Environmental Law, Sustainability on Agenda at Comparative Law Seminar with Chinese Legal Think Tank

Reflecting a topic increasingly under public debate given the escalating effects of climate change, environmental protection featured prominently during the latest comparative law seminar organized by the Finnish China Law Center and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

This year’s seminar focused on the environment and a range of other legal and social problems of global significance, as well as on effective responses to challenges raised by the inter-related and deepening processes of globalization and digitalization.

Co-organized and hosted on 20 – 21 September 2018 by the CASS Institute of Law with the support of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, the annual academic event was the ninth conference aimed at robust discussion of emerging legal issues of joint social and academic significance.

The seminar also serves as an important platform for Finnish legal researchers – and from this year onward, Nordic scholars more generally – to meet and deepen international cooperation.

This year’s event was held in Beijing, while last year’s seminar was hosted in Finland by two of the Finnish China Law Center’s 10 member institutions, the University of Tampere and University of Helsinki.

Environmental law and sustainability issues were canvassed in a number of presentations.

Assistant Professor Wen Xiang of the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen was a member of the extended 15-person Nordic delegation, and spoke about the regulating of genone editing crops in the European Union.

Professor Wen began by noting that the first green revolution was based on high-intensive agriculture, which vastly increased crop yields from the mid-20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, a discussion has emerged around the need for a second green revolution. This debate has arisen because of the serious issues associated with high intensity farming, including eutrophication and loss of biodiversity.

The second green revolution, according to Professor Wen, urges more environment-friendly and sustainable approaches. Recently, scientists have suggested that the domestication of new crops would promote agricultural diversity and solve many emerging environmental degradation caused by intensive agriculture.

Assistant Professor Wen Xiang speaking during the 9th Bilateral Comparative Law Seminar in Beijing, 20-21 September 2018

Domesticated crops refer to crops ‘in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs’. Professor Wen suggested that genome editing techniques (GETs) could be used as an efficient tool to accelerate the domestication of wild plants to providing enough food and livestock fodder in the future.

However, several legal issues pertaining to the feasibility of domesticating wild plants by GETs need to be addressed. Firstly, what kind of wild crops are to be domesticated and are they subject to existing international treaties such as Nagoya Protocol? Secondly, what will be the role of GETs in the process of domestication? Other questions arise arise, such whether this process should be subject to the current regulatory framework on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the EU, as well as and the implications of the ECJ ruling on GETs in July 2018.

In another presentation on environmental law, Professor Liu Hongyan of the CASS Institute of Law discussed the development of ecological rule of law in China, noting that political organizations and governmental organizations share the responsibility of supervising environmental protection in the country.

Professor Liu noted that judicial organs also actively facilitate administrative organs in enforcing environmental law. For example, the People’s Congress and the People’s Procuratorate are supervisory organs of the environmental law system and can bring up administrative litigation if needed.

The development of China’s environmental law, Professor Liu argued, has the following characteristics: First, the prevailing view is that China should build its environmental law system according to its own national conditions. Second, the development of the environmental law system is diversified. For example, some localities have become pilot points for new regulations before they are passed as laws. Third, the official position is that the enforcement of environmental law cannot be uniform, but instead should be promoted in different stages.

In another talk, Professor Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson, Professor of Civil and Commercial Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, presented with Doctoral Researcher Emilie Yliheljo on the topic of promoting environmentally sustainable through the use of emissions information.

Professor Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson and Ms Yliheljo argued that there is a political call for a behavioural change in the transport industry towards more sustainable transport solutions, and discussed whether and how information related to emissions from carriage of cargo could be used to trigger environmentally friendly decisions and the use of transport alternatives with the lowest emissions.

Observing that emission information is already used as an instrument to combat emissions from transport in the aviation sector, through the European Emission Trading System (ETS) for example, Professor Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson and Ms Yliheljo argued that transport industries outside the ETS could also use emission information to reach the climate goals set for the industry. The scholars described how this could be done by ‘pushing’ the parties to actively consider the emissions from different transport alternatives. The information might work as a ‘nudge’ towards more environmental and greener choices, with new technology providing the necessary practical means for measuring the emissions and delivering the results in real time.

Professor Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmssonof the University of Helsinki speaking during the 9th Bilateral Comparative Law Seminar in Beijing, 20-21 September 2018

Another scholar from the CASS Institute of Law, Lin Xiaoxiao, analyzed the environmental damage compensation regime in China.

Professor Lin observed that the legal regime of public-interest environmental litigation is mainly reflected in the revision of the Procedural Law of the Civil Litigation. However, because other laws that are relevant to environmental litigation have not been revised, it is unclear how the laws should be interpreted in public-interest environmental litigation. Recently, there has been some new legislation that regulates public-interest environmental litigation, including the Land Law.

At present, the legal regime of public-interest environmental litigation has the following characteristics: (1) The purpose of environmental litigation is to determine environmental liabilities; (2) Procedural regulations are becoming more comprehensive; and (3) Substantive legal rules need to be complemented.

Public-interest environmental litigation is usually brought by environment groups, with leading cases including the Taizhou Public-Interest Case and the Dezhou Air Pollution Case.

Professor Lin said that the current legal regime of public-interest environmental has the following problems: (1) The piloting proposal of reforming the regime of ecological environmental damage cases issued by the State Council is not fully consistent with current legal regulations: (2) The definition of ecological environmental damage is not clear; and (3) It does not provide sufficient legal basis for plaintiffs’ claims for compensation.

Professor Liu Renwen, CASS Institute of Law, co-moderated with Professor Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson of the University of Helsinki a session on environmental law during the 9th Bilateral Comparative Law Seminar in Beijing, 20-21 September 2018

In addition to environmental law, the seminar covered rule of law, legal reforms in the context of the emerging Internet-based ‘sharing’ economy, trends in Chinese and Nordic labour law and social welfare systems and civil law issues.

The timing of this year’s seminar was particularly auspicious, occurring just before the Mid-Autumn Festival, an important national holiday.

Thanks to Dr Yihong Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, for contributing to this article. 

Sino-Finnish Seminar on Food Regulation in the Digital Age

On 28 August 2018, the Sino-Finnish Seminar on Food Regulation in the Digital Age was held in Helsinki. 

The event, organized by the University of Eastern Finland, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, in conjunction with Guangzhou University and Finfood – Finnish Food Information (Ruokatieto Yhdistys ry), was free and open to the public. 

Opening remarks were delivered by Dr Harriet Lonka of the University of Eastern Finland and Tiina Lampisjärvi, Executive Director of the Finfood – Finnish Food Information.

A keynote was delivered by Dr Xiao Pinghui.

Dr Xiao is a senior lecturer at Guangzhou University Law School and a researcher (Sam Walton Scholar) affiliated to the Law School at the Center for Coordination and Innovation of Food Safety Governance of Renmin University of China. Since 2017 he has served as an officially accredited mentor of the National Food Safety Law Publicity Program launched by China Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Xiao Pinghui (Guangzhou University) will deliver a keynote address at the seminar. Photo supplied.

Another keynote was given by Professor Katja Weckström Lindroos.

Professor Weckström Lindroos is Professor of Commercial Law at UEF Law School, University of Eastern Finland. She specializes in intellectual property and international trade law with an emphasis on regulating emerging markets.

Professor Weckström Lindroos of UEF Law School. Photo supplied.

The full program for the seminar can be accessed here.


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.

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.

Environmental Governance in China ‘Imbued with Local Experimentation and Variation’: Outi Luova, University of Turku

Given the decentralisation of decision-making powers in China, sub-municipal governments have become principal actors in policy implementation. University Lecturer and Docent Outi Luova, Director of the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies and Vice Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Turku, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, is investigating this phenomenon from the perspective of environmental law and policy.

Luova’s current research investigates how China’s environmental governance is imbued with local experiments and variation. She has found that enforcement of environmental regulations varies greatly.

‘There are striking differences in enforcement between the bureaucratic North and flexible South, and the wealthy East and less-developed West’, Luova says.

‘The recent re-centralization efforts and stricter environmental policy enforcement have not been effective in diminishing variation because of strong local interests and weak capacities in many cities’.

According to Luova, slack enforcement means that there can be large diversity in implementation even among sub-municipal units in a city.

‘It is therefore very important to pay attention to regional variation when dealing with China’.

‘Mega-city districts are nowadays powerful actors. With sub-municipal variation remaining unexplored, my recent research project has analysed the implementation of environmental policies and regulations in three urban districts in the city of Tianjin’, she says.

Outi Luova, Director of the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies and Vice Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Turku, guest lecturing in China in October 2017.

In conducting her in-country research, Luova has faced increasing challenges in obtaining official documents and arranging interviews with Chinese civil servants as a result of a ‘tightening political atmosphere’.

‘I have been able to conduct interviews only thanks to my simultaneous participation in official sister-city delegation visits to Tianjin’, Luova says.

‘During my visits to China, I arranged focus-group interviews at city and district level departments of education and environmental protection. I also had a possibility to visit several so called “green schools” in Tianjin and get acquainted with local environmental NGOs’.

In addition to urban governance in China, Luova’s teaching and research interests include regional cooperation in East Asia, domestic migration in China, management of international labour migration in China and East Asia, ethnic issues in China and more generally, regional features and differences in China.

Luova also guest lectures in China. During her most recent visit to China from September to October 2017, she taught at the University of Science and Technology of China and Zhejiang University on low-carbon urban governance.

Luova’s research on regional differences in the implementation and enforcement of environmental law and policy in China, ‘Environmental policies enter the educational sector: Different shades of green at district level’, will be published in Greening China’s Urban Governance: Tackling Environmental and Sustainability Challenges (Jørgen Delman, Ren Yuan, Outi Luova, Mattias Burell, Oscar Almén eds) by Springer in 2018. Other related publications are also in the pipeline.

Luova can be contacted via outluo (at) utu.fi.


The annual Sino-Finnish Days, held at the Nordic Center in Fudan University, represented yet another important initiative in a year marked by a growing number of legal research and education activities between China and the Nordic countries.

The two day conference provided a platform for Chinese and Finnish researchers to meet and share perspectives on areas of common interest.

The themes of this year’s conference, held on 24 and 25 October, were children and youth, education, environment and public health.

Associate Professor Suvianna Hakalehto, one of Finland’s leading scholars of child law and education law, was a member of the large Finnish delegation.

Based in the Faculty of Law of the University of Eastern Finland, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Hakalehto gave a presentation titled ‘From Social Problem to Rights Holders: Development of Children’s Rights in legislation and in legal research in Finland’.

According to Professor Hakalehto, the conference proved an excellent opportunity to discuss in-depth a range of issues of critical, and growing, importance to both China and the Nordic countries.

‘China is grappling with many of the same challenges as Finland the Nordic countries, including how to fully respect the rights and interests of children’, Professor Hakalehto says. ‘The chance to meet and share knowledge with Chinese colleagues working on these issues proved beneficial to both sides, and provided an enlightening comparative framework through which to develop the law and policies of our respective countries’.

The Finnish delegation also included representatives from other member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, including Professor Heli Ruokama of the University of Lapland, Professor Jussi Kauhanen of the University of Tampere, and Professor Gyöngyi Kovacs from the Hanken School of Economics.

This year’s conference was a part of the Finland 100 festivities and was organized by the Finnish member universities of the Nordic Centre Fudan University.

Fudan University, a key partner in China of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture.

8th Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar a ‘tremendous success’

On 28-29 August 2017, the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture organized the 8th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law. The seminar is held annually and its location alternates between China and Finland. This year the seminar was hosted by two of the Finnish China Law Center’s member institutions, the University of Helsinki and University of Tampere.

CASS Law delegation in Finland

The value of the seminar as a vehicle for meaningful legal collaboration and comparative law exchange was underscored by the visit of six academics from a leading Chinese research and education institution, the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) Institute of Law. These distinguished academics included the Director of the Institute of Law, Professor Li Lin, and Professor Xie Zengyi.

Both of these well-respected academics have had long connections with the Finnish China Law Center. The seminar also brought together researchers from universities across Finland, including active representation and participation from most of the Center’s 10 member institutions.

Professor Li Lin, Director of the CASS Institute of Law, at the opening of the bilateral seminar

Strengthening Finnish – and Nordic – bilateral cooperation 

According to Professor Li Lin, this year’s seminar was a ‘tremendous success’. A sentiment repeated throughout the seminar was the importance of further deepening legal education and research collaboration between not just Finland and China, but China and other Nordic countries.

As was underscored by Professor Li Lin, Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, and Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, the long and rich historical relationship between Finland and China provides fertile ground in which deepening cooperation can flourish.

The importance of strengthening bilateral legal education and research between Finland and China transcends the historical connections linking the two countries.

Professor Li Lin highlighted four key areas of mutual concern. First, there is significant alignment between China’s values and ideas and the concept of solidarity in the Nordic context. Second, there is overlap between the goals of China and Finland’s social security systems, with China seeking to actively learn from the Nordic welfare model. Third, environmental rights are an area of mutual concern, with China transitioning towards ‘Green China’ and emphasizing the importance of having an ‘ecological civilization’. And fourth, the rule of law, human rights and judicial cooperation are areas of joint interest.

While China’s legal system has changed significantly in these respects, there ‘still remains much to be done’, Professor Li Lin said.

Seminar co-organizer Professor Jukka Viljanen from the University of Tampere echoed these thoughts. He observed that it is important that we recognize Finland and China face common issues, which can be fruitfully approached from a comparative law perspective.

(Left to right) Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center; Professor Li Lin, Director of the CASS Institute of Law; and Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Chair of the Board of the Finnish China Law Center and Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.

The seminar tradition is not simply a unique opportunity for the robust exchange of views on areas of mutual concern. Rather, it has also been a practical forum that may result in new bilateral research projects, like the one on law and gender, as Professor Liukkunen underscored.

In China, the bilateral seminars and resulting collaboration impacted on policy-making. Professor Li Lin noted that ‘the exchange of knowledge, experience and expertise have manifested themselves in reports that have influenced Chinese decision makers’.

‘So while this is an academic platform’, Professor Li Lin said, ‘it has a practical impact on development of rule of law in China and its modernization. It has a real impact’.

Among other concrete proposals for expanding the relationship between CASS and the member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Li Lin said CASS’s new university provides an additional ‘platform to further expand our cooperation’.

Thematic areas of the seminar

This year’s seminar covered four legal fields. Focusing on such a multidimensional spectrum of issues provided rich opportunities for comparative assessments. Comparisons were made not just between Finnish and Chinese law and legal practice, but with the Nordic legal model more broadly.

The first legal field to be discussed was child law. This involved presentations by Associate Professor Suvianna Hakalehto from the University of Eastern Finland and Professor Xie Zengyi from the CASS Institute of Law. University Lecturer Dr. Niina Mäntylä, from the University of Vaasa, added comments and stimulated a lively discussion on children’s rights at school and China’s ‘Two Child Policy’.

Professor Jukka Viljanen from the University of Tampere, co-organizer of the conference, giving his presentation on the environmental right in the Finnish constitution

The second thematic area covered was transport law. Professor Ellen Eftestöl-Wilhelmsson from the University of Helsinki spoke on the role of environmental information in promoting a sustainable transport industry. Associate Professor Li Zhong from the CASS Institute of Law gave an overview of developments in Chinese transport law in China. Lastly, Professor Lena Sisula-Tulokas adroitly drew out common themes, parallels and challenges facing both Finland and the Nordic countries.

A third thematic area analyzed was public procurement. University Lecturer Dr Kristian Siikavirta shared his knowledge of the European and Finnish public procurement systems and how they work based on his research at the University of Vaasa.

Associate Professor Wang Xiaomei presented her impressively data-driven research undertaken in the CASS Institute of Law into transparency in public procurement in China. In her comments, Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr. Zhang Yihong, based in the University of Helsinki, identified broader political/legal implications of the presentations and highlighted areas of further research.

Environmental law was the final area to be discussed. This was clearly a field of significant mutual interest. Professor Antti Belinskij, based at the University of Eastern Finland, discussed international Water Conventions and Finnish-Russian cooperation. Professor Li Honglei from the CASS Institute of Law spoke on judicial review of environmental impact assessment decision-making in China. In summing up, Dr Yulia Yamineva drew upon her experience as a Senior Researcher in the University of Eastern Finland and provided comments drawing together both comparative and international law dimensions.

Other presentations on environmental law were given by Professor Jukka Viljanen, who enlightened listeners on the environmental right in the Finnish constitution. Professor Viljanen’s talk provided a departure point for another visiting CASS Institute of Law researcher, Associate Professor Jin Shanming, to reflect on the constitutional protection of environmental rights in China. University Teacher Heta Heiskanen from the University of Tampere then highlighted how international human rights obligations contribute to environmental rights in Finland. Finally, Post-Doctoral Researcher Sanna Kopra from the University of Lapland identified key comparative law insights that formed the basis of a subject of lively discussion among participants on environmental rights in China and Finland.

Upcoming book publication

Reflecting the high quality of speeches and discussions over the two days, presentations given during the seminar will form the basis for chapters in an upcoming book to be published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Concluding thoughts

Professor Ulla Liukkunen delivering remarks at the closing ceremony, highlighting the importance of comparative law collaboration and scholarship

The annual bilateral seminars play an important role in building legal research and education links between Finland and China. With such positive outcomes, this year’s seminar paves the way for future opportunities for Finnish and Chinese universities and research institutions to collaborate.

As Professor Liukkunen emphasized in her closing remarks, the seminar again highlighted the relevance of comparative law including the growing significance of the Nordic model in Chinese policy and academic circles.

‘We make comparisons’, Professor Liukkunen concluded. ‘We must realize that what appear to be similar can in fact be different. We need to have tools and equip ourselves to deal with obstacles and challenges in this undertaking, for which this seminar is a unique setting’.

Next year’s bilateral comparative law seminar will be held in China.


Associate Professor Li Zhong, CASS Institute of Law, with Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, University of Helsinki, inspecting the China Law Center Collection in the main University of Helsinki library