Visiting Scholar Workshop Series

Our visiting scholars include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal journalists, and legislators, as well as outstanding academics. Members of the NYU Law community are introduced to their work through the Institute’s Visiting Scholar Workshop Series, comprised of individual presentations that take place on a bi-monthly basis. 


Lu Jun

On February 10,  USALI kicked off the Visiting Scholar Workshop Series for 2016 with Lu Jun.

1. Current Gender Equality Litigation in China: New Progress and New Challenge
Lu Jun, Co-founder and Board Member of Beijing Yirenping Center
This presentation will discuss the changing landscape of LGBT rights in the recent years. See the summary here

Mr. Jun Lu is Co-founder and Board Member of Beijing Yirenping Center, an anti-discrimination non-profit organization in China. Since 2003, Mr. Lu has focused primarily on anti-discrimination law and other human rights law issues in the fields of public health, food and drug safety, disability and gender. Mr. Lu has organized legal aid fordozens of high-impact lawsuitsagainst many kinds of discrimination. Cases have included lawsuits alleging hiring/employment discrimination on the basis HIV/AIDS status, gender, physical appearance, genetic screening and hukou (city/town of household registration), as well as lawsuits against disability discrimination in public servant recruitment. Mr. Lu has assisted the National People’s Congress (NPC) deputies and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) membersto draft proposals and suggestions about discrimination legislation. Mr. Lu was named “Top 10 People of the Year 2005” by Southern Weekend and was awarded the International Padre Pino Puglisi Award (for promotion of human dignity) in Italy in 2009.


Takashi Ito and Zhou Dan

On Wednesday, April 15, USALI held its sixth installment of this year’s Visiting Scholar Workshop Series.

1. Unsolved Problems in “Product Liability” in Japan
Takashi Ito, Lawyer, Member of Japanese Federation of Bar Associations
In this presentation, Mr. Ito will explore the question, “How do we prove a defect?”

Mr. Takashi has been a practicing lawyer in Japan since 2005, as a member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. He began his career at public law firm, founded in an area with little access to lawyers. In this role, he dedicated himself to improving access to lawyers, and also gained extensive experience in civil and criminal law. More specifically, Mr. Ito has substantial practice experience with product liability cases. He has been a member of the Tokyo Product Liability Lawyers Association and has been involved in many important cases related to product liability, such as the following: a pacifier that caused misaligned teeth (2006-2008); a gas water heater that caused carbon dioxide poisoning (2006-2012); a fan heater that caused overheating (2010-2012); an exhaust pipe that caused gas explosions (2010-2012); and an automobile engine that experienced sudden stoppages (2012-present). In addition to his litigation activities, he has been a member of the Product Liability Ombudsman in Japan since 2013, monitoring consumer product safety. His latest research project, entitled “Japanese legal situation surrounding product liability law since its enactment in 1994,” was reported to the Product Liability Ombudsman conference in July of 2014. Mr. Takashi received his law degree from Tokyo University in Tokyo.

2. Lesbian and Gay Rights in China (2000-2015): From Passive Liberty to Active Liberty
Zhou Dan, Lawyer and LGBT Rights Advocate

                                           Zhou Dan, LGBT Activist Photo courtesy of SCMP

                                           Zhou Dan, LGBT Activist Photo courtesy of SCMP

This presentation will give an overview of developments in the law related to sexual orientation, and activists’ endeavors in enforcing rights “on the books” and demanding recognition of unacknowledged rights in China over the past fifteen years.

Born in January 1974, Mr. Dan ZHOU is a practising lawyer based in Shanghai, China. As one of the few Chinese LGBT people who have ever come out to the local, national and international media, he is a pioneering advocate for full and equal recognition of LGBT people’s rights in China. He has been working towards these goals through consulting services, public education, and public policy and legal advocacy in China over the past decade. In addition, he published, in 2009, Pleasure and Discipline: Jurisprudential Imagination of Same-sex Desire in the Chinese Modernity, the ground-breaking monograph in the Chinese language on the dynamics of same-sex desire, law and modernity in China.  Meanwhile, he speaks on LGBT rights issues at workshops, seminars and symposia in China, the United States, Germany, and other countries.

Mr. Zhou was profiled in the June 27, 2005 issue of TIME Magazine, in the September 7, 2005 issue of Southern People Weekly (Nan Fang Ren Wu Zhou Kan), in the September 30 issue of China Daily, and in the October 20, 2013 issue of South China Morning Post. In 2006, Equality Forum named Mr. Zhou the recipient of the “11th Annual International Role Model Award.” Equality Forum is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance national and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights through education.

Wang Liwan and Yongfang Liu

On Friday, March 27, USALI held its fifth installment of this year’s Visiting Scholar Workshop Series.

1. Parliamentary Diplomacy in the Chinese Constitution and Foreign Policy
WANG Liwan, Ph. D. candidate, Renmin University

The distribution of diplomatic power in China has adopted a dual-structural diplomatic power system, which means both the written constitution and invisible political rules control and influence the whole diplomatic process together. Under the diplomatic power division system, China’s parliamentary diplomacy is generally considered an important part of its overall diplomatic policy. In this developing and maturing process of parliamentary diplomacy, the NPC is gradually breaking away from the stereotype of “rubber stamp” and partially restoring its constitutional authority.

Wang Liwan is a Ph. D. candidate at Renmin University of China (RUC), as well as a research assistant at the Constitutionalism Research Institute (CRI) of China University of Political Science and Law. His research interests include basic human rights protection, Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR, and constitutional interpretation. Mr. Wang has published several academic papers pertaining to these issues in Nankai Law ReviewRenmin University Law Review, and Western Law Review. Mr. Wang has received numerous academic honors, including excellent visiting scholar of China Law Society and Youth Award of China Development Research.

2. Women’s Participation in a Legislative Capacity in China: Efforts to Empower Domestic Workers
LIU Yongfang, Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern Polytechnical University

For more information about Domestic Workers, please follow this link.

Liu yongfang, associate professor of law

Liu yongfang, associate professor of law

LIU Yongfang is an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an, China. In 2000, she joined the Center for Women’s Development and Rights (CWDR) of NPU. CWDR is a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization that focuses on research relating to the rights of female workers. As a member of CWDR, Professor Liu researches gender and labor rights. Her current research centers on gender equality in employment, women’s participation in legislation, and legal professional ethics education.



Kai-Feng Chi and Chang-Shu Chang 

On Friday, March 13, USALI held its fourth installment of this year’s Visiting Scholar Workshop Series. The event featured presentations from Taipei District Court judge Kai-Feng Chi and Senior Presecutor of the Keelung District Prosecutors Office Chang-Shu Chang.   Their presentation descriptions are detailed below.

1. Taiwan’s Experimental Lay Participation System and Its Potential Challenges to the Contemporary Judicial System
Kai-Feng Chi, Judge, Taipei District Court

In this presentation, Judge Chi will discuss the emergence of the lay participation project proposed by the Judicial Yuan, its basic content and structure, and challenges it may bring to judges, prosecutors, attorneys and lay jurors.

Please follow this link for background information on this topic:
Kai-Feng Chi has served as a judge in Taiwan since 2002. During the more than ten years of his tenure, he has accumulated abundant civil and criminal trial experience from dealing with a wide variety of cases. His outstanding performance and contribution as a trial judge was recognized and honored by the Judicial Yuan (司法院) in 2007, 2009 and 2012 respectively. In 2012, Judge Chi was appointed to the specialized tribunal of serious financial crimes in the Taipei district court, where he mainly supervised serious white-collar crime cases, including securities fraud and manipulation, insider trading, violation of financial laws, serious corruption and money-laundering. Judge Chi received his LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School in 2010. He also obtained LL.B and LL.M. degrees from National Taiwan University in 1997 and 2002, respectively. Judge Chi’s recent research interests are criminal procedure and evidence.

Roger Chang-shu Chang, Senior Prosecutor

Roger Chang-shu Chang, Senior Prosecutor

2. Cross Strait Agreement on Combating Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance: A Taiwanese Prosecutor’s Perspective
Roger Chang-Shu Chang, Senior Prosecutor, Keelung District Prosecutors Office (Taiwan)

This presentation will focus on how the Taiwanese court evaluates the admissibility of evidence produced through the Cross Strait Agreement on Combating Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance.

Roger Chang-Shu Chang (張長樹) is a senior prosecutor at Keelung District Prosecutors Office in Taiwan. In his public service of nearly two decades, he has handled a wide variety of cases, ranging from intellectual property, corruption, and organized crimes to human trafficking, sexual assault, and other violent crimes. He currently serves as a member of the trial team in the Office. Mr. Chang received his doctor degree in law from National Cheng Chi University in 2000 and in 2004 was appointed as an adjunct assistant professor by the Faculty of Law, National Chung Hsing University to teach trial practices to undergraduates. In 2005, under the mutual sponsorship of the French and Taiwanese governments, he conducted research in two French courts and the Interpol on the topic of human trafficking.

Lu Jun and Han Xu 

On Friday, March 6, USALI held its third installment of this year’s Visiting Scholar Workshop Series. The event featured research and experience of disability rights activist and founder of the Beijing Yirenping Center LU Jun, his colleague XIE Bin, and PhD student HAN Xu:

1. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Chinese law on the disabled’s rights: A comparative study and Yirenping’s advocacy

LU Jun, co-founder and board member of the Beijing Yirenping Center and current NYU visiting scholar at the US-Asia Law Institute

XIE Bin, Yirenping disabled rights program coordinator and current Columbia visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Xu Han, Ph.D Candidate

Xu Han, Ph.D Candidate

2. Chinese Efforts to Combat Employment Discrimination Against the Disabled
Xu HAN, Ph.D Candidate, Shandong University Law School and current NYU visiting scholar at the US-Asia Law Institute

In this presentation, Ms. Han will discuss the recent development of legislation and practical efforts including NGO work, to integrate persons with disabilities into society in China.

Ms. Xu Han is a Ph.D Candidate at the Shandong University (SDU) Law School. Her research focuses on constitutional law, administrative law, human rights law and employment discrimination law. During her postgraduate study, she has traveled to France, Italy, Taiwan and Hong Kong to study as an exchange student and attend several international human rights law symposiums. In 2013, Ms. Han was granted a Fulbright scholarship through the Ph.D Dissertation Grant Program (2014-2015). At USALI, she conducts research on employment discrimination law from a comparative perspective.

Visiting Scholars Linda Gao and Jiang Yue Present at USALI

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015 the US-Asia Law Institute held its second installment of this year’s visiting scholar workshop series. Professors Linda Gao and Jiang Yue presented their original research:

1. Trust Law with Chinese Characteristics
Linda Gao, Associate Professor of Law, Fudan University School of Law

In this presentation, Professor Gao will discuss her current and past research on trust law in China.

Linda Gao is Associate Professor of Law, Fudan University School of Law in Shanghai, China. She is also a member of American Bar Association (admitted in Oregon and New York State) and China Law Society (Shanghai Chapter). Her research and publication areas include comparative civil and commercial law and trust law. Her current research focuses on how to regulate and develop commercial trusts and how to promote private trusts in China. Professor Gao joins the U.S.-Asia Law Institute as a 2014-2015 United Board Fellow.

2. A Comparative Analysis of Sex-Based Anti-Discrimination Law in Employment between U.S. and China
JIANG Yue, Professor of Law, Xiamen University School of Law

In this presentation, Professor Jiang will discuss the U.S. and China’s basic statutes on sex-based anti-discrimination in employment, how gender equality is framed in both countries, and the actual and potential effects of enforcing sex-based anti-discrimination laws.

Jiang Yue is a professor of law at the School of Law of Xiamen University in China, which she joined after working as a teaching assistant at East China University of Politics and Law from 1987 to 1990. Professor Jiang received her L.L.M from Southwest University of Politics and Law. She serves as vice president of the Family Law Study Association of China, and executive director of the Social Law Study Association of China. Her academic interests are family law, labor law, security law, and gender & law. Professor Jiang is the author of numerous articles and books in family law and employment labor law. Her most recent research focuses on the effects of the implementation of labor law and security law, particularly with regard to children’s rights, women’s rights, and employees’ rights in China.

Alvin Y.H. Cheung and Allen Clayton-Greene

On Friday, January 30, USALI held its first installment of its annual Visiting Scholar Workshop Series. Visiting Scholars Allen Clayton-Greene and Alvin Y.H. Cheung presented their original research.

Mr. Clayton-Greene’s presentation, entitled “Chinese Constitutionalism – An Overview of the Debate and Its Consequences,” outlined several of the arguments made by Chinese legal scholars in the last year on the role of the PRC Constitution in Chinese society. He also discussed the consequences that most recent debate has for Chinese constitutionalism.

Mr. Cheung’s presentation, entitled “Rule of Law and the Umbrella Movement:Recent Developments,” considered the competing conceptions of the rule of law advanced in the wake of the Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests of 2014. It also outlined some recent-and unsettling-developments in the ongoing crackdown on protest and dissent in the wake of the Umbrella Movement.

                                                                                                                                Alvin Y.H. Cheung,  Andrew Duncan, and USALI Executive Director Ira Belkin

                                                                                                                                Alvin Y.H. Cheung,  Andrew Duncan, and USALI Executive Director Ira Belkin


CUPL Professor Xia Feng: Cross-strait Arbitration in the 21st Century 

On Friday, April 4, 2014 as part of USALI’s ongoing Visiting Scholar Workshop Series, Professor Xia Feng of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) (full bio below) summarized arbitration development trends between mainland China and Taiwan, the differences in trends between China and the world, and the future of the arbitration system.

Professor Feng’s presentation is available for download here.

Professor Xia Feng is a Professor of Private International Law at the School of International Law and a Deputy Director at the Research Center for Taiwan Law at China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). She also serves as an executive member of the Private International Law Research Academy of China, a member of the Cross-Straits Relations Law Research Institute of China Law Society, and an advisor at the Center For Asian Studies at the National Taipei University in Taiwan.

Suing Japan Over U.S. Noise Pollution in Okinawa
Akifumi Matsuzaki

Although it has been more than sixty years since the Battle of Okinawa, one of World War II’s  last and largest battles, more than one million Okinawans living on the small island still feel the effects of the war.  Regardless of the time of day, military jets and helicopters take off from Kadena Air Base and Futenma Air Base – U.S. Air Force bases that occupy vast land in the midst of a residential area – causing enormous noise pollution on the island. For the past thirty years, attempts at injunction have been repeatedly dismissed by Japan’s courts. Yet the residents continue to confront the Japanese government, with the hope that they will someday live in a quiet and peaceful environment.

On Friday, January 31, USALI Visiting Scholar and practicing lawyer Mr. Akifumi Matsuzaki (full bio below) kicked off USALI’s Spring 2014 Visiting Scholar Workshop Series with a presentation on noise pollution lawsuits brought against the Japanese government, focusing on the island’s post-WWII history and approaches plaintiffs have taken to seek compensation and injunctive relief.

For a short documentary on noise pollution in Okinawa, please follow this link.

Mr. Akifumi Matsuzaki comes to the U.S.-Asia Law Institute with eight years of experience as a practicing lawyer. A member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations since 2005, he has been involved mainly in lawsuits taking place on military bases and has represented numerous local residents in lawsuits against the Government of Japan. The following are examples of Mr. Matsuzaki’s recent and ongoing cases:

  • Residents around Futenma Air Base in Okinawa vs. State (2005-present): Mr. Matsuzaki represents residents around Futenma Air Base in Okinawa who are suffering from enormous noise pollution emitted by military aircrafts.
  • Residents around Kadena Air Base in Okinawa (the largest U.S. air base in East Asia) vs. State (2011-present): Mr. Matsuzaki represents 22,000 residents around Kadena Air Base in Okinawa who are suffering from enormous noise pollution emitted by military aircrafts.
  • Residents of Takae Village vs. State (2009-present): Represent 15 residents of Takae Village after the Government of Japan sued them for protesting against the construction of Helipads in the training area.

Mr. Matsuzaki received his LL.B from Chuo University in Tokyo and is a graduate of the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan.