Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Internships at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China

I've received the following announcement:


Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Deadline: March 1, 2013

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China ( is offering paid internships to qualified undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates this coming summer in Washington, D.C. Interns must be U.S. citizens. The application deadline is March 1, 2013 for the Summer 2013 internship that runs from June to August 2013. Summer internships are full-time; interns are expected to work from 32 to 40 hours per week. See application instructions below.

CECC internships provide significant educational and professional experience for undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates with a background in Chinese politics, law, and society, and strong Chinese language skills.

Interns work closely with the Commission and its staff on the full array of issues concerning human rights, the rule of law, and governance in China (including criminal justice, democratic governance institutions, environmental problems, religious freedom, freedom of expression, ethnic minority rights, women's rights, etc.).

Interns perform important research support tasks (often in Chinese), attend seminars, meet Members of Congress and experts from the United States and abroad, and draft Commission analyses. Click here for CECC analysis of recent developments in the rule of law and human rights in China. Interns may also be trained to work with the Commission's Political Prisoner Database, which has been accessible by the public since its launch in November 2004 (click here to begin a search).

The CECC staff is committed to interns’ professional development, and holds regular roundtables for interns on important China-related issues.

Summer 2013 interns will be paid $10/hour. Those unable to apply for Summer 2013 internships may apply for the Spring (February-May) or Fall (September-December). Further details are available on the Commission's Web site at


•             Interns must be U.S. citizens.

•             Interns should have completed at least some China-related coursework. It is also desirable that they have some background in one or more of the specific human rights and rule of law issues in the CECC legislative mandate.

•             Interns should be able to read Chinese well enough to assist with research in newspapers, journals, and on Web sites. More advanced Chinese language capability would be a plus. The successful candidate for an internship often will have lived or studied in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.

•             Although our interns are generally undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates, others are also welcome to apply.

Application Instructions for Summer 2013:

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for two references, to the CECC via e-mail to Judy Wright, Director of Administration at by March 1, 2013. Applications must be received by our office no later than 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on March 1. Please discuss in your cover letter how your professional goals, interests, and background relate to the Commission's legislative mandate regarding human rights and the rule of law in China. No phone calls please.


February 2, 2013 in Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

More on the timing of the Bo Xilai trial

Now we're being told (Global Times story here) that it will be after the March meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. According to the report, unnamed insiders say that the case is complicated and that the trial might last ten days.

Ten days would be extraordinarily atypical in a criminal trial. A recent study of a large sample (non-random, but those are the limitations of research in China) of criminal cases found that two thirds of Basic Leval court cases and one third of Intermediate Level court cases were completed within one hour, including adjournments. Of course, that's hardly surprising - in the vast majority of cases, the defendants admit most or all of the prosecution's case, so these trials are functionally similar to a US court's processing of a plea- bargained deal. (This is by no means to claim they are identical or problematic in the same way.) What empirical research shows, however, is what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: that matters of importance are almost never decided at the trial stage, and that the mere fact that the case has gotten that far is evidence that a guilty verdict will be forthcoming. (The acquittal rate is below 1%.)

But the Bo case is of course an atypical case. Still, if he’s not contesting the charges (Chinese criminal procedure doesn’t have a formal guilty/not guilty plea), one wonders what can be so complicated about it. If he is contesting the charges, then going forward with the trial really is atypical. Possibly he is being allowed to contest some minor aspects of the charges – for example, did he take $10 million in bribes or was it only $9 million – and the court will reject a few elements of the prosecution’s case in an attempt to show that it wasn’t all pre-ordained from the start.

January 27, 2013 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stuart Schram, 1924-2012

Last July, Stuart Schram, a giant in the field of modern China studies, passed away. He was my professor when I did an M.Sc. degree at SOAS, and he left an indelible impression - truly a brilliant man. The Dec. 2012 issue of the China Quarterly carries a terrific obituary by Roderick MacFarquhar that is not a simple hagiography but captures him in all his complexity. I'm very lucky to have known him.

January 27, 2013 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)