May 22, 2008
Enforcing environmental law in China
Here's a piece from the May 1st edition of The Economist about the problems of enforcing environmental law in China, and the fate suffered by whistle-blowers such as Wu Lihong, who is now languishing in prison for his efforts while his wife is the target of continued surveillance and harassment. I'm not an expert in environmental law or policy, but I cannot offhand think of any societies that managed to tackle the pollution caused by industrialization solely through top-down government efforts of the kind with which the Chinese state is comfortable. Of course, state law has played an important role, but citizen involvement, whether as a spur to government action or as plaintiffs in environmental lawsuits, appears indispensable. Government officials cannot monitor every pipe end in the country.
May 21, 2008
Chinese LLM degrees for foreigners
Some time ago, a discussion on the Chinalaw list about LLMs for foreigners (typically English-language) offered by Chinese institutions prompted me to ask for those with views on the subject to write to me so I could assemble a document that would answer questions that often came up.
Here's the result; hope it's useful to all.
MAY 26 UPDATE: I have posted a revised document here.
Internet controls in China
May 18, 2008
Local governments issue regulations implementing three-day mourning period for earthquake victims
It seems that public entertainment, including entertainment web sites, are to be shut down, but the scope is very unclear and no doubt varies from place to place. Obviously, a mourning period is appropriate and understandable, but it seems that a wide range of perfectly legal businesses are being ordered to shut down for three days simply because the local government says so. For the text and translation of Hefei regulations (and some commentary), see here.