Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ABA Rule of Law Initiative seeks Law Fellow for Beijing office

I have received the following announcement:

Law Fellow, ABA ROLI China

Location
Beijing, China

Description

ABA ROLI is a non-profit program that implements legal reform initiatives in roughly 60 countries around the world, with nearly 700 professional staff working abroad and in its Washington, D.C. office. ABA ROLI has been working with local partners in China to implement legal reform projects since 1998. The ABA ROLI China program has provided training, supported practical research, supplied technical comparative expertise and facilitated professional exchange relationships between Chinese legal reformers and their counterparts abroad. Local partnership and collaboration lies at the heart of ABA ROLI’s programs, whose partners include China’s judiciary, bar associations, universities, civil society organizations and legal scholars.

Position Summary

The ABA ROLI China Law Fellowship is a one-year, unpaid fellowship that provides recent law school graduates with the opportunity to work with our Beijing-based team to support legal reform initiatives in collaboration with Chinese partners. Law Fellows provide assistance with research, implementation and evaluation of programs, and outreach efforts. Our programs cover a broad range of substantive areas including women’s rights, the rights of the disabled, criminal justice reform, environmental protection, and civil society capacity building. Competitive candidates will have a background in China, experience living and/ or working in China, and will be proficient in Mandarin.

Responsibilities

• Assist with legal research;
• Assist with the design, implementation and evaluation of programs; and
• Assist with the development of outreach materials.

Qualifications

• Must have a JD or equivalent degree
• Excellent analytical, writing, oral communication, and interpersonal skills
• Knowledge of China, including the legal system and the current political and cultural context
• Fluency in English required and proficiency in Chinese (Mandarin) preferred

Interested individuals should send a brief (1-2 pages maximum) cover letter, CV, and 2 references in English by email to Ms. Winona Qi at: office@abarolichina.org.

Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. ABA-ROLI will contact only those candidates whom it selects for interviews.

April 2, 2014 in Fellowships/Research Opportunities, Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Rule of Law Initiative: Internship opening, Beijing office

I have received the following announcement:

ABA Rule of Law Initiative

INTERNSHIP OPENING
BEIJING OFFICE
Summer and Fall 2014

Description:
The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative seeks candidates to work as legal interns on a variety of legal assistance projects being implemented from the Beijing program office of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative.

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative China Program is a public service project that provides technical assistance in support of justice reforms and capacity building. ABA’s program office in Beijing, with support from Washington, D.C.-based staff, supports a variety of legal reforms and legal training projects in China, in partnership with Chinese civil society organizations, universities, and law professionals. Interns will have the opportunity to meet and support the work of Chinese civil society advocates and public interest lawyers.

Responsibilities:
Legal interns will report to Program Managers and assist with program implementation in one or more program areas, including environmental protection, criminal justice, civil society development and intellectual property rights. Work duties of the legal interns will include:

• Monitoring program progress and assisting Program Managers in implementing and reporting on programs;
• Monitoring new developments and current events related to issues in the media, social networks, and other information outlets;
• Researching and writing on legal issues and current events;
• Reviewing and organizing relevant resource materials in ABA program library;
• Translating program documents and news articles between Chinese and English;
• Accompanying foreign visitor experts in China and assisting with communications through informal interpretation; and
• General administrative assistance including: assisting with event preparations and implementation, and other administrative assistance to ABA staff as needed.

Qualifications:
• Candidate for B.A. or Masters/ JD in Law or related field;
• Fluency in both spoken and written Mandarin and English;
• Strong sense of responsibility and ability to work independently;
• Excellent communication skills;
• Professional demeanor; and
• Experience in a bilingual work environment or an international NGO is a plus

Internships will be part-time with a minimum commitment for the summer holiday break or the fall academic semester. Flexible working hours are anticipated. Interns will receive a small stipend.

Interested candidates should send a brief (1-2 pages maximum) cover letter indicating their experience and interest in legal development activities in China, their available dates, and their resume in English by email to Ms. Winona Qi at: office@abarolichina.org.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

April 2, 2014 in Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Environmental Defense Fund seeks Senior Policy Director for China

The post will remain open until filled, so interested persons should apply as soon as possible. The job announcement is attached here. According to the job announcement, the location is "ideally" Washington, DC.

April 1, 2014 in Current Affairs, Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Talk at GWU Law School by Prof. SHEN Wei on local government debt

Prof. SHEN Wei of Shanghai Jiaotong University Law School will give a talk at GW Law School this Thursday evening. The topic is "Understanding China's Local Government Debt Crisis: Causes and Solutions (or No Way Out?)". Click here for a flyer and a bio of Prof. Shen. The talk will be recorded and webcast live; here's the link for the webcast.

Date: April 3

Time: 6 p.m.

Place: Room 402, Lerner Hall, 2000 H St. NW, Washington, DC (Lerner Hall is where you are when you enter the law school at the 2000 H St. entrance).

March 30, 2014 in Conferences, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Job opening: USPTO China team attorney advisor

Thanks to Mark Cohen at the China IPR blog for posting. Here's the link to his post, which contains further necessary links.

March 19, 2014 in Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pershing Square, Herbalife, and Chinese law

Herbalife

You have to be impressed with Pershing Square's PR operation. Those who don't read the business section might still have heard of William Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square's campaign against Herbalife, as it was the top story on the front page of today's New York Times. Ackman has a huge short position in Herbalife and is trying to talk down its stock by saying it's a pyramid operation. (I report this simply as a fact and express no opinion on whether Ackman's allegations are true.)

Today I received an email from someone at the Global Strategy Group, a PR firm, alerting me to a webcast Pershing Square is putting on tomorrow. The webcast will charge that Herbalife's operations in China violate Chinese law, presumably because of their alleged pyramidal nature. (My recollection is that China passed a law prohibiting pyramid sales structures after some early bad experiences in the 1980s or 90s, but I don't have the details at my fingertips.) I don't plan on watching the webcast and (since I don't have an opinion on the merits) it's not really my job to provide publicity for one side in this dispute, so I'm not going to provide the link here. But at a time when China is cracking down disproportionately on foreign firms, it will be interesting to see if Pershing Square manages to stir up some official action in China against Herbalife.

March 10, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme People's Court Work Report to the National People's Congress

Here's the full text of the report on the China Law Translate site, where it's in the process of being translated. Click on the "Select Language" button on the right of the screen to ensure you're getting the version you want (i.e., Chinese or in-process English translation).

March 10, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 14, 2014

"A Constitution Without Constitutionalism?" Talk by Prof. Zhang Qianfan of Peking Univ. Law Faculty

As announced earlier, Prof. Zhang delivered this talk at GWU Law School last Wednesday; here's the URL to a very nicely produced recording. Many thanks to our AV department!

February 14, 2014 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Confucius Institutes in US universities: two views

Confucius Institutes, which are part of the Chinese government's soft power efforts, have been in the news recently (at least in the academic community) following this blast last fall by the noted University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. I recommend it.

At the same time, I also recommend this recent and very cogent response by my GWU colleague Ed McCord, which he has kindly consented to have me post here. It's must reading for anyone who wants to have a fully informed view.

[Feb. 16: Replaced earlier version of McCord piece with a later, slightly modified version.]

February 14, 2014 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (3)

English translation of Xu Zhiyong verdict now available

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jeffrey Bader on the Nine-Dash Line

Here's a good piece by Jeff Bader of Brookings on the Obama administration's recent explicit rejection of China's "nine-dash line" as the basis for maritime claims.

If you want to dig deeper, here’s a good relevant resource put together by OUP: http://opil.ouplaw.com/page/222/debate-map-disputes-in-the-south-and-east-china-seas. They call it a "debate map" for the East China Sea and the South China Sea controversies. It breaks down the issues and provides links to various official sources and commentary relevant to each.

February 11, 2014 in Commentary | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zhang Qianfan talk at GWU Law School: live webcast

I posted yesterday about Prof. Zhang's upcoming talk at GWU Law School (Feb. 12th, 6 p.m. EST); here's the URL to the live webcastThe talk will also be recorded and made available on line; URL to be announced.

[Post slightly edited and URL changed after initial posting.]

February 11, 2014 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Recording of Teng Biao talk at GWU Law School

Last week Teng Biao gave a talk at George Washington University Law School; here's a link to a recording of the talk.

February 11, 2014 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Zhang Qianfan to speak at George Washington University Law School on Feb. 12th

Professor Zhang Qianfan of Peking University Faculty of Law will speak at George Washington University Faculty of Law on Feb. 12th. His subject will be "A Constitution Without Constitutionalism? Paths of Constitutional Development in China." Details here.The talk will be webcast live; please check back to this blog for the URL, which I will post before the talk.

For those who don't know him, Prof. Zhang is an impressive guy. In addition to a Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin, he also has a Ph.D. in physics/biophysics from Carnegie-Mellon. He recently published a book in English on the Chinese constitution.

February 10, 2014 in Conferences, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teng Biao talk at GWU Law School - update and streaming information

I blogged the other day about Teng Biao's talk at GW Law School today (Feb. 5th). Two updates:

1. Location has been changed to Burns 505 (Faculty Conference Center).

2. The talk will be live streamed on the web. Here's the URL: 

http://video.law.gwu.edu:8080/ess/echo/presentation/73a078a4-a1bf-4bd2-8f9c-3114ba6491fa

 

February 5, 2014 in Conferences, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanley Lubman on China's crackdown on activists

Availabe here.

February 5, 2014 in Commentary | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Teng Biao to speak at George Washington University Law School Feb. 5th

I am pleased to announce that Teng Biao will be giving a talk on the New Citizen Movement at George Washington University Law School on Feb. 5th, 2014. I'm attaching the announcement here.

February 2, 2014 in News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

China's GDP: services are largest sector for the first time in the modern era

This doesn't have much to do with Chinese law, but I think it's a pretty interesting development. From my friend Dan Rosen at the Rhodium Group (copied here with permission):

Full year 2013 China GDP was released on January 29. The total was just over $9 trillion USD for the first time, at CNY 56.9 trillion (2013 average CNY/USD rate: 6.313). That’s up 7.67% over 2012 (and is the level the United States was at in 1992, in 2009 dollars; versus just about $16 trillion today). Here is a significant fact: as of the end of 2013, China’s services sector is officially the largest segment of its economy for the first time in the modern era, at 46%, versus 44% for industry and manufacturing and 10% for primary activity such as farming. That updraft in the share of services started in about 2006, and should keep going for, oh, I’d say about another 20 years before flattening out. That’s a pretty important change in the structure of growth, and one that Xi Jinping’s Plenum reforms both recognize and react to, on the one hand, and aim to bolster and sustain on the other. Remember: investment in services sector capital stock doesn’t just mean ice rinks, movie theaters, hospitals and schools, but also the injection of value-adding services activity into manufacturing giants like China Aluminum, which to date have been all about smelting and little about sales and marketing, R&D, environmental engineering, new applications development and other white collar multipliers of profit.

January 30, 2014 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jerome Cohen on the Xu Zhiyong case

Here's Jerry Cohen's comment on Xu Zhiyong's trial, published in the South China Morning Post.

January 29, 2014 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Amendments to the Company Law: good on ya, China!

I was surprised, but pleasantly so, to see that China passed amendments to the Company Law last month that, among other things, completely abolish the minimum capitalization requirement for both limited liability companies (LLCs) (有限责任公司) and companies limited by shares (CLSs) (股份有限公司).

In the original 1993 Company Law, the minimum capitalization for LLCs was from 100,000 to 500,000 yuan, depending on the type of business; this was changed to 30,000 yuan in the 2004 revision. The minimum capitalization for CLSs was a world-beating 10 million yuan in 1993, reduced to 5 million in 204, presumably as a compromise between those who thought it should stay at 10 and those who thought it should be nothing. I say "world-beating" because this number is an extreme outlier globally; the legally required minimum capitalization for a US company of that type incorporated in Delaware is zero, and in Europe tends to range from about 50,000 to 100,000 euros (the EU mandates a minimum of 25,000). (My information on Europe may be outdated; remember that this is just a blog post.)

To go from 5 million to zero in one fell swoop is pretty impressive, especially considering that going to zero represents not just a modification of policy but a complete change in thinking about minimum capitalization. China has long been a slave to the myth that minimum capitalization requirements protect creditors; this doctrine is a staple of company law textbooks. In fact, such requirements simply pointlessly impede corporate formation while doing nothing to protect creditors Anyone contemplating lending to a company wants to know about current assets and liabilities and future earning prospects; the historical number represented by the initial capitalization is irrelevant. (For a thorough takedown of this myth, see Macey & Enriques, Creditors Versus Capital Formation: The Case Against the European Legal Capital Rules.) Initial capitalization is not some kind of savings stashed away in the corporate mattress; it is just a number on the books and may well not represent real cash or other assets in hand. This is the American approach and it doesn't seem to have crippled creditors of American corporations or otherwise stifled economic growth. The European approach is not much different in substance - 50,000 or 100,000 euros is probably not that big an obstacle to corporate formation in most cases - but it's quite different in principle, and it's surprising to see China, which self-identifies as a civil law jurisdiction, utterly abandon this European principle and embrace the American one so whole-heartedly and so suddenly.

One thing policymakers need to think about, though, is what does protect creditors if minimum capital requirements don't. The answer is: the institutions that make it easier for creditors to evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers before the loan is made, and those that give borrowers an incentive to repay the loan after it is made. The latter institutions aren't just legal; they could include mechanisms for making reputational sanctions meaningful. Thus, the needed complementary reforms include opening up information flows and not (as the government is currently doing) vigorously stanching them, and strengthening the ability of courts to find hidden assets and enforce judgments.

Other revisions to the Company Law passed at the same time are essentially complementary and involve the dismantling of the whole regime that fetishized registered capital. There's a nice memo on the revisions by the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine here.

January 28, 2014 in News - Chinese Law | Permalink | Comments (1)