The newly established Oxford Chinese Law Discussion Group provides a forum for scholars, practitioners, and other interested participants to critically examine topical issues and developments in Chinese law and explore the intersections between Chinese law, international law, common law, and civil law, theory, and practice. The Discussion Group is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Law and Oxford China Centre, convened by Dr Mimi Zou.

On 29 May, the launch and inaugural meeting of the Discussion Group was held in the Dickson Poon Building at St Hugh’s College, with over 50 participants from academic, practitioner, and policy backgrounds. Professor Anne Davies welcomed the initiative, highlighting its importance for the Faculty’s increasing engagement with China as well as the growing community of scholars in Oxford with an interest in Chinese law. 

Professor Rana Mitter, Director of the China Centre, reflected on the significance of research on Chinese law in the study of modern China: 

Changing concepts of law are one of the most exciting areas of research when it comes to contemporary China and through this initiative, Dr Mimi Zou is pioneering a powerful new agenda for scholarship with profoundly important real-world implications.

The Discussion Group was delighted to welcome its inaugural speaker, Professor Jacques deLisle from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor deLisle is a distinguished scholar whose research focuses on China’s engagement with the international legal and political orders, domestic legal reform and rule-of-law issues in China, and U.S.-China relations. His insightful talk, titled ‘Back to the Future? China’s Rise, Sovereignty, and International Law’, examined the nuances of China’s approach to international law and the Chinese conception of state sovereignty, as well as the ways in which international law can help—and hinder—the management of fraught issues in international affairs involving China.

Dr Zou noted that the Discussion Group aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for scholars at all levels and from diverse disciplines to present new research on topics relating to Chinese law as well as promote knowledge exchange between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in this area. The Discussion Group will be hosting 6-8 meetings in 2018-2019 and welcomes suggestions of/applications from potential speakers.

Find out more about the Chinese Law Discussion Group