Friday, February 24, 2006
The following is from Prof. Pat Randolph of the University of Missouri at Kansas City regarding the Edgar Snow Scholarship, a fellowship that pays for three years of tuition and most living expenses in the JD program at UMKC.
The University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Law (UMKC) is pleased to announce this year's competition for the Edgar Snow Scholarship. This scholarship and an associated fellowship package will provide an allowance sufficient to cover most of the expenses of pursuing a three year J.D. program at the School of Law. including tuition, living expenses and books.
Please note that Prof. Randolph will be in China from March 4th through March 10th to interview for this scholarship, so if you are interested it is essential to contact him immediately. You don't have to be in Beijing.
Click below for the full announcement and Prof. Randolph's contact information.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Long-time collaborators Kevin O'Brien and Lianjiang Li have expanded O'Brien's original article on "rightful resistance" into a book, Rightful Resistance in Rural China, just published by Cambridge University Press. The body of work represented by this book is particularly interesting to students of Chinese law because it shows how legal texts (among other normative sources) can be socially meaningful even when they are not in any practical sense enforceable by courts or other state institutions.
Book blurb from Cambridge's web site follows:
Sunday, February 19, 2006
I came across an interesting piece of news (or more accurately, non-news) today: conditions are apparently not yet ripe for abolishing the government's salt monopoly. (Report here.) This made me wonder whether the salt monopoly had therefore won the stakes for the longest-lasting government revenue source in Chinese history, given that the 2600-year-old agricultural tax had been abolished only late last year. But no: standard accounts put the salt monopoly at about 2500 hundred years of age, so it will have to last another century or so to beat the agricultural tax.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
What was reported to be China's first lawsuit against discrimination on the grounds of regional origin was settled through court mediation earlier this month. (News report here.) The case began in March, 2005, when a local station of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau hung up large banners over the streets calling for vigilance against "Henan Extortion Gangs" and offering rewards for information on them.
The story was picked up in the Southern Metropolitan News (南方都市报) (obliquely referred to in the above story as "a certain southern newspaper, perhaps because of its political difficulties). From there, it came to the attention of two lawyers (who else?) in Henan, who took offense and brought suit in Zhengzhou. They claimed that hanging the banners not only violated Art. 33 of the Constitution providing for equality before the law, but also damaged the reputation and good name of all people in and from Henan. (The news reports cite no statutory reference other than the Constitution.) They requested an apology from the police, made in a national newspaper.
The report does not spell this out clearly, but it seems they did not get their wish: apparently the police apologized to the plaintiffs only, and were not required to apologize in a national newspaper. But the police had apparently already apologized at a news conference held in May, 2005; the plaintiffs were not satisfied with this precisely because no national newspapers had been invited.
Despite one's distaste for such an egregiously bigoted method of crime-fighting (not only bigoted, but misguided - do the police not mind extortion gangs from other provinces?), it's not clear to me that the plaintiffs should have won this case. The practical effect would have been yet another judicial endorsement of limitations on speech; while libelous speech in most countries enjoys few protections, here the standard justifications have much less force. Perhaps the embarrassment and bad publicity suffered by the police force is the best sanction under the circumstances.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The US Embassy in Beijing has two job openings (one temporary) in the field of IPR protection. These jobs are open to US and Chinese citizens alike (I didn't read carefully enough to see about other nationalities). For the most part, US citizens must be resident in Beijing with a work permit already (there may be a few exceptions in the fine print). Chinese citizens must have a Beijing hukou.
Here are the announcements:
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Elaine Wong of CCH Hong Kong has written to say:
The mistakes in the company law and securities law have been corrected in the online version of the China Law for Foreign Business series. The laws in the print version will be revised in the coming update.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
CCH Hong Kong Ltd.
The Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law is seeking a researcher for East Asia (especially China, but also Japan), to start as soon as possible. Requirements include excellent English and German language skills and a working knowledge of Chinese. The position could be part time or full time.
Details here: Download MaxPlanck.pdf
Monday, February 13, 2006
For those of you who, like me, are annoyed or frustrated by the frequent use in Chinese legal drafting of the ambiguous yishang (以上) and yixia (以下), here's an essay that thoroughly examines the issue: Download YiShangYiXia.pdf. Apparently these expressions have been around for thousands of years, and the ancients used them unambiguously (to include the number in question). It's only the moderns who have gotten sloppy. O tempora, o mores!
Sunday, February 12, 2006
In the last few days I've posted about problems with the texts of the new Company Law and the new Securities Law that are in circulation. I'm glad to report that CCH, which had published inaccurate texts of both, is listening. Elaine Wong of CCH has posted a comment to this post, saying, "CCH has taken note of the mistakes. We are currently making amendments to both of the laws, which will be updated on the web version in the next few days. The print version will also be corrected in the coming update."
To be fair, CCH is not the only translation supplier that got caught wrong-footed on this. iSinolaw has also got the wrong version of the Company Law; I haven't checked to see whether they have the right version of the Securities Law. Let's see how they compare with CCH in fixing their mistakes.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Last month I posted here about the wrong version of the new Securities Law being in wide circulation, and earlier this month posted here about the same problem afflicting the new Company Law. Do any readers have any idea how this problem could have occurred? It doesn't usually happen.
In any case, I am very grateful to the apparently indefatigable Knut Pissler of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private Law and Private International Law in Hamburg, who has given me permission to post a table he has created showing the differences between the widely-circulating wrong version of the Securities Law and the correct version: Download MistakesSecLaw2005.pdf.
Knut highlights the differences as follows:
The result of my work is that there are no less than 22 differences in those versions, sometimes just relating to a missing punctuation mark (in Art. 214, 233 and 234) or to a wrong order in an enumeration (Art. 179). The mistakes having potential for serious misunderstanding are to find in Art. 15, 28, 32, 163, 164, 173, 193, 204 and 213.
Readers should note that the translation provided in CCH's China Laws for Foreign Business is of the wrong version. Is anyone from CCH reading this?
Friday, February 10, 2006
Now we know: a Chinese reporter recently accompanied them on their virtual rounds, and the report has been translated by the EastSouthWestNorth Web site. Here's the story: Chinese | English. Thanks to the China Digital Times for the links.
Incidentally, Internet users in Shenzhen certainly won't forget that their usage is being monitored. According to last month's Beijing Youth Daily, when Shenzhen users visit the main portals of that city, they will see two cartoon police images floating on their screens to remind them to behave themselves. Below are Jingjing and Chacha (from "jingcha", the Chinese word for police). Was intimidation ever so cute? For a full report, see the China Digital Times story.
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Yahoo can't seem to stay out of the news. They have been accused by the writer Liu Xiaobo of having provided evidence to the Chinese police in 2003 leading to the conviction and sentencing to eight years' imprisonment of Li Zhi, a Chinese internet user. Once again, the information seems to have come from Yahoo's Hong Kong-incorporated entity. For a full report in English from the China Digital Times, with links to Chinese sources, click here.
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Last month I posted here about an incorrect version of the new Securities Law being in wide circulation. Now it appears that an incorrect version of the new Company Law is also in wide circulation. (Note: In what follows I append "(P)" to what I know personally and "(R)" to what has been reported to me but I haven't checked out personally.)
The mistake that has been discovered so far is in Para. 3 of Art. 120 of the Company Law. It reads, "Resolutions of the Board of Supervisors shall be passed by at least/over half of the supervisors." (监事会决议应当经半数以上监事通过。) (That darn "yishang 以上" problem again; presumably they mean "over half" here, but it's not my job to remove ambiguities when translating.) This paragraph can be found in what is presumably a reliable version: that appearing on the NPC's Web site (http://law.npc.gov.cn:87/) (P). It does not, however, appear on the Law-lib.com Web site version: http://www.law-lib.com/law/law_view.asp?id=102906 (P). The same site also had an incorrect version of the Securities Law.
As for translations, the iSinolaw translation reflects the wrong version (P), as does the CCH China Laws for Foreign Business translation (R). However, the China Law & Practice version is correct (R), so hats off to CLP.
I don't know what errors there are other than the one reported above, but presumably where there's one there can be others. Comments welcome on further errors or speculation on why in both these cases an incorrect version of the law was circulated.
Many thanks to Knut Pissler for drawing this problem to my attention.
I have been asked to forward the following announcement:
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) is currently soliciting resumes for paid summer internships in Washington DC, working on Chinese human rights and rule of law issues. Interns must be U.S. citizens.
Applications for summer internships must be received by March 1. See the Commission's website at http://www.cecc.gov/pages/general/employ.php for more information.
I might add the following: (1) part-time internships during the fall and spring academic semesters are also available; and (2) interns are paid the federal minimum wage.
Sunday, February 5, 2006
Thursday, February 2, 2006
I've previously posted here and here about Yahoo's involvement in the Shi Tao case in China; for cartoonist Mark Fiore's animated take on this and related issues, click here and then look for "iRepress 1/25/06" in the menu.
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
I previously posted here about the SPC's second five-year reform plan. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has now published an English translation of all 50 points (the introductory and concluding sections were not translated), available here.