Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chinese media law conference at Oxford

I have received the following announcement:

Chinese Media Legislation and Regulation: Trends, Issues and Questions.  

The Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford is organizing a conference on Chinese media legislation and regulation, in Oxford, on 15 and 16 June 2012, on emerging issues in Chinese media legislation and regulation. China’s media landscape has undergone tremendous change over the last few years. Technological innovation and the explosion of Internet use have changed the landscape for the dissemination of entertainment and information. Provincial television channels have boomed. Privatization and foreign investment and influence have become important questions for consideration. The cultural industries have become a priority area for further economic development. At the international level, media trade is one of the most prominent issues between China and the United States. Electronic media have also become a channel for bottom-up political activity: increasingly microblogs are used to bring specific incidents into the public sphere, or for satirical expressions.  


Friday 15 June 

Session 1: The structure of Chinese media governance

This session will provide a general overview of the way in which the Chinese media are organized. Topics to be addressed include the development of content regulation in China, the structure of the media control regime and the theoretical background of media governance.  

Session 2: The market and the mediaChinese media have become increasingly marketized, as they have become an increasingly important locus of economic activity, as well as fulfilling a political role. However, commercial interests often clash with political and social objectives. This session will look at the regulation of advertising as an example of this, as well as the burgeoning animation sector. 

Session 3: The development of defamation in ChinaThe expansion of China’s online population has fundamentally changed the public communication sphere. For perhaps the first time in history, Chinese individuals have easy access to tools of public communication. One of the consequences of this, is that the number of disputes between private parties concerning expressions on social media has risen sharply. This session will provide more insight into the different aspects of defamation cases, and will aim to theorize the emerging legal doctrines in this field.  

Saturday 16 June 

Session 4: Press regulationThe traditional press remains an important channel for public communication. Traditionally, it was considered to be the mouthpiece of the Party, but as China’s society and political structure has grown more complex, fragmentation has rendered this characterization obsolete. Nonetheless, the Party-State aims to adapt its control over journalism to better suit changed circumstances. This session will address which measures are being taken, for which purposes and what their effect is.  

Session 5: Copyright, telecom and economic regulationFollowing technological development, media require an increasingly complex technological support structure. Questions of network access, telecommunications and network integration are crucial as a framework for the content industries to develop. Similarly, the role of intellectual property rights as a governing mechanism is important in explaining the particular setup of the information order. This session will address a number of these questions, in particular in relation to industrial policy, innovation and their effect on media markets. 

Venue: Manor Road Building, Seminar Room A. 

Participation in this conference is free of charge, but participants are kindly requested to register with Rogier Creemers ( Sandwich lunch will be provided on both days. 

For further information about PCMLP, please see:

June 2, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Legal specialist position at US Embassy, Beijing (2)

I just posted a notice about the above position but hadn't read the job description. Now that I have, I really have to wonder whether anybody has thought this thing through. They are requiring someone with a Chinese lawyer certificate. This raises at least two questions:

  • Why? Nothing in the job requires somebody to engage in the practice of Chinese law, and indeed, anyone holding the job would probably be forbidden to do so, since practicing Chinese lawyers need to work in a properly registered law firm (or be properly registered solo practitioners). Of course, to ask for knowledge about the Chinese legal system is reasonable, and to make bar passage a proxy for such knowledge would be understandable (although inaccurate). But to have passed the bar is not the same as holding a Chinese lawyer certificate.
  • Holders of Chinese lawyers certificates must be Chinese nationals. Yet various aspects of the job description clearly contemplate that the successful applicant could be a US citizen.

Do they really mean to say that only Chinese nationals may apply? That's the effect of the lawyer certificate requirement, the need for which is not obvious in the first place.

I'll be happy to post any explanations or clarifications anyone wants to send me.

June 1, 2012 in Commentary, Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chen Guangcheng at the Council on Foreign Relations

Here's a link to the video (one hour) and the transcript. It's a little bit unfortunate that we can't hear or read the original Chinese version of what Chen said, but I have seen (or more accurately, heard) the interpreter, June Mei, at work on many occasions and she's the best, so it's very unlikely that she missed anything.

May 31, 2012 in News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Legal specialist position at US Embassy, Beijing

From the China IPR blog:

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing is seeking an individual for the position of Legal Specialist with the Political Section. This position works with the U.S. Department of Justice in Beijing.

Information can be found at

May 31, 2012 in Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Does the legal system matter? Bo Xilai, Chen Guangcheng, and Liu Zhijun

Events in the last several weeks have prompted some interesting reflections on the larger nature of the Chinese legal system. Earlier this month, Nicholas Bequelin and Stanley Lubman discussed the significance of the Bo Xilai and Chen Guangcheng cases together. Lubman concludes that they show that Chinese law doesn't matter very much, and Bequelin concludes that Chinese law does matter more than we think. I'm greatly oversimplifying, of course, and if you read both pieces you'll find that they probably don't really disagree.

Today Stanley Lubman published another piece that looks at the Bo Xilai case together with the recent case of Liu Zhijun, the former minister of railways who was cashiered on corruption charges. Lubman notes that in these cases, there is always first an internal Party investigation, following which the subject may or may not be "handed over" to state judicial authorities for appropriate punishment. The key, of course, is that the Party, standing above the law, makes the decision whether or not to "hand over" people to the state authorities. All the talk about building the rule of law in China, increasing government accountability, etc. must be understood in the context of this one critical fact: the Party as an institution has never been subordinate to the law, and there is to date no movement in that direction.

May 30, 2012 in Commentary | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ph.D. and lecturer positions available at Leiden Institute for Area Studies

I've received the following announcement:

New positions available at LIAS

Starting next academic year the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) has available 3 full-time four-year Ph.D. positions and one position for a lecturer/project coordinator in an ERC-funded project on economic stability and instability in China with particular reference to land, development and real estate.

Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) is committed to the integration of disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives. LIAS has as its aim the advancement of teaching and research of Area Studies at Leiden University and in the wider academic community. LIAS comprises the Schools of Asian Studies (SAS) and Middle Eastern Studies (SMES). Area specializations in SAS include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South & Southeast Asian and Tibetan Studies. LIAS staff have disciplinary expertise across the humanities and the social sciences.

Starting next academic year the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) has available 3 full-time four-year Ph.D. positions (starting 1 January 2013) and one position for a lecturer/project coordinator (starting 1 September 2012) in an ERC-funded project on economic stability and instability in China with particular reference to land, development and real estate. The project is hosted on behalf of LIAS by the Modern East Asia Research Centre (MEARC). MEARC is based in LIAS. Its mission is to support, showcase, and stimulate inter-disciplinary and inter-faculty research on modern East Asia at Leiden University. MEARC Co-Director Prof. Dr. Peter Ho has a Starting Grant for Consolidators from the European Research Council (ERC), for a project on the much-debated question of China’s economic stability from the perspective of land and real estate. The PhD candidates and lecturer/project coordinator will join the research team for the ERC project. For more info see

Please send your application electronically indicating the vacancy number (see following pdf documents) before the deadline of Wednesday 20 June 2012 Interviews are planned to take place in the last week of June and/or the first week of July 2012. 

For more information, please refer to the following documents in pdf: 3 Ph.D. positions and position for a lecturer/project leader.


May 29, 2012 in Fellowships/Research Opportunities, Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)