January 23, 2009
Yale Law School's China Law Center seeks research associate for Beijing
I have received the following announcement:
The China Law Center, Yale Law School
Research Associate, Beijing
The China Law Center of Yale Law School is seeking a graduating senior or recent university graduate for a Research Associate position based in Beijing. The Research Associate will support Center projects in China by conducting research and writing on issues related to legal reform; interacting with scholars, officials, and lawyers in China; and performing administrative and logistical tasks.
1) Bachelor's Degree or equivalent;
2) Proficiency in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese;
3) Fluent English;
4) Strong research, writing, analytical, and communication skills;
5) Strong organizational skills, attention to detail and an ability to work independently;
6) Interest in law and legal reform and a commitment to public interest service; and
7) Experience in China (preferred)
Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume (including contact information for references) to The China Law Center at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will only be contacted if invited for an interview. The Research Associate will receive a competitive one-year fellowship stipend for the 2009-2010 year.
The China Law Center
The China Law Center of Yale Law School is a unique institution devoted to supporting law and policy reform within China and increasing understanding of China in the United States. The core of the Center's work is designing and carrying out sustained, in-depth cooperative projects between U.S. and Chinese experts on key issues in Chinese law and policy reform. Our projects focus on areas that are critical to China's ongoing reform process, particularly judicial reform, criminal justice reform, administrative and regulatory reform, and constitutional law.
Since its start in 1999, the Center has opened offices at Yale University and in Beijing, with a small staff of lawyers and scholars with decades of collective experience working on law and policy reform issues in China. The Center's Director is Professor Paul Gewirtz. A full list of Center staff, and further information, may be found on our Website: http://www.yale.edu/chinalaw.
Yale Law School is an affirmative action, equal opportunity, Title IX employer.
Review of human rights in China by UN Human Rights Council
The following is from Joshua Rosenzweig of the Dui Hua Foundation:
The status of China's commitment to its obligations under international human rights law will soon be up for review by the UN Human Rights Council as part of the new "Universal Periodic Review" process. Under UPR, all UN member states are subjected to a uniform process according to a rotating schedule. NGOs and other stakeholders were required to submit China reports to the UN last August, and these have been collated by the OHCHR into a single document that, along with China's own report, form the core of the formal review process, which is scheduled to take place on 9 February. The troika overseeing China's UPR is made up of representatives from Canada, India, and Nigeria. The council's recommendations to China will be released on 11 February.
Here are some relevant documents from the UN's web site:
- China's report (English | Chinese)
- The UN-drafted summary of stakeholder information
- Individual NGO reports
There's also a compilation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of information on China (including HK & Macao) contained in the reports of treaty bodies and other relevant official United Nations documents. Here's an unedited version available at the OHCHR website.
January 22, 2009
China brings first case to WTO dispute resolution
The case is against the US; according to the Financial Times report on the case, it involves four sets of parallel anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed by the US on two types of steel pipe, pneumatic off-road tyres and laminated woven sacks. I'm not sure that this is the first time China has set the dispute resolution process in motion - you have to start with a request for consultations - but apparently it's the first time the matter has gotten to this stage.
Sentencing in Sanlu cases announced
Here's the report from Caijing [English | Chinese]. There's a nice table at the bottom showing who got sentenced to what on what charges. The chairwoman and GM of Sanlu, Tian Wenhua, got life imprisonment for producing and selling substandard products (presumably Art. 140 of the Criminal Law, where a death sentence is not a possibility). Oddly, she was not convicted of producing and selling poisonous food (presumably Art. 144 of the Criminal Code, where a death sentence is a possibility), a charge that was the basis of at least one death sentence. It's hard to believe that had the procuracy charged her under Art. 144, she would not have been convicted; thus, it seems a decision was made early on not to charge her with a capital crime.
The other charge that brought death sentences was that of endangering public safety (presumably under Art. 115 of the Criminal Law, which speaks of causing injury or death through setting fires, cutting off water, explosions, spreading poison, or other dangerous methods). It's not an implausible stretch to apply Art. 115, but I wonder if this is the kind of thing the drafters had in mind; Arts. 140 and 144 seem a much better fit. Perhaps for some reason their premise of "producing or selling" was thought not to apply.
Here are the statutory references:
第一百四十四条 在生产、销售的食品中掺入有毒、有害的非食品原料的，或者销售明知掺有有毒、有害的非食品原料的食品的，处五年以下有期徒刑或者拘役，并处或者单处销售金额百分之五十以上二倍以下罚金；造成严重食物中毒事故或者其他严重食源性疾患，对人体健康造成严重危害的，处五年以上十年以下有期徒刑，并处销售金额百分之五十以上二倍以下罚金；致人死亡或者对人体健康造成特别严重危害的，依照本法第一百四十一条的规定处罚。[The relevant text from Art. 141 says, "致人死亡或者对人体健康造成特别严重危害的，处十年以上有期徒刑、无期 徒刑或者死刑."]
January 19, 2009
USTR releases 2008 report on China's compliance with WTO obligations
You can download the report here. I offer no comments because I haven't read it yet.