Professor Liukkunen highlighted the latest developments in Chinese law research and education atUH with the introduction of Faculty of Law’s new international master’s programme called Global Governance Law (GGL) which offers study track in Chinese law. ‘GGL would attract many students who are passionate about learning Chinese and comparative laws from a Nordic perspective’, said Professor Letto-Vanamo. Professor Liukkunen added that meanwhile, the Finnish China Law Center has been receiving several requests to conduct visiting research here. In view of the applicants’ qualification and experience, the Center will incorporate them into the Center’s research projects and academic lectures and seminars. The Center also houses several interns from different legal backgrounds and legal cultures, who involve in legal research, editing and writing on the law and China, and events organized by the Center. In April 2020, the Center will again hold the China Law Research Workshop providing an overview of how to approach Chinese legal research and comparative law research involving China.
Professor Ye remarked that the GGL programme would be a great basis for future collaboration. PKU would consider recommending young scholars for visiting and giving lectures in the programme. She also mentioned that PKU highly valued the Center and UH Faculty of Law’s effort in promoting Chinese law and legal culture in Finland and the Nordic, and would like to joint hand in developing Sino-Nordic comparative law researches in civil law, social security, labour law, and human rights. ‘The Nordic legal model, especially in labour law, is very strong and unique. It is indeed what China can learn from,’ she remarked.
A Nordic meeting of Nordic level collaboration in China law activities was held after the 10th Sino-Finnish bilateral seminar. The meeting took place at the Headquarters of the Nordic Investment Bank in Helsinki on 11 June 2019. The meeting was attended by representatives of Universities of Helsinki, Turku, Eastern Finland, Örebro, Lund, Oslo, Copenhagen and Peking.
The participants were received by the Bank’s General Counsel and Head of Legal Department Heikki Cantell who gave the Nordic delegation an insightful introduction to the history, culture and mission of the Bank.
After the introduction, the delegation was given a presentation on the enforcement of transnational labour standards by international financial institutions from a Chinese perspective by Associate Professor Chen Yifeng from Peking University.
In the meeting, the participants discussed developing Nordic China law cooperation in terms of research and education activities where synergy could be sought by joint activities. Professor Ulla Liukkunen introduced recent Center activities that have a Nordic dimension. Several future opportunities were discussed and will be developed further under the preparation of the China Law Center and the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki.
(Thanks to Mr. Jani Mustonen for contributing text for this article).
The Finnish China Law Center’s role is aimed at deepening bilateral research and education cooperation between China and Finland on sustainability issues, including ‘corporate social responsibility, sustainable business practices, labour law, environmental law, Arctic-related laws and other fields of mutual interest’, according to the Plan.
Professor Yifeng Chen, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (International) of Peking University Law School, says the Plan is ‘a testimony to how quickly the Finnish China Law Center has established itself over the years of its operation’.
‘The Center is an important platform for intellectual exchange between legal scholars in Finland and China, and increasingly the Nordic region as a whole’.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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’.
‘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.
‘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’.
‘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.
The round-table discussion was held as part of Nordic China Law Week 2018, and was attended by scholars from 10 universities in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
The event was was open to those affiliated with universities or research institutions in the Nordic region whose research or teaching relates to the law and China (including Chinese law, comparative law involving China, and China’s engagement with international law).
Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, chaired the meeting, which provided a forum in which scholars shared their China law-related activities and plans.
Forms and possibilities of inter-institutional collaboration at a general level were explored during the two hour-long gathering.
Scholars also discussed Nordic-wide involvement in events being organized by the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish China Law Center, including the 9th Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) (Beijing, September 2018).
As a result of the meeting, discussions are continuing between Nordic institutions about better coordinating the region’s approach to China law research and education and promoting knowledge and awareness of Nordic legal models and systems in China.
The meeting was one of many events organized during Nordic China Law Week 2018, with others including:
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.
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’.
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 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.
NEWDAY is a training program that addresses current global challenges in a unique social setting. The program emphasizes cultural understanding and cross-cultural communication with classroom teaching, lectures, discussions, socializing, workshops, and excursions, and features lectures by prominent scholars, journalists, and thinkers as well as debates and dialogue between students and teachers on the burning issues of our time.
The main themes of the 2018 include gender and society; media and activism; and climate crisis and environmental degradation.
‘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’.
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.
The Workshop will provide an overview of how to approach Chinese legal research and comparative law research involving China.
The event will be of benefit to students, researchers and practitioners who are interested in Chinese law and the Chinese legal system, and provide an excellent opportunity for participants to meet and network with others who are working with, or interested in, Chinese law and legal culture.