The Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminars on Comparative Law (Bilateral Seminars), jointly organized by the Center and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Law (CASS Law) bring together law professors from China and Finland to discuss current issues and developments in the field of law. Since 2009, these seminars have created an important platform for dialogue between Finnish and Chinese legal scholars.
The Bilateral Seminars are held in both countries alternately, once a year. Each year a delegation of legal scholars travels from China to Finland or from Finland to China. The seminars are a platform for researchers to meet, exchange views and deepen cooperation. The CASS China Forum on the Rule of Law publishes a book series including the papers presented in each Seminar to provide a tangible outcome and result of collaboration.
Many Bilateral Seminars have been arranged since the establishment of the Center. To ensure development of new partnerships, the Center emphasizes the importance of rotation in hosting the Bilateral Seminar by different Finnish universities, so that each member institution is offered an opportunity to present its research profile and develop its own connections.
In 2013, the 5th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law under the topic “Rule of Law and Economic and Social Development” was organized in Beijing. In 2014, the 6th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law was organized in Turku, Finland. In 2015, the 7th Bilateral Seminar under the topic “Rule of Law and Protection of Rights” was organized in Beijing.
Since 2017, the Seminars focused more on some specific law fields. The 8th Bilateral Seminar was held on 28 and 29 August 2017, in two locations: the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere. The fields of the child law, transport law, public procurement and environmental law are the main topics of this Seminar. Also, this Seminar strengthened the bilateral cooperation between China and Finnish, and even broadened the cooperation to the Nordic countries.
In 2018, the 9th Bilateral Seminar held in Beijing focused more deeply on the environment, globalization and digitization. Environmental law and sustainability issues were mentioned repeatedly in presentations. Also, the legal reforms from the respective of Internet-based “sharing” economy were discussed by scholars from the two countries.
The 10th Bilateral Seminar was held on 10 and 11 June 2019 in the University of Helsinki. As the significant milestone marking the last 10 years cooperation, this Seminar deepened discussion on sustainability and themes of environment, business, labor and corporate governance. Also, the discussion mentioned law, language and culture from the comparative analysis. The seminar also celebrated a joint publication by CASS and University of Helsinki: “Legal Reform and the Development of Rule of Law: A Comparison of between China and Finland” , which features contributions from legal scholars in both China and Finland, gathering together papers of the 8th and 9th Sino-Finnish seminars.
Alongside the Sino-Finnish dialogue, the seminar also creates an important opportunity for dialogue between senior researchers and the younger generation of researchers. Since 2013, the seminars have invited participation by doctoral students, who act as commentators. Such inclusion enhances the international exposure of younger scholars and ensures that dialogue will continue in the future. Also, young researchers bring vitality and fresh new idea into academic research, which gives great supports for law research to meet the new trends of law reforms.