Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
According to a Chinese press report (reported by Reuters here), Huang Ermei (黄尔梅), the president of the Supreme People's Court's criminal chamber, stated that in 2007 - the first year the Supreme People's Court reviewed all death sentences - it rejected 15% of the cases it reviewed. The number of death sentences still remains a secret, it appears, but more and more numbers are coming out. For example, Judge Huang said that in 2007 the number of suspended death sentences (with a two-year reprieve) was for the first time greater than the number of ordinary death sentences.
Since the normal procedures for arrest do not seem to have been followed, "kidnapping" seems about the best term to describe the seizure of attorney Teng Biao (滕彪) by unknown persons in a black car without license plates. Needless to say, the probability that these are agents of the state is very high. Here's the news story from The Guardian; a statement by the Hong Kong organization China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group is here.
The statement also mentions a contemporaneous incident in which the car of attorney Li Heping (李和平), who was recently kidnapped and severely beaten by unknown assailants (again, very probably state agents), was rammed by a police vehicle as he was taking his young son to school.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I recently posted a paper with the above title on SSRN; it can be downloaded here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1097587. It's a pre-publication version of a somewhat shorter piece that has appeared in the China Quarterly (the full reference is in the paper).
Here's the abstract:
Since the early 1990s, China has come a long way in legislating the foundational rules for its reformed economy. Virtually all of the important areas - contracts, business organizations, securities, bankruptcy, and secured transactions, to name a few - are now covered by national legislation as well as lower-level regulations. Yet an important feature of a legal structure suited to a market economy is missing: the ability of the system to generate from below solutions to problems not adequately dealt with by existing legislation. The top-down model that has dominated Chinese law reform efforts to date can only do so much. What is needed now is a more welcoming attitude to market-generated solutions to the gaps and other problems that will invariably exist in legislation. The state's distrust of civil-society institutions and other bottom-up initiatives suggests, however, that this different approach will not come easily.
I have been asked to post the following:
Yale-China Association Law Fellows Program
Call for Applications
The Yale-China Association is pleased to invite applications for its 2008-2009 Law Fellows Program. The program places young U.S.-trained attorneys at Chinese universities as visiting professors. Fellows spend one academic year in residence at a Chinese law school, teaching classes in areas of their own expertise and contributing to clinical education programs at the host institution. During the 2008-09 academic year, Yale-China will send two Law Fellows to China. One will be placed at the Hunan University School of Law in Changsha, Hunan, and will have the opportunity to help develop the school's new clinical legal education program. The other Fellow will be placed at a top law school in the Pearl River Delta region of China.
Anyone with a J.D. from an accredited U.S. law school and two years experience in legal practice is eligible to apply. Preference will be given to those candidates who speak Chinese, are familiar with China, and have teaching and/or clinical law experience. Fellows will receive intensive Chinese-language instruction during the summer 2008 in Beijing and continued Chinese-language instruction during their residency. Round-trip airfare to China, on-campus housing, health insurance, and a stipend are provided as part of the package.
Application Deadline: March 20, 2008.
For more information, please visit: http://www.yalechina.org/dynamicpage.php?Id=10&SubId=
New Haven, CT 06520-8223
Tel: (203) 432-0850
Fax: (203) 432-7246
Tuesday, March 4, 2008