Symposium Report

SECOND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SINO-AMERICAN COMPARATIVE LAW

OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

MAY 2, 2013

In early May, 30 professors from eight Chinese universities gathered with 22 Oklahoma City University School of Law professors in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to exchange summaries of their recent and on-going scholarship.

Four of the Chinese universities’ delegations were led by their deans: DU Gangjian from Hunan University School of Law, XIA Yong of Zhongnan University of Law and Economics School of Criminal Justice, YU Fengzheng of Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai School of Government and Law, and ZUO Haicong of Nankai University School of Law.[1]  Other participating institutions were Civil Aviation University of China School of Law; Renmin University School of Law, Southwest University for Nationalities School of Law, and Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

The participating universities are listed with links to their Websites here.

A link to a listing of all symposium participants can be found by clicking here.

The Symposium was partially underwritten by the Wang Family Foundation, Robert and MeiLi Hefner, and the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association

Observers included practicing Oklahoma attorneys and federal and state judges.  At the May 1 Welcome Banquet, Symposium participants were addressed by Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry, who was formerly Chief Judge of The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; Oklahoma City University School of Law Dean Valerie Couch; and The Hon. Vicki Miles-LaGrange, the current Chief Judge of The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Symposium topics included antitrust law; clean air and climate change regulation; civil aviation regulation; commercial arbitration; company law; criminal justice subjects ranging from the administration of the death penalty to sentencing reform and remedies available for wrongful convictions; eminent domain practices; various aspects of family law, including family planning regulation, evidentiary privileges among relatives, and inter-spousal tort liability; food safety regulation; the Guiding Cases System under development by The Supreme People’s Court in the PRC; intellectual property protection; jurisprudence; legal education; privacy; and urban planning.

For access to the complete Symposium Webpage, including a listing of topics and presenters and a link to scores of photographs, click here.

In addition to the academic exchanges, the Chinese participants were introduced to Oklahoma culture.  They received gifts reflecting Oklahoma’s Native American heritage; toured the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Oklahoma History Center, and the Oklahoma Courts Building; and were treated to performances by internationally acclaimed entertainer and Oklahoma City University graduate Kyle Dillingham and Cirque de la Symponie.

Abstracts and papers from the Symposium can be requested from lhellman@okcu.edu.  

Oklahoma City University School of Law is one of the most ambitious American law schools in building cooperative relationships with Chinese law schools and legal institutions.  Its China-related programs are led by Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Lawrence K. Hellman, who was Symposium Director.

  • Since 2006, Oklahoma City University School of Law has offered American J.D. students an opportunity to study in summers at Nankai University School of Law. This summer program now includes internship opportunities in Chinese law firms.
  • Since 2007, Chinese law students and lawyers have attended a summer Certificate in American Law Program operated by Oklahoma City University School of Law in Oklahoma City.  In addition to its educational value, the Certificate Program provides an excellent introduction to American culture and a foundation for pursuing J.D. and LL.M. degrees at American law schools.
  • Since 2008, Oklahoma City University School of Law has welcomed visiting scholars supported by China Scholarship Council grants from China’s Ministry of Education and other sources.  In 2013, the visiting scholars will include two faculty members from the National Judges College who will study teaching by the case method so as to support the Supreme People’s Court’s development of The Guiding Cases System.
  • In 2014, Oklahoma City University School of Law plans to open an LL.M. in American Law degree program for foreign lawyers, with special attention to lawyers and academics from the PRC.
  • Also in 2014, Oklahoma City University expects to begin offering short-term training programs for Chinese judges.  This will coincide with the law school’s move to its impressive new building in downtown Oklahoma City, where there will be easy access to federal and state courts and government agencies.
  • Several Oklahoma City University School of Law faculty members have taught and lectured in the PRC, and several more have developed expertise in teaching Chinese students and lawyers about American law and the American legal system.

[1] Nankai University School of Law Dean ZUO Haicong, host of a similar symposium in 2011, was unable to attend, but his paper was presented.