Saturday, August 27, 2005
The following press release is from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN. Note that discussions regarding China's ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are on the agenda.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will visit the People’s Republic of China from 29 August to 2 September 2005.
The visit, the first by Mrs. Arbour and the eighth by a High Commissioner, is expected to formalize the continuation of a programme of technical cooperation between China and the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) started in 2000. Mrs. Arbour and Chinese authorities are scheduled to sign in Beijing an agreement focusing on facilitating the Government’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and on helping China implement recommendations from the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
During the visit, Mrs. Arbour will meet with the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, as well as with other senior Government officials. She will also hold talks with the President of the Supreme People’s Court and meet with Chinese non-governmental organizations, academics, representatives of United Nations agencies in China and members of the diplomatic community.
In Beijing the High Commissioner will also take part in a commemoration of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing 10 years ago. In that context she will attend a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday, 29 August. On 30 August Mrs. Arbour will open the thirteenth Annual Workshop on the Asia-Pacific Framework for Regional Cooperation in human rights.
OHCHR has been engaged in a dialogue with the Government of China since 1998, when both signed a “Memorandum of Intent”. A “Memorandum of Understanding” setting the cooperation programme in motion was concluded in September 2000 by the Government and then High Commissioner Mary Robinson.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Dean Hou Xinyi and Prof. Sun Hongyou of Nankai University Faculty of Law are currently visiting Oklahoma City University Law School with a view to establishing various exchanges and initiatives. For the full story, click here.
Nankai has been doing quite a lot of outreach since the establishment of the Faculty of Law in June 2004. On this trip, Hou and Sun will also visit the law schools at Tulsa, Mercer, and Stetson.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Readers may be interested in the following job announcement:
The Asia Law Initiative of the American Bar Association (ABA-Asia) is a public service project that provides technical assistance in support of legal reforms and the rule of law in Asia. ABA-Asia seeks candidates to fill a Project Manager position based in ABA-Asia's Washington, D.C. office. The Project Manager develops, obtains outside funding for, and implements projects and activities in various Asian countries, including China. Some travel to the region is required. Qualified candidates will possess the following: (1) a Juris Doctor Degree; (2) at least five years of practical legal experience, including a minimum of one year working on donor-funded international legal reform programs; (3) excellent writing and editing skills; (4) proficiency in the Chinese language; and (5) knowledge of Asian (particularly, Chinese) history, geography, and politics. Salary is in the high $50's, excellent benefits are provided.
Interested individuals should send resume and references to Ms. Allison Fayle at email@example.com no later than Friday, September 2, 2005. ABA-Asia will contact only those candidates whom it selects for interviews. The candidate ultimately selected must be ready to commence work by October 17, 2005.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The State Council has proposed two amendments to the Individual Income Tax Law to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The first simply raises the level of personal exemptions from 800 yuan/month to 1500 yuan/month. The second highlights an interesting feature of Chinese tax law of which I had not been aware: that many recipients of income are not legally responsible for paying taxes on that income. Instead, the employer is responsible for withholding the appropriate amount. If sufficient tax is not withheld, it is the employer that is responsible, and the tax authorities have no recourse against the recipient of the income. This apparently makes it easy for certain high-income individuals such as performers to avoid taxes. The second amendment will close this loophole.
- News report in Chinese
- News report in English (South China Morning Post; Lexis/Nexis access required)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The partners at Coudert Brothers, a firm with a long history in China practice -- firsts are always difficult to measure, but it was certainly one of the first foreign firms with a Beijing office in the post-Mao era -- have voted to disband the firm. It's sad to see the end of this institution, but the people readers of this blog are most likely to know -- those in the China practice -- are likely to land on their feet.
Monday, August 22, 2005
St. John's University in Queens, New York seeks adjunct instructors and adjunct assistant professors to teach Chinese Business Law and International Investment and Trade in China. The full announcement is here: Download stjohns.pdf. Please note that the application deadline is very soon: 26 August 2005.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China is seeking a professional staff member to manage the Commission’s portfolio on criminal law development in China. Full details available here: Download cecc.pdf. The application deadline is 6 September 2005.
The Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on torture
made the following statement today (22 August 2005):
The Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, Manfred Nowak, will visit the People’s Republic of China from
21 November to 2 December 2005, at the invitation of the Government.
In order to gather first-hand information during the visit—which will
include stops in Beijing, Jinan, Urumqi, Yining, and Lhasa—the Special
Rapporteur will meet with Government officials and representatives of civil
society, among others, and visit detention facilities.
The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive written report on
the visit to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixty-second session in
Mr. Nowak was appointed Special Rapporteur of the Commission on 1
December 2004. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government
and serves in his individual capacity. The Commission first decided to
appoint a special rapporteur to examine questions relevant to torture in
1985. The mandate covers all countries, irrespective of whether or not a
State has ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
He has previously served as a member of the Working Group on Enforced
and Involuntary Disappearances; the UN expert on missing persons in the
former Yugoslavia; the UN expert on legal questions on enforced
disappearances; and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and
Herzegovina. He is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the
University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of
For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur,
please visit the website: