Lecture by Dr Sanna Kopra on her new book ‘China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change’ (Routledge 2018)

On 14 August 2018, Dr Sanna Kopra gave a public lecture on her recently published book, China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change (Routledge 2018) at the University of Helsinki, one of the Finnish China Law Center’s 10 member institutions.

Dr Kopra spoke at the Aleksanteri Institute (Unioninkatu 33) in the University of Helsinki, one of the world’s largest and best-known centres in the field of Russian and Eastern European studies.

The event was free, open to the public and registration was not necessary.

Cover of Dr Kopra’s new book, China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change (Routledge 2018). Picture credit: www.crcpress.com.

About the speaker

Dr Kopra is a specialist on China and environmental responsibility. Her publications include academic articles and popular science texts on China’s climate policy, Arctic governance, sustainable development and international environmental responsibility. Her professional positions include Postdoctoral Researcher in the Aleksanteri Institute and Member of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), both located in the University of Helsinki.

 

Dr Kopra speaking at another recent event about her book. Photo credit: Lena Gorbacheva, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.

About the book

Based on a premise that great powers have unique responsibilities in international society, Dr Kopra’s book explores the way China’s rise to great power status transforms the notions of great power responsibility in general and in the context of international climate politics in particular. The book produces empirical knowledge on the Chinese party–state’s conceptions of state responsibility and the influence of those notions on China’s role in international climate politics.

Regarding theory, the book builds on and contributes to the English School of International Relations and argues that the international norm of climate responsibility is an emerging attribute of great power responsibility. The book also discusses the way China will act out its climate responsibility in the future and ponders broader implications of China’s evolving notions of great power responsibility for climate change. Thus, it seeks to shed new light on the transformations China’s rise will yield and the kind of great power China will prove to be.

Asianet’s annual ‘Academic Research Projects on Asia in Finland’ catalogue

Until 30 August 2018, the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies (Asianet) was collecting information about ongoing or recently completed research on projects on Asia for the 2018 edition of its annual catalogue ‘Academic Research Projects on Asia in Finland’.

Scholars and researchers were invited to update or submit information of their research projects via webropol: https://link.webropolsurveys.com/S/C8EBE5A100036FD7.

The new catalogue will be published on the Network’s website and in print during the annual Asian Studies Days, which were co-hosted in 2017 by Asianet and the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center.

The 2018 Asian Studies Days will be hosted by Aalto University, another of the Finnish China Law Center’s member institutions, on 17 – 18 October.

The 2017 research catalogue can be found here: http://www.asianet.fi/research-catalogue/.

Please direct questions to Dr Outi Luova (outluo (at) utu.fi), Director of Asianet and Vice Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku.

 

Finnish China Law Center to Collaborate with the Polish Research Center for Law and Economy of China

The Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, a national umbrella organization of 10 member institutions located throughout Finland, will collaborate with the Polish Research Center for Law and Economy of China.

‘I’m pleased that the Finnish China Law Center will work with the Polish Research Center for Law and Economy of China and its School of Law and Economy of China’, says Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center.

‘It’s important for the Center to build inter-institutional and person-to-person relationships across the Nordic region and between the Nordic region and the rest of Europe’.

‘Strong relationships with our European partners complement the Center’s network of partnerships in China’, Professor Liukkunen says.

‘I look forward to working with the Center’s Director, Assistant Professor Piotr Grzebyk, to exchange information and experience about conducting China law-related research and education, and to explore deeper forms of inter-institutional cooperation’.

Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Chair of the Center’s Board, welcomes this initiative. ‘I have noticed rising interest in China in Polish academic circles. I visited the University of Warsaw just few weeks ago on other matters, and I was impressed about the work being done there’.

The collaboration was discussed during a visit to Finland by Maximilian Piekut, Deputy Head of the Polish Research Centre for Law and Economy of China.

Mr Piekut visited the country to discuss China law-related education and research collaboration between Poland and Finland, and to participate in Nordic China Law Week 2018. The Week was organized by the Finnish China Law Center and the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki.

The Polish Research Centre for Law and Economy of China is located within the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw.

The main objective of the Centre is to develop Sino-Polish relations in four fields: research, business, governmental cooperation and student exchange.

The goal of the Center’s activities is to enhance the quality of legal research in Poland and better implement innovative solutions in legal research for the benefit of science, business and society.

The School of Law and Economy of China, established in 2018 under the framework of the Polish Research Centre for Law and Economy of China, offers year-long interdisciplinary courses to students of all faculties, entrepreneurs and senior-level managers as well as representatives of state and local administration in charge of cooperation with their Chinese counter-parties.

The School’s program is designed to build up knowledge and understanding of the Chinese legal system, economy, culture and language. 

Applications for the School’s 2018/19 academic year close on 15 June 2018.

Photo credit: Polish Research Centre for Law and Economy of China, University of Warsaw

Annual China Law Week Bridges Nordic Academic and Social Discussions on the Significance of Law in China and China’s Role in World Affairs

Nordic China Law Week 2018 was held between 17 – 23 April in Helsinki, Finland.

The week-long program included a China Law Research Workshop, seminars on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and people management in China, guest lectures on Chinese constitutional law and Chinese intellectual property law, a Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting and more.

Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, opened the China Law Workshop and also gave a presentation on the topic ‘Taking Account of History When Researching Contemporary Law’

‘The Finnish China Law Center and the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki were pleased to organize and host this annual event’, said Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center.

‘The Center is proud to contribute to an important academic and social discussion within the Nordic region about the role and significance of law in China, and China’s increasing involvement in global affairs’, Professor Liukkunen said.

For Professor Liukkunen, the strength of Nordic China Law Week 2018 lay in the breadth and relevance of themes covered, the wide appeal of events to both the public and private sectors, and the involvement of scholars and participants from China, the Nordic region and other countries.

Professor Cheng Dawei (Renmin University), speaking about trade governance of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative at the opening event of Nordic China Law Week 2018

‘That the events during the Week were so well-attended testifies to the fact that Nordic interest in Chinese law and the Chinese legal system continues to grow’, Professor Liukkunen said.

 

Acting Dean of Beijing Foreign Studies University Law School, Professor Yan Dong, visited Finland to speak during Nordic China Law Week 2018

‘I was particularly pleased at the diversity of participants during the Week. While the focus was primarily scholarly and academic, the organizers were careful to balance law, theory and concrete practice. This was important, including because of the Nordic business community’s deepening engagement with China’.

‘As Nordic China Law Week 2018 was organized to take account of both academic and practical perspectives, its events attracted participants not just from Nordic and Chinese academia, but also from legal practice, the Finnish corporate community – including entrepreneurs from Finland’s thriving startup scene, which is increasingly engaging with China – as well as participants from NGOs, international organizations, the media and the diplomatic community’.

Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, speaking at the Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting during Nordic China Law Week 2018

‘For example, over 10 nationalities were represented among the more than 80 registered participants in the China Law Research Workshop. Startup founders, ambassadors, students, Finnish government representatives, leading Nordic scholars and representatives of multinational corporations discussed how to research and apply Chinese law, including the practicalities of doing field work and conducting business in China’, Professor Liukkunen said.

Assistant Professor Yan Tian (Peking University Law School) spoke on Chinese constitutional and labour law at events during Nordic China Law Week 2018

The Finnish China Law Center is thankful for the support provided by the University of Helsinki, one of the Center’s 10 member institutions.

‘The Center is grateful to Professor Jukka Kola, Rector of the University of Helsinki, for his support of Nordic China Law Week 2018, including through holding a Rector’s Reception after one of the Week’s flagship events, the China Law Research Workshop, hosted by the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo’.

Left to right: Professor Carl Fey (Aalto University); Mr Peter Vesterbacka (entrepreneur and business figure); Professor Ulla Liukkunen (Finnish China Law Center / University of Helsinki); and Dr Wei Lu (Aalto University), speaking during a panel session at a seminar on people management China at Aalto University during Nordic China Law Week 2018

Nordic China Law Week was also supported by the Confucius Institute and Chinese Studies of the University of Helsinki.

A representative from online database provider CNKI (Tsinghua University) speaking at the Information Session on Online Chinese Legal Research in the University of Helsinki’s main library during Nordic China Law Week 2018

Summaries of the main events held during Nordic China Law Week 2018 can be found below.

Tuesday 17 April: Trade Governance of the Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Logic and Institutional Arrangements

Wednesday 18 April: Latest Developments in Chinese Intellectual Property Law

Wednesday 18 April: How Important is China’s Constitution in the Chinese Legal System?

Thursday 19 April: China Law Research Workshop

Friday 20 April: Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting

Monday 23 April: Information Session on Online Chinese Legal Research

Monday 23 April: Seminar: What People Management Practices Work Best in China Today? Cultural and Legal Perspectives

More information about the Week, including media inquiries, can be directed to the Coordinator of the Center, Stuart Mooney, on stuart.mooney (at) helsinki.fi.

Details on the research agenda and activities of the Finnish China Law Center can be found in the book, Finnish China Law Center: Its First Four Years (2017).

Message of Congratulations to Peking University on its 120th Anniversary

‘On behalf of the Finnish China Law Center, it is my pleasure to convey to Peking University my sincerest congratulations on the occasion of its 120th anniversary’, said Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center and Board Member of the European China Law Studies Association 欧洲中国法研究协会.

Peking University celebrated its 120th anniversary on 4 May 2018. Congratulations have also been extended to Peking University by the University of Helsinki, one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, which noted that since 2015 Peking University has been a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki.

‘From the beginning, the Finnish China Law Center has received significant input to developing its core activities from the Peking University Law School, which has worked together on many research projects and co-organized a number of international academic events with the Center and its member institutions’, Professor Liukkunen said.

‘I would like to congratulate in particular my friends and colleagues from Peking University Law School, including Professor Zhang Shouwen, Professor Ye Jingyi, Professor Li Ming, Professor Liang Genlin, Associate Professor Su Jiang, Assistant Professor Yan Tian and many others whose contributions have led to strong Sino-Finnish cooperation across different fields of law’.

‘Assistant Professor Chen Yifeng has also been instrumental in building the strategic relationship in legal research and education between the University of Helsinki and Peking University, and more broadly between legal academia in China and the Nordic countries’, Professor Liukkunen said.

‘It is only fitting that, in honour of its 120th anniversary, the University of Helsinki has awarded a silver medal to Peking University, a special strategic partner of the University of Helsinki’.

Details of the legal education and research relationship between the University of Helsinki and Peking University, which includes a number of Academy of Finland-funded projects, can be found in the Finnish China Law Center: Report on its First Four Years, published in 2017.

 

NORDIC CHINA LAW WEEK 2018: SEMINAR ON PEOPLE MANAGEMENT LAW AND PRACTICE IN CHINA

To mark the end of Nordic China Law Week 2018 (17 – 23 April), Aalto University and the Finnish China Law Center hosted a half-day seminar on ‘What People Management Practices Work Best in China Today? Cultural and Legal Perspectives’.

The seminar has held on Monday 23 April at the Aalto University School of Business.

Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, speaking on fundamental labour rights and corporate social responsibility in China at the seminar on Contemporary People Management in China event at Aalto University on 23 April 2018.

The event, held during the 40th anniversary of China’s ‘Reform and Opening Up’ reforms, brought together academics from management and legal backgrounds, as well as Peter Vesterbacka, one of Finland’s leading entrepreneurs and business figures, to provide interdisciplinary insights and explore developments in contemporary people management practices in China.

Finnish business figure Peter Vesterbacka spoke on the relationship between education, business culture and employee engagement in China.

Presentations and ensuing discussions were had against a backdrop in which China is the second largest country in the world in terms of GDP and in light of ever-increasing entry of Finnish firms into the Chinese market.

A challenge facing Finnish firms, whether it be a smaller startup or larger multinational corporation, is that there are legal and cultural differences between Finland and China. These differences mean that many Finnish people and firms find it challenging to understand what management practices work best in China.

Professor Carl Fey of Aalto University spoke on the topic ‘ What Types of Organizational Culture Work Best in China?’ at the final event of Nordic China Law Week 2018.

The event highlighted how, as China’s economy continues to grow and diversify, new opportunities and challenges are emerging.

During her presentation on fundamental labour rights and corporate social responsibility in China, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law, outlined various legal considerations, including a range of Chinese labor laws based on international standards, that affect how businesses operating in China manage their workforce.

Dr Lu Wei of Aalto University, organizer of the event, also spoke on ‘Changing HRM Practices in China: Implications for Practitioners and Researchers’.

The event concluded with a panel discussion on ‘The Future of People Management in China: Educational, Political, Economic and Legal Considerations’, featuring all the seminar’s presenters.

Following the seminar was reception and networking event, during which Mr Vesterbacka and the other presenters discussed the themes of the event in more detail with participants.

The seminar was one of many events organized during Nordic China Law Week 2018 (17 – 23 April 2018), with others including:

Tuesday 17 April: Trade Governance of the Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Logic and Institutional Arrangements

Wednesday 18 April: Latest Developments in Chinese Intellectual Property Law

Wednesday 18 April: How Important is China’s Constitution in the Chinese Legal System?

Thursday 19 April: China Law Research Workshop

Friday 20 April: Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting

Monday 23 April: Information Session on Online Chinese Legal Research

 

 

 

NORDIC CHINA LAW WEEK 2018: CHINA LAW RESEARCH WORKSHOP

As part of Nordic China Law Week 2018, the Finnish China Law Center organized a China Law Research Workshop on Thursday 19 April 2018 at the University of Helsinki, one of the Finnish China Law Center’s 10 member institutions.

The Workshop, co-organized with the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki and supported by University of Helsinki Chinese Studies and the Confucius Institute of the University of Helsinki, provided an overview of how to approach Chinese legal research and comparative law research involving China.

Judge and professor Alan Neal hosted the event and gave presentations during the China Law Research Workshop on 19 April 2018 at the University of Helsinki.

Professor and judge Alan C. Neal moderated the event, which was opened by Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, and the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo.

This was the second time the Finnish China Law Center has held a China Law Research Workshop.

As was the case with the first Workshop, the event was attended by a diverse range of people. The over 80 registered attendees of more than 10 nationalities included university scholars, think tank researchers, diplomats, students, lawyers, those working in business (ranging from large multinational corporations to startups), entrepreneurs and government representatives.

Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, opened the Workshop and also gave a presentation on the topic ‘Taking Account of History When Researching Contemporary Law’.

In what proved to be a full and engaging program, presentations were given by leading scholars based in the Nordic region, including Professor Ditlev Tamm of the University of Copenhagen who spoke on the topic ‘Nordic Reflections on Chinese Culture, the Rule of Law and Judicial Reform with Chinese Characteristics.’

In addition, three professors based in top-tier Chinese law schools traveled to Helsinki to contribute to the Workshop.

Professor Jin Haijun (Renmin University) speaking on ‘How to Approach Chinese IP Law and Private Law Theory’ at the China Law Workshop.

Professor Yan Dong (Acting Dean of Beijing Foreign Studies University) gave presentations on the sources of Chinese law and the Chinese legal system in an international context. Professor Jin Haijun (Renmin University) spoke on ‘How to Approach Chinese IP Law and Private Law Theory’. Assistant Associate Professor Yan Tian (Peking University) spoke on the topic ‘How to Approach Chinese Labour Law and Industrial Relations’.

Assistant Professor Yan Tian (Peking University) speaking on ‘How to Approach Chinese Labour Law and Industrial Relations’ at the China Law Research Workshop on 19 April 2018.

Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of Confucius Institute at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, discussed the relationship between culture and research involving contemporary China.

Professor Matti Nojonen (University of Lapland), Deputy Chair of the Finnish China Law Center, drew upon his experience in China and ongoing research when talking about the ‘Intersections of Economics, Business and the Law in China: Implications for Legal Research’.

Professor Matti Nojonen speaking at the China Law Research Workshop at the University of Helsinki on 19 April 2018.

Another well-received presentation at the Workshop was given by Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Yihong Zhang (University of Helsinki), who drew upon her academic background and experience as a corporate lawyer in China when speaking on the China’s Company law regime.

The Workshop also included a panel discussion on the practicalities of China law teaching and research, featuring Professor Jukka Viljanen (University of Tampere), Dr Harriet Lonka (University of Eastern Finland), Dr Wei Lu (Aalto University) and Dr Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca (University of Helsinki).

The Workshop ended with Rector’s Reception hosted by Dean Letto-Vanamo, which provided an excellent opportunity for speakers and participants to network and have in-depth discussions about the themes covered during the Workshop.

The Workshop was one of many exciting events organized as part of Nordic China Law Week 2018.

Tuesday 17 April: Trade Governance of the Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Logic and Institutional Arrangements

Wednesday 18 April: Latest Developments in Chinese Intellectual Property Law

Wednesday 18 April: How Important is China’s Constitution in the Chinese Legal System?

Friday 20 April: First Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting

Monday 23 April: Information Session on Online Chinese Legal Research

Monday 23 April: Seminar: What People Management Practices Work Best in China Today? Cultural and Legal Perspectives

 

Nordic China Law Week 2018: 17 – 23 April

The Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki are proudly co-hosting Nordic China Law Week 2018.

‘Nordic China Law Week 2018 will be held 17 – 23 April and will feature an exciting array speakers and contributors from China and the Nordic region’, says Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Center.

‘This reflects ever-deepening interest in Chinese law in the Nordic academic, and broader public, arena’.

‘In addition, Nordic China Law Week 2018 is being held in response to strong and growing interest in Chinese law and the Chinese legal system from the private and non-profit sectors’, Professor Liukkunen says.

‘In light of corporate demand, including from local SMEs and startups, Nordic China Law Week 2018 will include many events on Chinese business and corporate law, including Chinese intellectual property law’.

Professor Liukkunen says the Center is particularly thankful for the contribution and involvement of scholars from across the Center’s 10 member institutions.

Nordic China Law Week 2018 will include a day-long China Law Workshop, the first-ever Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting, a half-day seminar on contemporary people management in China (special guest speaker: Peter Vesterbacka of Angry Birds and Slush fame), a short-form seminar on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as guest lectures on Chinese constitutional and intellectual property law.

The Week is targeted at lawyers, those in business (including entrepreneurs), people working in governments or international organizations, academics, students, those working in NGOs /civil society and anyone with an interest in learning about Chinese law and legal culture.

All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting (aimed at senior scholars from education and research institutions in the Nordic region, though junior academics, including doctoral candidates, are welcome to join). The host of the Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting will be Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki.

Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, will host the first-ever Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting during Nordic China Law Week 2018.

The Finnish China Law Center and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, thank University of Helsinki Chinese Studies and the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki for their support for Nordic China Law Week 2018.

Program of events

Further details of each event in Nordic China Law Week 2018, as well as links to register where relevant, can be found in the following event pages on the website of the Finnish China Law Center:

Tuesday 17 April: Trade Governance of the Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Logic and Institutional Arrangements

Wednesday 18 April: Latest Developments in Chinese Intellectual Property Law

Wednesday 18 April: How Important is China’s Constitution in the Chinese Legal System?

Thursday 19 April: China Law Research Workshop

Friday 20 April: Nordic China Law Scholars Meeting

Monday 23 April: Information Session on Online Chinese Legal Research

Monday 23 April: Seminar: What People Management Practices Work Best in China Today? Cultural and Legal Perspectives

Further questions and media inquiries

Please contact Stuart Mooney, Coordinator of the Finnish China Law Center, at stuart.mooney (at) helsinki.fi.

New Sino-Finnish Research Center for Science, Technology and Innovation Forum on Energy Transition During Vaasa Energy Week

The newly-established Sino-Finnish Research Center for Science, Technology and Innovation (Sino-Finnish STI Center), co-founded by Finnish China Law Center member institution the University of Vaasa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Strategy and Development, held an International Forum on Energy Transition during Vaasa EnergyWeek (19 – 23 March 2018).

The International Forum on Energy Transition was held from 8:30-15:30 on 20 March 2018 at Vaasa City Hall (8:30-12:30) and Fabriikki F118, University of Vaasa (13:30-15:30). The event was free and open to all.

Full program and list of speakers

The purpose of the International Forum on Energy Transition was to engage policy makers, research experts and industrial practitioners from China and Europe to discuss energy transition activities and related policies policies. By doing so, the organizer’s hoped to promote international cooperation between China and Europe towards green growth.

Speakers at the Forum included Dr Jari Kuusisto (Rector of University of Vaasa), Pan Jiao Feng (President of Chinese Academy of Sciences Institutes of Science and Development), Professor Bai Quan (Vice-Director of the Energy Efficiency Center, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission), Joakim Strand (Member of Parliament of Finland), Guo Xiaoguang (Counselor of Chinese Embassy to Finland) and more.

The full program and list of speakers can be found here.

 

Picture credit: https://www.energyweek.fi/

About the Sino-Finnish STI Center

The aim of the new Sino-Finnish STI Center is develop a think tank supporting policy makers and business in Europe and China. The Center’s mission is to address environmental and societal challenges and promote economic growth by means of conducting policy studies on science technology and innovation.

Joel Toivola Foundation Grants

The Joel Toivola Foundation is an independent Finnish foundation supporting Finnish academic studies on China.

The Foundation awards grants for talented young scholars in the fields of humanities and social science research on China, as well as for Finnish students’ Chinese linguistic studies in China.

The last deadline for applying for grants, including Research Fellowship and travel funds, closed on 15 February 2018 at 16:00.

Further information on the grants and detailed application instructions can be found on the Foundation’s website.

For further information on the Joel Toivola Foundation, please contact Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Mikko Eskola at saatio@helsinkinet.fi.

About Joel Toivola

According to the website of the Joel Toivola Foundation, Ambassador Joel Toivola (1915-1999) worked for the Finnish Foreign Service in several important posts for more than three decades. He is especially remembered as a great friend of China and throughout his career encouraged relations between Finland and the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Toivola served as the Ambassador of Finland to Beijing from 1961 to 1967.

Why study Chinese law? – Read answers from international scholars

Three law professors from the United States, Denmark and Hong Kong SAR, have kindly accepted the Center’s interview requests and shared their insights on researching and studying Chinese law.

larry-cata-backer-copyProfessor Larry Catà Backer

W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar, Professor of Law and International Affairs, Pennsylvania University

How did you start your research or study of Chinese law?

Professor Backer: I became interested in Chinese law when I was trying to understand the Cuban Leninist system, which was an endeavor that came partly out of my Cuban heritage. I realized quite quickly that I couldn’t understand the Cuban system before I had a proper understanding of the Chinese system. Ever since I opened the door of research on Chinese law, it has been a fascinating area to me. Nowadays I still do some work comparing the Chinese and Cuban approaches.

Why do you think the study of Chinese law is relevant to practitioners and law students?

Professor Backer: For Chinese, studying Chinese law has to be done in global context, in the sense that changes and reforms of Chinese law are not only relevant to China, but also relevant to the development of fundamental legal areas. This is especially true with China’s one belt-one road policy and the law it is likely to generate. For westerners, Chinese law is critically important because we are engaging with China in many different areas. As a result, changes in Chinese law have significant implications. Also, foreign investment in China has made westerners keen to become interlocutors about Chinese law. In addition, China has become a major world actor, like the US and Germany, to the extent that its legal system is critically influential and important to other countries.

Can you recommend some interesting and topical areas of Chinese law to law students?

Professor Backer: Some of the critical areas that would be interesting to practitioners and law students are: foreign investment, investment arbitration, dispute resolution and litigation process. In addition, the fight against corruption and assets repatriation is a great area where foreign and Chinese law intersect.

 

ditlev-tamm-copyProfessor Ditlev Tamm, University of Copenhagen

How did you start your research or study of Chinese law?

Professor Tamm: My starting point was not the law but Chinese culture. I’ve been for many years fascinated by Chinese culture, particularly poems, philosophy, history. I am also interested in comparative law. My approach to Chinese law is thus based on both an interest in Chinese culture and the question of how this culture interacts with the law. I believe that also for lawyers, it is important to learn about Chinese culture, since Chinese law has a strong foundation in value and culture.

Why do you think the study of Chinese law is relevant to practitioners and law students?

Professor Tamm: It is easy to answer this question. Nearly 20% of inhabitants of the world live in China and China is a growing world power. What is happening in China therefore has worldwide influence. In this globalized world, western lawyers and law students should have at least some basic knowledge about Chinese law as part of their general knowledge base.

Can you recommend some interesting and topical areas of Chinese law to law students?

Professor Tamm: At least three areas are interesting. The first area that students should be acquainted with is the interaction between traditional Chinese culture and the modern legal system. Traditional Chinese philosophy still plays an important role in the development of law and the way the law is handled in modern China.  Therefore, an understanding of both the legal philosophical side and the practical side of Chinese law is a basic prerequisite to grasp what is going on.

The second area that is important for student to learn about is how China has worked over the last decades to build a legal system that encourages foreign investment in China. Therefore, law students should be aware of not only law, but also the basics of doing business. In addition, it is important for law students to understand the tension between economic relations and the perhaps less important role of law in Chinese society compared to other factors.

The third area important for student to understand is the current progress of legal reform in China. Students from a western background should understand that the foundations and assumptions of the Chinese legal system are very different from those of the western systems. As a case of comparative law, it’s important to try to understand the tensions of reforms, in which different currents are meeting each other and may lead China’s legal reform to different directions. The Chinese system is closed, and it is often difficult to get information and to understand what actually happens. Westerners should, however, closely observe the development of China’s legal system. It’s always useful to understand different values behind different legal systems, and the legal reform in China is of great importance outside China.

 

mimi-zou-copyAssistant Professor Mimi Zou, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

How did you start your research or study of Chinese law?

Professor Zou: I started to research Chinese law at the end of my economics degree when I was researching Chinese labour issues for my honours thesis on multinational companies operating in China. I went on a student exchange to Tsinghua University School of Economics for a semester and it was next door to the Law School. As I was studying economics and law at the same time, I would occasionally drop by the law school to attend some of the lectures. As I started to do consultancy work at the International Labour Organisation shortly afterwards, I became very interested in the interaction between international law (specifically international labour standards) and Chinese law.

Why do you think the study of Chinese law is relevant to practitioners and law students?

Professor Zou: Given the economic and political significance of China in our era of globalisation, understanding some basic aspects of the Chinese legal system would be of immense utility to law students and practitioners in any part of the world. Also, studying Chinese law is indeed fascinating!

Can you recommend some interesting and topical areas of Chinese law to law students?

Professor Zou: There are too many topics out there for me to recommend! As a comparative lawyer, I would suggest identifying an area/issue of law that you find interesting in your own jurisdiction and see how Chinese law addresses the issue.

By Dr. Zhang Yihong