Thursday, February 28, 2008
For the last few years, Knut Benjamin Pissler of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private Law and Private International Law in Hamburg has compiled an annual bibliography of Western-language works on Chinese law. These bibliographies have been published in the Zeitschrift fuer Chinesisches Recht/Journal of Chinese Law published by the German-Chinese Lawyers Association.
Benjamin is currently working on the 2007 edition, and I will post that shortly. I recently realized, however, that I had never posted the last two years' editions. They are below.
UPDATE: The English text posted by the Chinese government requires you to do to 21 separate web pages to view the whole thing. Here are downloadable texts in English [Word | PDF] and Chinese [Word | PDF].
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Supreme People's Court gives the green light (sort of) to shareholder suits for market manipulation and insider trading
As is well known at least among those of us who study Chinese corporate and securities law (a kind of "well known" that reminds me of a phrase I once read: "as popularized by Lacan"), the Supreme People's Court in a series of edicts in 2001, 2002, and 2003 cut back on shareholder rights to sue for violations of the Securities Law, essentially restricting them to suits for misleading disclosure where there had been a previous administrative or criminal sanction for the same violation. (Brief discussion here.) Last fall, however, I read an article in Caijing in which the author, Prof. Luo Peixin, stated that "according to the spirit of a recent judicial document," suits for insider trading and market manipulation would now be allowed. But Prof. Luo did not mention the name or any other details of the document to which he was referring.
I have now been able to track down the document and what it's all about. It seems that courts have now been instructed internally to accept suits for insider trading and market manipulation under the rules applicable to suits for misleading disclosures set forth in the SPC's 2003 document.
On May 30, 2007, SPC Vice President Xi Xiaoming (奚晓明) gave a speech [part 1|part 2] at a national court conference on civil adjudication in which he stated, "The revised Securities Law has provided more clearly for civil liability for tortious acts of insider trading and market manipulation. At present, with respect to civil litigation brought by investors against tortfeasors, the relevant People's Court should determine the acceptance of the case by reference to rules on predicate conditions set forth in the judicial interpretation on misleading disclosures, and determine jurisdiction over the case in accordance with the rules on jurisdiction." (修订后的证券法进一步明确规定了内幕交易和操纵市场侵权行为的民事责任。当前，对于投资人对侵权行为人提起的相关民事诉讼，有关人民法院应当参照虚假陈述司法解释前置程序的规定来确定案件的受理，并根据关于管辖的规定来确定案件的管辖。) He went on to say that the SPC would later issue a relevant judicial interpretation on the basis of experience gathered by courts in the course of adjudicating lawsuits on insider trading and market manipulation. This speech was circulated to lower courts as an internal document.
The speech was further discussed and analyzed by plaintiffs' securities lawyer Song Yixin (宋一欣) at a conference on November 13, 2008, and Song is soliciting plaintiffs to bring suit in a number of recent cases.
While I'm glad to see that the SPC has loosened its restrictions on shareholder suits - the original restriction seemed to have no basis in law, and was just for the convenience of the courts - it's disappointing that it has chosen to do so in such an opaque way. The word has now gotten out, of course, as it was meant to; so why not just issue a formal interpretation modifying the 2003 rule in the first place?
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Readers who have access to the BNA's WTO Reporter can see a fuller report here. The panel's report is a preliminary ruling that is still confidential. A final ruling is expected at the end of March.
For those not familiar with the dispute, it involved the imposition of increased duties on auto parts (normally about 10%) equivalent to the duties on complete cars (normally about 25%) if the imported parts exceeded a fixed percentage of the final vehicle content. China's argument was that this was necessary in order to prevent evasion of the duty on complete cars by simply importing the parts and assembling them in China. According to the BNA report, "Officials familiar with the confidential ruling told BNA that the panel rejected nearly all of China's arguments in defense of regulations that the United States, the EU and Canada said resulted in illegal duties being imposed on imported auto parts. The panel also declined to rule on a number of claims made by the complainants on grounds of judicial economy."
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Yale's China Law Center has an opening for a senior fellow to assist in its work. This is a great group of people doing interesting things. The full job announcement is here, but here are the desired qualifications:
1) J.D. degree and at least 3 years professional experience (or equivalent)
2) Working-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese (written and spoken)
3) Experience in China (preferred)
4) Strong organizational skills and an ability to work independently
5) Excellent oral and written communications skills
The application deadline is March 30, 2008.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Beijing-based human rights activist Hu Jia, arrested in late December on a subversion charge, had been under house arrest for a large part of last year. (Actually, calling it "house arrest" is generous to the authorities, since what happened was simply that plainclothes police prevented him from leaving his home, without any apparent legal basis.) Here's a video diary he compiled of their activities.