Monday, September 25, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The World Bank and the University of Hong Kong’s Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL) have each published reports on finance in East Asia. The World Bank's report, entitled "The Road to Robust East Asian Financial Markets," is available here. The AIIFL's report, available here, is intended to support the WB's report through a study of property rights, collateral, and creditor rights in East Asia. The study includes comparative appraisals of current national bankruptcy and securitisation laws. According to the blurb,
AIIFL's study concludes that while much has been done in building the legal and institutional framework to support property rights and their use in East Asia, considerable weaknesses remain in most countries, especially in relation to enforcement, and in the comprehensiveness of national law.
Friday, September 22, 2006
On Sept. 12, 2006, the American Bar Association's Section of International Law, together with the
Sections of Intellectual Property Law and Science & Technology Law, submitted joint comments on proposed amendments to China's Patent Law to the State Intellectual Property Office. The comments are available here: Joint Comments
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I previously posted here about Baidu's new Chinese law search function, and various bloggers have posted about Chinese censorship of internet search engines (see, for example, the Tech Law Prof Blog posts here and here). According to the Blawgdog blog, however, Baidu is also engaged in politically unnecessary censorship of its law search results, eliminating links to cases where the result was unfavorable to Baidu. For the full story, click here.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Although not directly related to Chinese law, the following may be of interest to some readers:
"The Next Generation: Leadership in Asian Affairs"
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
The National Bureau of Asian Research is pleased to announce "The Next Generation: Leadership in Asian Affairs" fellowship for 2007–2008. Recent master's degree recipients are encouraged to apply for this year-long fellowship that focuses on bridging the gap between scholarship and policymaking. The fellowship will be based at NBR's headquarters in Seattle. Fellows will collaborate with leading scholars to publish research and share their findings with the policymaking community in Washington, D.C.
The Next Generation Leadership program is breaking new ground by mentoring and immersing young Asia specialists from a wide variety of fields and interests in the skills and the practice of bridging the gap between scholarship and policy. Each fellow will receive a fellowship award, as well as travel and research-related expenses.
Application deadline is January 15, 2007. Fellowships begin June 4, 2007. For further information and application materials please visit http://www.nbr.org/NextGeneration. A poster version of this announcement is available at http://files.nbr.org/NBRFellowshipPoster.pdf.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I invite readers to check the database out for themselves and see how they like it; please let other readers know by leaving a comment to this post.
I have compiled a list of on-line guides to research in Chinese law and posted a link on the left sidebar to this blog under "Research Guides and Other Resources". (Formerly there was a link only to Wei Luo's excellent guide, the Internet Chinese Legal Research Center.)
For those too lazy to move their cursor a few inches to the left, here's the link.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Last month I posted here about the union formed in one of Wal-Mart's stores in China. Here's some more commentary on the issue by Anita Chan of Australian National University (whom I quoted in the original post). While recognizing the degree of government control over worker organizations, Dr. Chan argues that this union has some potential to be meaningful. For a less sanguine view, with which Dr. Chan specifically takes issue, see this report by China Labour Bulletin.
Saturday, September 9, 2006
While the Chinese government constantly invokes the need for stability and harmony, more and more it appears that real stability and a modicum of harmony cannot be achieved without significant political reforms. This is shown by the extraordinary demonstrations that periodically burst out, provoked by single incidents of suspected official wrongdoing that in other countries might elicit angry editorials or letters to the editor but would scarcely bring tens of thousands onto the streets. The public simply has very little confidence in the competence and integrity of government officials.
The latest example is the case of Dai Haijing (戴海静), a teacher in Ruian, Wenzhou, who died after falling from a building. The police ruled her death a suicide caused by depression; her students, her family, and many townspeople suspect a cover-up in order to protect her wealthy husband. Needless to say, I have no idea of the merits of the controversy; for all I know, popular anger could as easily lead to the punishment of the innocent as to the unmasking of the guilty. But there is probably no leader in Wenzhou with the public standing to say, "Trust me on this," because there is no leader that ever had to be accountable to the public.
The full story, with photos of the demonstrations (including overturned and vandalized cars) is on the EastSouthWestNorth blog here.
The China Institute is sponsoring a seminar entitled "China's Draft Bankruptcy Law and Distressed Investment Market" on Sept. 14th in New York City; details here: chinas_new_bankruptcy_law.pdf. Speakers include Prof. Li Shuguang (李曙光), one of China's leading bankruptcy experts.
Friday, September 8, 2006
Thursday, September 7, 2006
I have received the following announcement from the CECC:
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China will hold a full Commission hearing entitled "Human Rights and Rule of Law in China," on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. in Room 138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Senator Hagel will preside.
All CECC hearings are open to the public and the press. Members of the public who wish to attend do not need to respond to this message or otherwise register. News media representatives should see the final paragraph of this announcement.
The witnesses are:
Jerome A. Cohen, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
John Kamm, Executive Director, The Dui Hua Foundation
Minxin Pei, Director, China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Xiao Qiang, Director, China Internet Project, University of California at Berkeley
Monday, September 4, 2006
I last posted here on the defamation lawsuit brought by Foxconn (or its Shenzhen subsidiary - the news reports are not clear). The plaintiff's retreat (it lowered its compensation demand to a symbolic one yuan) has now become a rout; the Financial Times reports that it has withdrawn its suit altogether.
Friday, September 1, 2006
A follow-up to my previous post on the latest defamation suit brought by a business in response for unfavorable reporting: I suggested in that post that the Shenzhen court hearing this case had acted improperly by hastily freezing the assets of the defendant journalists without any notice. Now I find that the Shenzhen court may have violated a Supreme People's Court directive in accepting the case at all. In the Reply on Several Questions Regarding the Adjudication of Defamation Cases (最高人民法院关于审理名誉权案件若干问题的解答), issued Aug. 7, 1993, the Supreme People's Court explicitly stated (Para. 6):
Where a lawsuit is brought against an author and a news publication unit, the author and the news publication unit shall both be listed as defendants, but where the author is administratively under the news publication unit and the work was created in the course of the author's performance of his duties, only the [news publication] unit shall be listed as defendants. (对作者和新闻出版单位都提起诉讼的，将作者和新闻出版单位均列为被告，但作者与新闻出版单位为隶属关系，作品系作者履行职务所形成的，只列单位为被告.) [Note: In the original Chinese, the term "author" can be read as singular or plural.]
Seems pretty open and shut. Have I missed something? Comments welcome.
Incidentally, the Financial Times reports that "Taiwanese electronics giant Hon Hai [which is actually the plaintiff's parent] has moved to head off criticism from the Chinese media by cutting the libel damages it is seeking from two journalists from Rmb30m ($3.8m) to just Rmb1 and promising to unfreeze their assets."