Supreme People’s Court Monitor at the Supreme People’s Court

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 6.54.40 PMOn the afternoon of 21 June, I had the honor (and the challenge) of giving a lecture as part of a lecture series (大讲堂) sponsored by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC)’s China Institute of Applied Jurisprudence (the Institute) (mentioned in earlier blogposts, here and here).   Judge Jiang Huiling, to my right in the photo, chaired the proceedings. Professor Hou Meng of Peking University (to my left), one of China’s leading scholars of the SPC, and Huang Bin, executive editor of the Journal of Law Application  (to Judge Jiang’s right) served as commentators.

The occasional lecture series has included prominent scholars, judges, and others from  China and abroad, including  Judge Cai Xiaoxue, retired SPC administrative division judge (and visiting professor at the Peking University School of Transnational Law), Chang Yun-chien, Research Professor at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica (a New York University SJD), and Professor Zhang Taisu of Yale Law School.

As can be seen from the title slide above. I spoke [in Chinese] about how and why I research the SPC and some tentative views on judicial reform. Preparing the Powerpoint slides and presentation involved work for me that was a counterpart to that of the drafters of President Zhou Qiang’s report to the National People’s Congress (NPC),  considering what issues would be appropriate in the post-19th Party Congress New Era, and would hit the right notes with an audience of people involved with Chinese judicial reform on a daily basis.

I spoke briefly on how I became interested in China, Chinese law, and the Supreme People’s Court, as well as Harvard Law School and its East Asian Studies program (and Columbia Law School as well). I traced my interest in socialist core values back to when I was seven years old, because of the books (see a sample below) and photos my father brought back from a tour he led of American academics working in Afghanistan to the Soviet Union in the early 1960’s, and a fateful opportunity I had as a high school student to learn Chinese. I told the audience also of the meeting I had with Professor Jerome Cohen before starting law school. (In this interview with Natalie Lichtenstein, founding legal counsel of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank),  I discovered that Professor Cohen gave many of us the same advice–“if you study Chinese law you can do something interesting”–and how his group of former students continues to be involved with China and Chinese legal issues in many different ways. I also made comparisons between the career paths of elite legal professionals in China with those in the United States.download-1

Explaining my interest in the Supreme People’s Court, I told how a serendipitous book purchase, bicycle rides past the SPC, a group of people willing to share their insights, and a lot of hard work led to my initial interest in China’s judicial system and to my 1993 article on the SPC. I also told the story of the founding of this blog.

On judicial reform, for the most part, I summarized some of my prior blogposts. I concentrated on the first several reforms as listed in the SPC’s reform outline, particularly the circuit courts, cross-administrative region courts and other efforts to reduce judicial protectionism, the maritime courts, criminal justice related reforms, the evolving case law system, judicial interpretations and other forms of SPC guidance, and many other issues.  However, some of the issues did not make it into the Powerpoint presentation. I concluded with some thoughts about the long-term impacts within China and abroad of this round of judicial reforms.

I was fortunate to have three perceptive commentators and also needed to field some very thoughtful questions from the audience.

The event was reported in the Institute’s Wechat public account and People’s Court Daily.  Many thanks to Judge Jiang and his colleagues  at the Institute for making the event possible, and Professor Hou and Mr. Huang for taking the time and trouble to come from the far reaches of Beijing to appear on the panel (and for their comments).

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2016 Supreme People’s Court Monitor year-end report

ornate-1045572_1280In 2016, the Supreme People’s Court Monitor published 67 posts and had close to 30,000 page views, from 150 countries (regions), primarily from:

  • United States;
  • Hong Kong;
  • (mainland) China; and
  • Australia.

with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Singapore trailing. Unfortunately too many “Belt & Road” countries are at the bottom part of the list of 150 jurisdictions.

Over half of the Monitor followers use Twitter to follow the Monitor.Although Twitter is not accessible in mainland China without a VPN, 26% of the Monitor’s Twitter followers are based there.

I am often asked about the profile of my blog followers. Like my sister blog, China IPR, my followers include academics, students, journalists, government officials, judges (current or retired), staff of international organizations as well as practicing attorneys (in private practice, in-house, government service and with NGOs).  The Monitor has some email followers in (mainland) China but they generally keep a very low profile.

I am honored to have my blog listed as a Chinese law resource by law schools and other institutions around the world, including: Harvard and Yale Law Schools, and Oxford’s Bodleian Library.  Many thanks to those professors who have recommended the Monitor to students.  Thank you also to those journalists and scholars writing about the Chinese judiciary who have cited the Monitor.

Many thanks to those professors who have recommended the Monitor to students.  Thank you also to those journalists and scholars writing about the Chinese judiciary who have cited the Monitor.

I am honored to be a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the School of Transnational Law of Peking University (in Shenzhen).  We have outstanding students and I have excellent colleagues.

I am honored to have been invited to speak at quite a few conferences in 2016:

  • one in Xiamen, organized by the Xiamen Maritime Court, sponsored by the Supreme People’s Court and Fujian Higher People’s Court, with support from the British Consulate General Guangzhou. It was not only international (with the London Maritime Arbitration Association) but included judges, in-house counsel, lawyers and academics.
  • several conferences sponsored by the University of Hong Kong; one by the City University of Hong Kong; and one by the Chinese University of Hong Kong;
  • University of Southern California’s US-China Institute’s China Card Institute (I recommend host Clay Dube’s presentation and Robert Schrum’s presentation in particular, available on the USC website and Youtube, both looking at the demonization of China and Chinese people in the US;

I was very happy to a be a guest lecturer in classes at:

  • University of Hong Kong;
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong;
  • NYU Shanghai;
  • Shanghai Jiaotong University and
  • Fordham Law School.

Also it was a special honor to engage in dialogue with Professor Jerome Cohen at NYU Law School’s US-Asia Law Institute.

Finally, a particular thank you to certain members of the Chinese legal community:

  • administrators of the Wechat public accounts that have published my articles;
  • those who have translated those articles into Chinese;
  • those Chinese judges and lawyers who shared their insights with my classes and with me; and
  • those judges who arranged for me to visit their courts.

Please use the comment function if you have special requests concerning content.

Chinese law “elephant”

 

story25i1Thank you very much to all of my followers for following me.  I plan to tweak the type of content that I am providing, providing fewer long analytical blogposts, because I want to concentrate on writing a book on Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in the era of reform, in the style of this blog and in my free time work on income-generating projects.

The blog will continue to highlight SPC developments (& cases), but more briefly (with the exception of several articles still in draft). As before, I will speak at conferences and appear on panels, or as a guest speaker in classes touching on the Chinese court system.

It is my hope that some followers with the financial wherewithal to do so will consider supporting (in some fashion) the blogs that are enabling the English speaking and reading public to perceive (through translation or bite-sized analysis) the “elephant” that is the Chinese legal system.

Through my “brother” blog Chinalawtranslate.com, the non-Chinese reading world is able to access translations of many of the most important legal documents issued by the Chinese government (and Communist Party) institutions, with some analytical blogposts and charts or other graphics. Many of those translations are of documents that are not translated by the commercial translation services. The translations are accessed and cited by a broad range of government and academic institutions (worldwide) as well as the media, NGOs, students, and individuals.

My own blog, contrary to what a Times of India article recently wrote, is not a “state-owned publication linked to the Supreme People’s Court.”  For that, the Times of India should be looking to the Supreme People’s Court’s (SPC’s) own English language site. The link between the SPC and this blog is only in the form of careful observation on my side and recognition of the existence of a focused foreign observer on the other.  I have also been shown personal kindness by a certain number of SPC judges (as well as some of their counterparts in the lower courts). An earlier blogpost gives further background on why I am publishing this.

As before, I will be available for consultation on law/court reform topics, as well as areas in which big data (and the profile) of litigation in the Chinese courts sheds light on the Chinese economy, society, etc. Chinese law firms who recognize that their English language publications need an overhaul should also contact me.

Anyone with comments or questions should feel free to contact me at: supremepeoplescourtmonitor@gmail.com.

 

 

Do you need the Supreme People’s Court Monitor?

imgres-4The Supreme People’s Court Monitor is a free resource that many institutions and individuals use, from many parts of the world.  Part-time teaching and full-time scholarship does not go even come close to paying for the tuition for one, let alone two undergraduate students.  If you value the Supreme People’s Court Monitor, please consider the following:

  • making funding available for the Monitor from your foundation or other institution;
  • donating to the School of Transnational Law of Peking University and designating the funding for the Supreme People’s Court Monitor;
  • hiring Susan Finder (the Supreme People’s Court Monitor) for consulting and drafting of research reports related to Chinese law and legal policy, and to the Chinese court system; and
  • engaging Susan for teaching, professional training, writing and editing related to the Chinese legal system.

She is well placed to provide focused analysis of Chinese legislation on the horizon, and spot regulatory trends as well  as trends in Chinese court policy and litigation that neither law firms nor risk consultancies can provide to organizations, chambers of commerce, corporations, trade associations, universities, and national or international institutions. For the Chinese legal community, she can provide skills training and training in certain areas of U.S. substantive law.

Please contact Susan at supremepeoplescourtmonitor.com with proposed projects or for further information (e.g. a copy of her cv/resume).

 

 

Monitor’s 2014 Year-end Report

imagesIn 2014, the Supreme People’s Court Monitor had almost 17,000 page views, from 122 countries (regions), primarily from:

  • United States;
  • Hong Kong;
  • Mainland China.

with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia trailing closely. Visitors came from almost all of China’s neighbors, including:

Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

Like my sister blog, China IPR, my followers include academics, journalists, government officials and attorneys (both in private practice and with NGOs).  I am honored to have my blog listed as a  Chinese law resource by Harvard and Yale Law Schools, Oxford Bodleian Library as well as many other universities.

Making China Law Bloglists Around the World

Thank you to Dan Harris, of the China Law Blog, and Mark Cohen, of the China IPR blog for pointing out that Carli Spina of the Harvard Law School library has listed the Supreme People’s Court Monitor among its recommended China law resources.

I am honored that the following institutions have listed my blog among their resources:

  • Congressional Executive Commission on China
  • US-Asia Law Institute (New York University)
  • Harvard Law School Law Library
  • Tulane University Law School Law Library
  • Oxford University’s Bodleian Library
  • University of Glasgow Chinese Studies
  • University of Leiden Chinese Studies
  • University of Sydney Law Library.

谢谢!