Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Use of Wikipedia in expert opinions

Defense attorneys in a criminal trial for economic espionage have moved to disqualify the prosecution’s expert witness, Prof. James Feinerman of Georgetown Law Center, because (they allege) large portions of his expert witness report (a document that summarizes his proposed testimony) contain verbatim extracts from Wikipedia entries on China’s technology, high-technology development plan, and Communist Party. (Here’s the news report.) I have not seen either Prof. Feinerman’s report or the motion to disqualify him, so what follows is based solely on the news report. I should also add that Prof. Feinerman is a personal friend and colleague, so weigh that as you will.

In thinking about the appropriateness of using Wikipedia, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind: first, the difference between an expert witness report and an academic article, and second, what the language in Wikipedia is actually being used for.

In an academic article, nothing should rest on the authority or existing reputation of the author. The article should speak for itself and should present evidence and arguments in favor of its conclusion. An academic article should never say or imply, “Take my word for it because I’m an eminent professor in the field.” It would not count as a serious criticism of a paper by a junior scholar to point out that a position taken in her paper was contrary to the position taken in a paper by a senior scholar.

This is not wholly true in an expert witness report. Here we are generally not asking the witness to engage in original research; we are asking him to tell us what experts in the field think of a particular question. Instead of concluding from the content of the writing that the writer (whom we may never have heard of before) deserves to be called an expert – this is what we might do in the academic context – we start from the premise that the writer is an expert and then see what he has to say about the subject. That’s why it would be improper for an academic journal to publish articles only from senior professors at big-name universities, but is wholly proper for a court to inquire into the qualifications of those presented to it as experts. Of course, the expert can bolster his testimony and make it more powerful by alluding to specific evidence supporting his opinion and citing to other prominent experts in the field who agree with him, but that’s not required by the logic of expert witnessing. What is required by the logic of expert witnessing is for the expert to say something like, “I am an expert in this field, and here is my view of the issues based on my expertise.”

Now let’s go back to Wikipedia. Any given entry is written by anonymous people about whom we know nothing. Consequently, to cite Wikipedia as authority for some proposition is a bad idea, whether in an academic article or in an expert witness report. (Wikipedia can still be useful academically if the article’s claims are well documented in footnotes; you can just chase down the footnote references.) Note, however, that Prof. Feinerman is not accused of citing Wikipedia as authority for what he wrote; he did not say, “The Communist Party operates in the following way, and I know this is true because it says so in Wikipedia.”

What I think he has done – I cannot read his mind and have not discussed this matter with him – seems to me not in essence different from declaring in his report, “I have reviewed the Wikipedia entry on X, and in my expert opinion I believe it accurately states the relevant facts.” In other words, while Wikipedia is not reliable as an authority, that doesn’t mean it is always wrong. The entry might well be accurate, at least in the opinion of the person reading it. I don’t think any objection could be made to a declaration of this kind.

The next question is, if an expert believes that certain language in a Wikipedia entry accurately reflects his personal views on some matter, is there any reason he should not use it? The reason for using it is quite simple: the expert is probably getting paid by the hour, and like anyone getting paid by the hour, he has an ethical duty not to needlessly inflate the time required to perform a job. If a Wikipedia entry accurately sums up everything the expert might want to say, why should he take the time to engage in an artificial re-writing exercise that will just add to the bill? I don’t think it makes sense to disqualify an expert because he tried to do the job at lower cost.

Finally, there is the question of whether the verbatim quotations from Wikipedia should be properly footnoted. An expert witness report is not an academic paper for which the author seeks academic credit, so personally I don’t see an academic integrity issue in this case. The author is not asking you to admire his words or his thoughts. He is testifying about the content of the ideas expressed by the words, and he is doing so on the basis of his own pre-existing authority and reputation. In this sense, direct quotation is not different from indirect quotation or re-writing. At the same time, quoting a source directly without a footnote is bound to lead (and in this case has led) to the suspicion that something is being concealed. That's not good. Thus, my gut feeling (subject to change upon further reflection) is that despite the differences between academic articles and expert witness reports, it makes sense to follow the same citation rules in each instead of spending a lot of time trying to figure out when the different context justifies different rules.

In this particular case, I don’t think failure to cite should count as a reason for disqualification. As I understand it, experts may be disqualified on grounds such as (a) lack of expertise, or (b) evidence that they are saying something they don’t really believe (e.g., previous writings in which they take a completely different position on the same issue). Neither of those problems is (as I understand the story) alleged to exist here.

November 23, 2013 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Attention US government officials with a Chinese law interest

Mark Cohen is looking for you! Mark is a Chinese IP law expert now (back) at the US PTO, and recently circulated the following message on the Chinalaw list. With his permission I'm re-posting it here. I hope all in his target audience will respond; it would be great to have a list of such people available (but in responsible hands, of course).

If your work in the US government involves Chinese law and you are interested in meeting colleagues and exchanging experiences and updates, please contact me at my official address: mark.cohen@uspto.gov.
 
Knowledge of Chinese is not required.  My sense is that there is an expanding community of us, and that it would be useful to exchange views on common concerns.
 
I am personally particularly interested in getting to know people who are involved in areas such as public international law, securities regulation, environmental protection, labor standards, law enforcement, human rights, etc. (in addition to the trade and IP community I know), that need to look at Chinese legal matters and would benefit from getting involved in a larger community of people.
 
If you work on the Hill, or you are a judge or judicial official, and you are interested in Chinese law, please give me your name as well. 
 
We will probably meet informally at some point after I have collected all the names - either virtually or perhaps a lunch or dinner.

July 27, 2013 in Other, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More documents in the case of SEC vs. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd.

Last January I posted some expert witness reports, including one by me, in the continuing proceedings of SEC vs. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. (District of Columbia District Court). In these proceedings, the SEC is seeking to compel a Chinese accounting firm to produce documents. Here are two declarations (publicly available, of course) filed in May that may be of interest to those following the case.

As before, I am providing these with no comment.

 

 

 

June 20, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More materials on the Chen Guangcheng/NYU affair

Here's a report from the Wall Street Journal's China RealTime Report about a statement from Chen Guangcheng's former adviser, Mattie Bekink. Ms. Bekink's full statement is below. One has to wonder who has Chen's ear and what advice they are giving him. Is he even aware of the shitstorm his statement has kicked up? As many have noted, it's a sad situation all around. And let's not forget who's really to blame here: not Chen, not NYU, not his current or former advisors, but the Linyi authorities who made it necessary for him to leave China in the first place by their inhumanly cruel persecution of him for perfectly lawful activities, and the central government that enabled them and consistently looked the other way.

NYU has been Generous to Chen Guangcheng

Cheng Guangcheng is not being forced out of NYU. Neither the Chinese government nor the university is pushing him out. His time at the university is simply coming to its conclusion, a conclusion that was determined long ago and that Mr. Chen has been aware of since shortly after his arrival in the United States. NYU's campus in Shanghai had nothing to do with it then, and has nothing to do with now. And to suggest China's Communist Party is somehow involved or is putting pressure on NYU is absurd.

I should know, since I am the one who told him about the length of his tenure at NYU.

I currently have no affiliation with NYU. But I was a consultant to the university in 2011 and 2012, first working in Shanghai for a year on establishing the campus there, and then coming to New York shortly after Mr. Chen's arrival at NYU to serve as his special advisor.

As a lawyer who had done rule of law work in China, I was glad to come to New York to assist the courageous Mr. Chen and his family. I believe he is a remarkable individual who has faced tremendous injustice, suffered greatly, and nonetheless continues to shine with a sense of purpose and optimism that is inspiring. His legal advocacy work was impressive and important for China. It was a great privilege to work with him and I look back at our time together fondly. I am very saddened to see him now distorting the facts about his time at NYU. It is for this reason that I wish to set the record straight.

NYU has consistently been generous to and supportive of Mr. Chen and his family. The university, with no advance warning, no budget, and no chance to prepare, embraced Mr. Chen and provided him with an unprecedented level of support. Professor Jerry Cohen's comment that "no political refugee, not even Albert Einstein, has received better treatment," couldn't be more apt. Professor Cohen's personal generosity similarly cannot be overstated.

NYU’s support for the Chens was extensive and comprehensive. It was thoughtful and deeply personal, specifically designed to meet their needs and adapted as those needs changed. When Mr. Chen arrived in New York, he was recovering from injuries sustained from his dramatic escape. NYU provided physical therapists to work with him along with an interpreter. When the children faced an unplanned summer, NYU found them a bilingual Mandarin summer camp and provided daily transportation. My clear instructions from the university were to do whatever was necessary to support this family. Never once did NYU deny a request I made on behalf of the Chens, regardless of expense. The university always put the Chens’ needs first.

Professor Cohen and others at the university tried to help the Chens make the difficult transition from rural China to the heart of Manhattan. He and other colleagues invited them to their homes, organized dinners with people they thought the Chens might like to meet, and arranged outings and activities for the children. We wanted to see them thrive. We cared. NYU cared. And, as far as I can tell, still cares. This is why I was so mystified to see his claims.

Mr. Chen's advocacy was also in no way curtailed or limited by NYU. In fact, the university enabled him to continue his advocacy by providing him with interpreters, helping him to write and get op-ed pieces placed, facilitating meetings with relevant stakeholders in the human rights and disability rights communities, government, academia, and media, and supporting his work. Professor Cohen, himself an outspoken critic of China, worked tirelessly to ensure that Mr. Chen's voice was heard and especially to draw attention to the ongoing suffering of his family members still in China.

NYU's unflinching support for Mr. Chen clearly demonstrates that it was not influenced by the Chinese government. As the university has pointed out, approval for the NYU Shanghai campus came only after Mr. Chen was already comfortably settled in his Greenwich Village apartment. If the university had put its own interests in China ahead of its commitment to academic integrity and principles of academic freedom, it never would have extended the invitation to Mr. Chen in the first place. NYU also did not accept Mr. Chen under duress. It was public knowledge as Mr. Chen's departure from China was being negotiated that he had offers from other institutions, such as the University of Washington. NYU could easily have side-stepped this matter, so its welcoming of him and its continuous support make plain the university's values have not been compromised.

NYU provided Mr. Chen with a soft landing as a fellow in the Law School and helped him adjust to life in the United States. The plan was to support him and his family for a year and then assist them in making more permanent arrangements. That was always the understanding, and Mr. Chen was informed of this and was very grateful. NYU never committed to supporting the family indefinitely. The only thing that has changed is the passage of time.

It is a great shame that as his time at NYU comes to a close Mr. Chen chooses to malign his friends and supporters at the university with false statements. But his comments suggest that he is having a hard time accepting the reality of his new life. It is not the Chinese communist authorities who "want to make [him] so busy trying to earn a living that [he doesn't] have time for human rights advocacy". Rather it is life in capitalist America that requires individuals to support themselves. NYU's extreme generosity has perhaps protected him from confronting this reality until now, but that level of largesse was never intended to continue indefinitely.

I wish Mr. Chen and his lovely family nothing but the very best during their continued stay in the United States. My time helping him continue his advocacy work and helping his wonderful wife and children adjust to their new home was deeply meaningful and rewarding. I respect the many real challenges Mr. Chen has overcome. But any alleged challenges coming from NYU's being under pressure from China are entirely fictional.

Mattie J. Bekink was formerly affiliated with NYU's US-Asia Law Institute as Special Advisor to Chen Guangcheng. She is a lawyer and independent consultant currently based in Milan, Italy.

 

 

 

June 19, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Chen Guangheng/NYU affair

The circumstances of Chen Guangcheng's leaving New York University have been in the news lately and the subject of dispute. Essentially, Chen says he is being pushed out due to pressure on NYU from the Chinese government. (Here's his statement (web version here).) NYU says that the original arrangement was that he would come and be supported for a year, and the year is up. (Here's an interview with Jerome Cohen, and here's a good post from China Digital Times that puts the whole story together with links to all these souces.)

My impression is that NYU is more sinned against than sinning here; the one-year deal squares with my recollection, and I think it's beyond question that NYU has been quite generous to Chen during the time he's been there. If you believe that NYU has an obligation to look after Chen indefinitely, then of course you'll see him as being booted out, but I note that neither Chen nor anyone else has offered actual evidence, or even specific (as opposed to general) allegations, of Chinese pressure on NYU to get rid of him. Activist Bob Fu, for example, declines to identify any direct pressure from China, but still manages to imply that NYU did something discreditable: "There is also self-censorship, particularly if a college president believes their China campus or the future enrollment of Chinese students will be sabotaged." In other words, there are absolutely no facts that could prove Fu wrong. He just knows.

Prof. James Feinerman of Georgetown Law School has kindly permitted me to quote his post to the Chinalaw list on this subject:

I'm taking this in from London, where there's little to no interest in this development. However, I have several reactions to the news and to how it's become public. First of all, a little history - Months ago my colleagues and I at Georgetown were approached by Chen's "people" (yes, he has them), sounding us out about a move to Georgetown (and presumably, more importantly, DC). This set off certain "alarm bells" - why was he leaving or interested in leaving NYU? The pretext for his departure to the US less than a year earlier was the fellowship he received to study at NYU; would moving elsewhere upset that? We were assured that, No, he was just "reviewing his options," probably because the term of his stay was coming to an end after one year. Obviously, he's been checking elsewhere, if rumors of his departure for Fordham are true. That's just one reason not to buy his story that PRC interference has caused his "ouster" from NYU. Secondly, he's waited until the very end of his stay at NYU - the term of which was well known all along - to voice his first complaints about the mistreatment he's suffered. If this were an ongoing problem, why not previously? Third, along with others (such as both Don Clarke and I), Jerry Cohen and a host of China scholars in the US regularly write, speak and even testify before committees of the US Congress and other governmental bodies about China's human rights abuses, flawed rule of law and other shortcomings - rarely pulling our punches - and have faced no retaliation for doing so. We still get visas to visit the PRC, have regular interchange with Chinese colleagues and (to my knowledge, at least) have caused no undue problems for our home institutions with our activities. Notwithstanding this, I take [another contributor]'s point that a few Western academics have been targetted - Perry Link and Andy Nathan come immediately to mind. Old habits die hard among the Communist diehards.
We may have to remember back to the era of the Tiananmen dissidents - Wu'er Kaixi, Chai Ling and others - to find a good analog for Chen. They came to the US after the massacre, were lionized for a while as the heroes of the "Democracy Movement," and then faded from public attention in fairly short order. As that happened, they became vocal and bitter, complaining just like Chen, that they were betrayed, that the cushy welcome they received was evaporating as memories faded. In short, they learned (as Jerry Cohen liked to quip at East Asian Legal Studies lunches to the invited speakers) that "there is no free lunch." After a reasonable transition, they were supposed to find something to do, on their own. In Chen's case, he's had a pretty sweet deal - a year of housing in Washington Square, financial support, translators, educational opportunities if he chose. Understandably, he's unhappy. But biting the hand that fed you - well, for a year - makes Chen seem like an ingrate.
Finally, Chen mistakes what he knows (and what he knows works) in China for the way things work in the US. He assumes that the PRC government - or government in general - can make academics fall in line. How little he knows us. Nothing rankles the academy more than a heavy governmental hand - especially that of one viewed by most as a vile totalitarian autocracy - trying to wield influence. It's more likely to cause academics - even academic administrators - to react in opposition. We prize our freedom more than that. It's a shame he's failed to learn at least that much about the institution that has sheltered him and his family for the past 16 months or the country of his exile. This latest screed, however, is likely to backfire. Remember Solzhenitsyn? Despite his heroism, his Nobel prize, and his writerly brilliance, he was remembered more as a reactionary scold, ranting about the West while enjoying its perks. From various accounts, Chen also risks becoming a captive and a mouthpiece for the religious right, anti-abortion, and China-threat factions here in the US. His current story will resonate with them, but in the longer run it promises he will receive even less attention from influential mainstream opinion makers in this country.

 

June 18, 2013 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chinese law schools: a ranking (sort of)

W020120706304925192407

I just came across a ranking of Chinese law schools, posted on the web in April 2012. The source is a book entitled "Picking a University and Selecting a Major: A Guide to Applying to the 2012 College Entrance Examination" (挑大学 选专业-2012高考志愿填报指南). I'm reprinting the list below, translated by Google Translate with a few modifications by me.

A few caveats and observations:

  1. These rankings appear to have been compiled as an individual effort of the author of the book. I have no idea what methodology he used.
  2. This doesn't exactly rank "law schools." What it ranks is "the study of law." And the study of law here is defined to include law (narrowly defined), Marxist-Leninist theory, sociology, political science, and police studies. Thus, even if you think that Peking University ought to outrank Renmin University as a law school, maybe Renmin University really does outrank Peking University in Marxist-Leninist theory by more than enough to make up the difference.
  3. Law studies at the Institute for International Relations, well known as China's spy school, don't do very well at 95th. Maybe they're putting their resources into computer science these days.
  4. In another table on the same web page you can see what people are studying these days. Not surprisingly, engineering is pretty popular (801379 graduating undergrads in 2011). What did surprise me was the comparable figures for some of the other majors: apparently the romantic types who take literature (288014) and arts (181158) still outnumber (separately; you don't even need to add them together) those who take all of the courses subsumed under "law" combined (113342).

Ranking

Grade

School Name

1

A + +

Renmin University of China

2

A + +

Beijing University

3

A + +

Wuhan University

4

A + +

Tsinghua University

5

A + +

China University of Political Science and Law

6

A + +

Jilin University

7

A + +

Fudan University

8

A + +

Southwest University of Political Science and Law

9

A + +

Nanjing University

10

A + +

Sun Yat-sen University

11

A + +

East China University of Political Science and Law

12

A +

Central China Normal University

13

A +

Beijing Normal University

14

A +

Xiamen University

15

A +

Zhongnan University

16

A +

Shandong University

17

A +

Zhejiang University

18

A +

Nankai University

19

A +

Nanjing Normal University

20

A +

Northeast Normal University

21

A +

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

22

A +

Chongqing University

23

A +

Shanghai Jiaotong University

24

A +

Suzhou University

25

A +

Sichuan University

26

A +

Northwest University of Political Science and Law

27

A

East China Normal University

28

A

Xiangtan University

29

A

Zhengzhou University

30

A

Shanghai University

31

A

Heilongjiang University

32

A

Yunnan University

33

A

Hunan University

34

A

Shanxi University

35

A

Hunan Normal University

36

A

Hebei University

37

A

South China Normal University

38

A

Foreign Affairs College

39

A

Central South University

40

A

Shenzhen University

41

A

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics

42

A

Tianjin Normal

43

A

Jinan University

44

A

Xi'an Jiaotong University

45

A

Yantai University

46

A

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

47

A

University of International Business and Economics

48

A

Nanchang University

49

A

Liaoning University

50

A

South China University of Technology

51

A

Southwestern University

52

A

Shanghai Normal University

53

B +

Tongji University

54

B +

Capital Normal University

55

B +

Shanghai Institute of Politics

56

B +

Central University for Nationalities

57

B +

Southeast University

58

B +

Anhui Normal

59

B +

Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

60

B +

Yangzhou University

61

B +

Central University of Finance and Economics

62

B +

Anhui University

63

B +

Central University for Nationalities

64

B +

Ningbo University

65

B +

Guangdong College of Commerce

66

B +

Lanzhou University

67

B +

China Youth Political College

68

B +

Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics

69

B +

Shenyang Normal

70

B +

Hehai University

71

B +

Shanghai International Studies University

72

B +

Hubei University

73

B +

China Agricultural University

74

B +

Zhejiang Gongshang University

75

B +

Henan University of Economics and Law

76

B +

East China University of Science and Technology

77

B +

Beijing Institute of Technology

78

B +

Henan Normal University

79

B +

Guangxi Normal

80

B +

Henan University

81

B +

Huazhong Agricultural University

82

B +

Zhejiang Normal

83

B +

Fujian Normal University

84

B +

Ocean University of China

85

B +

Changchun University of Science and Technology

86

B +

Jiangxi Normal

87

B +

Guangzhou University

88

B +

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

89

B +

Dalian Maritime University

90

B +

Guangxi University for Nationalities

91

B +

Hebei Normal

92

B +

Hainan University

93

B +

Sichuan Normal

94

B +

Hainan Normal

95

B +

Institute of International Relations

96

B +

Northwestern University

97

B +

Jiangsu University

98

B +

Northwestern Polytechnical University

99

B +

Gansu Institute of Politics and Law

100

B +

Hunan University of Science and Technology

101

B +

Wenzhou University

102

B +

Nanjing University of Finance and Economics

103

B +

Zhejiang University of Technology

 

February 22, 2013 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Teng Biao's defense in the second trial of the Xia Junfeng case - English translation

Seeing Red in China has published a good translation of human rights lawyer Teng Biao's 2010 defense statement on behalf of Xia Junfeng, a street vendor charged with murder after a deadly fight with chengguan (urban administration) officials. I'm reproducing their introduction to the case below; for the introduction and links to the full statement in English and Chinese, click here.

February 21, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pu Zhiqiang barred from all mainland micro-blogging sites

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)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New dean for Peking U's School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen

It's Philip J. McConnaughay, who will step down as dean of Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law on July 31st of this year and take up his new duties the following day. Here's the news report.

January 24, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sentencing philosophy in Chinese criminal law: Zhang Xiaojun versus Liu Xiaobo

According to the official Xinhua report, Zhang Xiaojun was Gu Kailai’s accomplice in a premeditated murder. He was convicted of intentional homicide. His sentence was nine years.

According to the official indictment, Liu Xiaobo committed the following acts:

  • He published a number of “inciting articles” containing “rumors and slanders” (no slanders against any persons living or dead are mentioned in the indictment).
  • Together with others, he "drafted and concocted" Charter 08.
  • He distributed Charter 08 via e-mail to overseas websites and posted it on overseas websites.

That’s it. Really. See for yourself. He was sentenced to eleven years.

Just sayin’.

 

August 20, 2012 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Where Gu Kailai will likely spend her time: China's Club Fed

Image003-

Here's a profile of Qincheng (秦城) Prison, where high-ranking prisoners stay and where the cognoscenti figure Gu Kailai will go (assuming she's not spirited off to a nice tropical island somewhere).

August 20, 2012 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, Other, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ni Yulan's defense statement

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Profile of Pu Zhiqiang in Slate

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)

Monday, May 21, 2012

How Chen Guangcheng escaped (follow-up)

I posted a few days ago about this, linking to a Chinese account and apologizing for not having the time to supply a translation. Two commenters kindly noted the existence of partial translations, but I don't want to keep this information buried in the comments. Here are the two partial translations:

 

May 21, 2012 in News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Chen Guangcheng escaped

Here's an account (in Chinese - sorry, no time to translate) from iSun Affairs magazine (a web-based journal) of how Chen Guangcheng escaped from Dongshigu Village. As we might have guessed, he had help from various people but also had to rely on himself quite a bit. The account is quite detailed and names names. Apparently the editors decided to include these details because the authorities had already figured out the people involved.

Here's a video interview with Chen's brother, Chen Guangfu, about what happened to him afterwards.

May 17, 2012 in News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gao Zhisheng reported alive

It is a sign of the absurd and cruel vendetta that the Chinese government has carried out against Gao Zhisheng (高智晟) that his being seen alive should be headline news. After all, he has been in the custody, acknowledged or not, of that same government more or less constantly since February 2009. He was last seen alive by family members in April 2010.

His wife now reports that his father father-in-law and brother were able to visit him in prison on March 24. His brother has confirmed the meeting. Here's the Radio Free Asia report.

[March 30 correction indicated above.]

March 27, 2012 in Commentary, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans) on Liu Xiaobo