Shen presented empirical data on the internal reporting system in Chinese courts, and whether the system has been effective at tackling local protectionism and discrimination against foreign parties.

The internal reporting system on enforcing arbitral awards involving at least one foreign or foreign-related party was put in place as a part of an effort to combat local protectionism. If local courts make a decision not to recognize and enforce an arbitral award, the case is automatically reported to the provincial court. If the provincial court stays with the decision of the local court, the case is further reported to the Supreme Court for a final revision. The provincial courts may also reverse the outcome and decide to recognize and enforce the arbitral award. None of the cases that are enforced at lower levels are reported to higher levels. The cases that do not get enforced reach the Supreme Court, in which case the judges may choose to reverse the outcome and enforce the arbitral award.

Data published in 2015 by the research institute working under the Supreme Court shows that of the 98 cases involving at least one foreign or foreign-related party that have been reported during twenty years of the system’s existence, only 39 cases have not been enforced after the case had been reviewed by the Supreme Court. Of these 98 cases, 20 were initiated by domestic parties while 78 were initiated by foreign parties.

Prof. Shen’s findings show that while local courts have vested interests to support local parties, the Supreme Court is likely to enforce the arbitral award in favour of the claimant. As unrecognized cases are reported to the higher levels, a discriminative decision by local courts in favour of local parties is likely to be reversed and the award enforced by the Supreme Court. China ratified the New York Convention in 1986, and the Supreme Court is more inclined to follow the obligations assigned by the treaty. The Supreme Court is also more likely to support foreign investment and thus enforce an arbitration award claimed by a foreign party.

The fact that most of the cases are initiated by a foreign party indicates that foreigners are more likely to rely on the internal reporting system to receive a just outcome, whereas local courts are more likely to enforce the claims of domestic claimers. However, the rate of reversed outcomes by the Supreme Court is same both for foreign and domestic initiated cases. Prof. Shen’s analysis also indicates that protectionism is more likely to occur in economically less developed areas, whereas local courts in more economically developed regions have accumulated experience and are less likely to favour local parties.

Overall, China’s centralized arbitration awards enforcement system is a foreign-friendly mechanism. The centralization of decision-making to the Supreme Courts through the internal reporting system has been effective to combat local protectionism and is favourable towards foreign investment. However, transparency still lacks in reporting on purely domestic cases, as cases involving purely domestic arbitrary awards enforcement are not reported to the Supreme Court.

Prof. Shen and Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the China Law Center.

Dean, Professor Shen Wei is a lawyer qualified in New York practicing, mostly in Hong Kong, on foreign direct investment, private equity and mergers and acquisitions. His main research interests include financial regulation, corporate governance, international investment law and commercial arbitration. Professor Shen has published more than 130 articles in Chinese and English journals, and is the author of the books: Rethinking the New York Convention – A Law and Economics Approach (Cambridge: Intersentia 2013), The Anatomy of China’s Banking Sector and Regulation (Wolters Kluwer 2014), How Is International Economic Order Shaped? – Law, Markets and Globalisation (China Law Press 2014), Corporate Law in China: Structure, Governance and Regulation (Sweet & Maxwell 2015), and Investor Protection in Capital Markets – The Case of Hong Kong (Sweet & Maxwell 2015).

Professor Shen is an arbitrator with Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Shanghai International Arbitration Centre, Shanghai Arbitration Commission, and Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration. He is also the Global Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, and Adjunct Research Professor at the Centre for Banking & Finance Law (CBFL), National University of Singapore.  Professor Shen Wei has visited the Center twice before. In September 2013, he spoke on international investment arbitration in China, and in May 2016, his talk involved with ADR and Arbitration of International Financial Disputes in Shanghai.

Author: Cristina D. Juola

Prof. Liu Zuoxiang on “Chinese Structure of Social Order in a Period of Transformation”

Director of the Institute of Rule of Law and Human Rights at Shanghai Normal University, College of Philosophy, Law and Political Sciences, Professor Liu Zuoxiang held a lecture on “Chinese Structure of Social Order in a Period of Transformation” at the Finnish China Law Center on May 17, 2017. The lecture was followed by questions and comments by the discussants Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Erik Castrén Institute, University of Helsinki, and Kangle Zhang, Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute, University of Helsinki, who also worked as a translator during the lecture and discussion. After the lecture and initial comments, the audience posed questions and comments and engaged in a lively discussion.

Zhang Kangle (left), Prof. Liu (middle) and Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca (right).

In his lecture, Prof. Liu introduced the traditional social order that has developed in China and compared it to the contemporary one. The traditional Chinese social order was based on the “rule of Li” as opposed to the “rule of law” that exists in the contemporary society. Prof. Fei Xiaotong, a scholar on Chinese social order in the 1940s, described “Li” as a “generally acknowledged and harmonious pattern of behaviour”. The “rule of Li order”, therefore, is one based on traditions and commonly accepted norms, which are not enforced in a top-down manner but by the society itself. Citizens obey the accumulated traditions and social norms out of respect towards the society and to cultivate their moral character and self-constraint. In contrast, a “rule of law order” is maintained by political and state power and is enforced by rules and punishments.

The traditional patriarchal and clan system in China’s rural areas functioned as a source of normative control and unifying force within the community. The clan system was efficient at dealing with issues related to relationships within the clan, in matters related to marriage, property, funerals and the like, and acted as a supportive system to the official state order. However, as the example of Nancun village in Guangdong province demonstrates, patriarchal formations began to break down as a result of rural reforms and the elimination of landlords after 1949. During the second wave of reforms in 1979, state control became more lenient. Some forms of nongovernmental organization re-emerged, but failed to achieve their former authoritative position. Economic conditions improved, the village underwent urbanization, and incentives for social grassroots organization independent of state administration decreased.

Yet, China is still undergoing a transformation from a traditional society and the “rule of Li” to a modern society and the “rule of law”. The case of Nancun village is an example of how traditional order of patriarchal rule and the “rule of Li order” has been replaced by a modern social system, where state power and the rule of law have become the dominant guide for maintaining social order. Indeed, on the institutional level, the contemporary Chinese society has the elements of a modern, “rule of law” state. However, the actual social order has still elements of the “rule of Li” embedded in it, especially in rural areas, where transformation is still taking place. Prof. Li characterizes the current state of the Chinese society as a “pluralistically mixed order”, where order is maintained by the “rule of law” mixed with “rule of Li”, as well as other elements of the traditional Chinese society, such as order based on patriarchy, “rule of virtue” and the “rule of man”. The relationships between people have experienced transformations, but still contain elements of formal and informal ideas of social order.

The coexistence of modern and traditional practices within the contemporary Chinese society point out the complexity of defining the societal structure in explicit terms. The contemporary Chinese society is transforming towards a “rule of law order” and at the same time hold elements of the traditional Chinese order, which makes the current Chinese society pluralistic in nature. Elevated economic wellbeing has replaced tradition and patriarchal relationships as a measure of social standard, a trend further enforced by outside influences amongst the younger generation. However, the traditional order still lies at the basis of the contemporary one, and continues to have a strong influence on it.

Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca questioning whether a state has the capability to choose its model of social order or whether one naturally emerges from the reality on the ground. Photo by Zhao Yajie.

Professor Liu Zuoxiang is the Director of the Institute of Rule of Law and Human Rights, Shanghai Normal University, College of Philosophy, Law and Political Sciences. He is also the Vice director of Jurisprudence Institute of Chinese Law Society; Member of branch of Chinese IVR.

Author: Cristina D. Juola

Du Junqiang gives a lecture on Judicial Reasoning in Traditional China and its Impact on Modern China

Du Junqiang, a researcher from Xi’an Jiaotong University, School of Law, held a presentation on “Judicial Reasoning in Traditional China and its Impact on Modern China” at the China Law Center on April 20, 2017. Kimmo Nuotio, Professor of Criminal Law, and Dean of the University of Helsinki Faculty of Law, opened the event. In his presentation, Dr Du introduced the two competing schools of thought in China, Legalism and Confucianism, and demonstrated how the two opposing perceptions of society and legal practice have been combined in Chinese law at different periods of time, and how they have influenced legal practices.

From left to right: Heikki Pihlajamäki, Matti Mikkola, Du Junqiang, Kimmo Nuotio and Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca.

For over a millennium, until the end of the last dynasty in 1911, Confucianism was the main guiding philosophy in China and strongly influenced legal practices in the empire. Opposed to the Western practices of law, where the criminal is viewed as an individual independent of his or her relationship to the victim, punishments in traditional China considered context and morality in criminal judgements. Citizens were expected to act with morality, based their social role and place in the family hierarchy. Confucian principles were embedded in former Legalist practices through Chun-qiu-jue-yu, a new style of judicial reasoning combining the two, and gradually became a part of the legal code. Judges were expected to quote the articles when giving out punishments under the condition of Confucianized Code. The criminal was viewed not as an individual, but in relation to the victim. Punishment for hurting one’s blood relatives, for instance, would be much more severe – punishable with a death sentence – than for hurting a stranger.

However, due to severe criticism towards traditional Chinese values by modern legal reform at the end of the last dynasty and the New Culture Movement in 1919, legal practices became dominated by individualism and to a certain extent Legalism. Confucius virtues of love and social relationships were banished. As opposed to Confucianism, individualism and Legalism do not place any weight on social relationships, but victims are punished based on the committed crime. Yet, even though criticism for Confucian practices has dominated for nearly a century,  elements of traditional culture can still be seen in argumentation for some cases. Ordinary people, some scholars and even some judges today use traditional Confucian legal culture and morality as support for their arguments and judgements. The social role in the family hierarchy is still embedded in the Chinese mindset. Therefore, China’s current judicial reform of judicial reasoning must also consider the legal culture of the old legal system.

Du Junqiang is a lecturer at the Xi’an Jiaotong University Law School and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law. He holds a Master’s Degree in Legal Theory from Zhejiang University and is a PhD of Legal History from East China University of Politics and Law.


Author: Cristina D. Juola

Forthcoming lecture on judicial reasoning in traditional China by Dr. Junqiang Du, Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Law, on April 20, 2017

Welcome to a lecture on Chinese legal history!

Dr. Junqiang Du from Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Law will talk on

“Judicial Reasoning in Traditional China and its Impacts on Modern China”

on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 3.15 p.m. in Porthania Building, University of Helsinki, at fifth floor, room P 545.


China’s long legal history is cogently analysed by TUNG- TSU CH’U in the book Law and society in Traditional China. Obviously, there are topics deserving further research and in this talk I would like to focus on China’s old legal system and culture since some of their aspects last for more than 2000 years while others have been subject to some important transformations.

Although the old legal system formally ended with late Qing Dynasty’s legal reform at the beginning of the 20th century, the legal culture of the old system survived and is still alive in modern society in China. For instance, in some special cases, people use such traditional legal culture as a source of their arguments. And for this reason, China’s current judicial reform aiming to improve judicial reasoning also has to take into account the legal culture of the old legal system.

In this lecture, Dr. Junqiang Du, Lecturer in Law at Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Law, analyses the benefits and drawbacks of judicial reasoning in traditional China and argues that such an understanding is also useful to grasp better Modern China.

Kimmo Nuotio, Professor of Criminal Law, and Dean of the University of Helsinki Faculty of Law, will open the event.


Interview with Renwen Liu, Director of the CASS Criminal Law Department

Mr. Liu in the office of the Center Coordinator, Iina Tornberg.

Prof. Dr. Renwen Liu, Director of the Criminal Law Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), is a specialist in Chinese criminal law. Starting his career at the CASS Law Institute as early as 1993, he has extensive experience in the field both in China and abroad. Mr. Liu has been a research fellow at top-ranked universities such as Oxford, Yale, Harvard, and Columbia University in New York, and has visited a number of universities across Western Europe as well as in Russia and in Asia. His post as the Director of the Criminal Law Department has a wide array of responsibilities in Beijing, which currently binds him to the city for most of the time. The Finnish China Law Center had the great pleasure to host Mr. Liu during the Chinese New Year, a big Chinese holiday celebration – a time when Beijing is bustling with festive social activities. Even though engaged in research and seminars during the holiday, Mr. Liu finds the stay in Finland “nice and relaxing.”

As Professor of criminal law and Director of the Criminal Law Department of CASS, Mr. Liu is involved in an array of different fields. The CASS professors work closely with the government, offering consultancy, advice and expertise in the field of law, which they gain from research as well as cooperation with other sectors of the society. For instance, Mr. Liu’s recent cooperation with the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission gets him on top of the newest developments in financial criminal activity. He has also assumed the responsibility for researching major judicial topics for the Supreme Court, such as that of cybercrime and the difficulties in applying justice in cyberspace.

The current challenges faced by the Chinese legal society have an international dimension and are faced by countries worldwide. Even though the Chinese legal system is different from that of European states, China’s approach is to be open-minded and learn from others. “It is very important that we learn from each other and from the international community, especially in new areas such as terrorism and cybercrime. China learns from other countries and cares about the reactions of the international community.”

In the light of cross-border challenges, Mr. Liu emphasizes the importance of comparative research in the drafting of new Chinese laws. For example, Mr. Liu was one of the advisors in drafting a new Chinese anti-terrorist law.  For background and guidance, information was collected from other countries such as Germany, France, Russia and the United States to see how they were dealing with similar issues. “Each country usually focuses on its domestic system of criminal justice. They have their relatively independent criminal law, criminal court and legal culture. We should share mutual respect for each other’s systems and approach them with understanding. But in areas such as counterterrorism, we need to strengthen cooperation in international criminal justice and its application in order for it to become more effective.”

China is also challenged by international pressure to abide by certain western standards, for instance in defining a suitable punishment for criminals, and its implementation of the death penalty. On the one hand, criminal activity has to be punished. “But the other side of the coin is that we also need to protect human rights,” Mr. Liu says. China often faces criticism from the international for the treatment of criminal suspects, defendants and prisoners. However, fundamental differences between China and Western societies should not to be neglected. China is still a developing country. “Thirty years ago, the Chinese society was still very poor. Even today many peasants in the countryside are poor,” Mr. Liu reminds. The pace of economic reforms in China has been very rapid, and as a result of government policies, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. “China’s economic development is not only a contribution to the international community, but has also helped to restore wealth and wellbeing to many of the Chinese poor areas. This is the most important contribution to the human rights development. I really think that our human rights situation is getting increasingly better.” Mr. Liu also notes that this development has been possible due to the relative stability of the country. “There is no war, no massive movements, no fighting.”

Mr. Liu checking out Iina Tornberg’s books.

The newfound wealth and the still-existing poverty in China are not the only differences between China and Western Europe. Also the vast size of the Chinese population – 1.3 billion people – and the differing cultural traditions sometimes pose an impediment for reaching mutual understanding. “In Chinese criminal law, death penalty is perceived as a normal punishment for serious crimes. This is accepted by our culture – our people and our government. But the international trend is for the abolition of the death penalty.” Mr. Liu points out that the trend of abolishing the death penalty has, however, been noticed in China: the number of death penalties has decreased by half compared with the number ten years ago. Still, Western critics and human rights advocates claim that it should be abolished all together. “Execution as a payment for taking away the life of another human being is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. Therefore, even though for non-violent crimes we can abolish the death penalty, for the crime of murder, the death penalty is still relevant. We shouldn’t try to run before learning how to walk; we need to progress gradually. Of course, even for the crime of murder we are limiting the scope of death penalty implementation,” says Mr. Liu.

The different perceptions of the domestic and international audiences are highlighted by the example of the death penalty. “For Chinese, these numbers are great progress. But for the international community the numbers are still unacceptable. From the domestic standpoint, there has been big improvement in the condition of human rights. But from the international standpoint, there is still distance to the ideal situation.” As we speak of human rights, Mr. Liu admits that China is not perfect – but then again, each country has their own problems. As long as the Chinese society keeps steady in its course towards improving the quality of people’s wellbeing, Mr. Liu sees the situation in a positive light.

Coming back to the role of comparative research, Mr. Liu believes there are great benefits in engaging with the international community. “In the past years, we’ve learned a lot from the UN and the international society. We are thankful for that. They give us good references when we make our laws.” It is clear that in comparative research, China is looking to other big powers such as the US, Germany and France. But what about a small country like Finland? Mr. Liu sees Finland as a part of a greater whole: the Nordics. The Nordics as a region has become a major point of interest to the Chinese. “Most Chinese people think that the Nordic countries are good. In China, we also say that we are a socialist country. And we say that the Nordic countries are the newest socialist countries. They don’t have such a big gap between the rich and the poor. But for China this is a big social problem. We have highly advanced cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but the countryside and western areas are poor. So people say that we should learn from the social welfare system of the Nordic countries.”

Mr. Liu appreciates the dedication of Finland towards comparative study of law between Finland, as well as the Nordics, and China. Certainly there are big challenges in adapting desired Nordic elements into the Chinese society. Yet, through continued cooperation and comparative research which identifies key similarities and differences between the approaches of our respective countries, we can foster mutual understanding, create a good platform for communication and cultural exchange, and together develop better solutions for the future.

Professor Hui-yen Hsu gave a lecture on Taiwan’s implementation of the ICCPR and the ICESCR

Hosted by the  international research project Law and the Other in Post-Multicultural Europe, Associate Professor William Hui-yen Hsu from Dong Hwa University, Taiwan, on Friday, 9th October 2015, gave a guest lecture on Taiwan’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Associate Professor William Hui-yen Hsu from Dong Hwa University, Taiwan

The lecture highlighted the implementation process Taiwan has gone through as a non-contracting party to the treaties, and the specific implementing measures adopted domestically to fulfill the goal. Professor Hsu supplemented the lecture with sample Supreme Court cases on cultural rights issues, as well as his personal observation of the changes to Supreme Court’s approach to death penalty pre- and post-implementation of ICCPR. Lastly, Professor Hsu suggested that the culture of human rights has remained premature in Taiwan, and that more changes to existing laws would be needed in order for the country to be fully aligned with that prescribed by the treaties.


Text and photo by Huang Yiyin

University of Lapland hosts an eminent expert in International Law, Professor Zhu Wenqi

The Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland had the pleasure to host an eminent expert in International Law, namely Dr Zhu Wenqi, Professor of International Law at Renmin University of China in Beijing and the Director of the International Criminal Law Institute and the International Humanitarian Law Centre.


Professor Zhu was for many years a diplomat in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As Deputy Director of the International Public Law Division at the ministry, he was in charge of all legal issues touching upon international criminal justice and humanitarian law. His expertise has further developed when he held positions as Legal Assistant, Legal Advisor and Appeals Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (the ICTY) and that for Rwanda (the ICTR).

During his visiting stay, Professor Zhu gave an intensive course on International Criminal Law, which took place from Monday 13 October until Thursday 16 October 2014.

This research stay not only enhance the China Law education provided at the University of Lapland but also strengthens the already fruitful collaboration between this University and Remnin University of China.

For more information about the course, please visit the course website.