Katherine Wilhelm: USALI's New Executive Director

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New York, August 1, 2019:

USALI Faculty Director Jerome Cohen has announced that Katherine Wilhelm will join the Law School as executive director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute (USALI) from August 1. Wilhelm has spent most of the last three decades working in China, most recently as legal program officer for the Ford Foundation’s Beijing office. She will be responsible for programming, fundraising and day-to-day operations of USALI. The institute, which is led by faculty director Professor Jerome Cohen in cooperation with its newly-established Advisory Committee consisting of Professors Jose Alvarez, Roderick Hills and Frank Upham, conducts research, engages in exchanges, offers lectures on Asian law, and hosts in-depth dialogues among Asian and American legal experts on topics of shared interest.

Ira Belkin, who has been executive director since 2012, will stay on with USALI as a Senior Research Scholar, contributing to its project work and publications. He also will remain an adjunct professor at the Law School.

Ms. Wilhelm is an expert on China’s legal system, public interest law organizations, and civil society. At the Ford Foundation’s China office, she made grants to support Chinese institutions engaged in legal advocacy, services, research, and education. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2012, Wilhelm directed the Beijing office of Yale Law School’s China Law Center, where she worked with government, academic, and civil society partners to implement law reform projects. She also practiced law in the Beijing office of a leading U.S. law firm. Before beginning her career in law, she was a journalist, reporting for The Associated Press from Beijing, Hanoi, and Hong Kong, and for the Far Eastern Economic Review from Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her work has been published in leading newspapers around the world. She holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Niagara University.

Implications of the Hong Kong Extradition Bill with Affiliated Scholar Alvin Cheung

Hong Kong has been in the news over the controversy and protests surrounding the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. Our very own Alvin Cheung has been analyzing the situation across a number of platforms. Check out the links below to help bring you up to speed on the situation in Hong Kong, protests, and the implications of the bill itself:


LAWFARE PODCAST

Description:
Early this week, about 200 protestors broke into and occupied the seat of Hong Kong's legislative assembly. The protests began with a controversial law about extradition to mainland China. That law was withdrawn, but the protestors remain. There are hundreds of thousands of them—a small number of them violent.  Today we ask: WTF, Hong Kong? To answer that question, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alvin Cheung, an expert on Hong Kong's legal system based at New York University, and Sophia Yan, the China correspondent for The Telegraph in London who has been covering the Hong Kong protests (Lawfare Podcast listeners also know her for her musical prowess). They talked about where Hong Kong is now, what's really behind the demonstrations, where the anger is coming from, and where it's all going.

Link to Podcast: https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-wtf-hong-kong

CHINAFILE

Description:
O
n June 16, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Hong Kong government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. This followed two massive demonstrations against the bill earlier in the month, including one where police used pepper spray and tear gas against protesters. The controversial bill would allow Hong Kong to extraditeto the mainland those accused of crimes under the People’s Republic of China’s Communist Party-led legal system. While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the bill, she has refused to withdraw it. What do the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong? And what do they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland?

Link to entire conversation: http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/hong-kong-protest



CNN OPINION (author Alvin Cheung)

Excerpt:
On June 9, 2019, organizers say that more than 1 million protesters in Hong Kong -- which would be nearly one in seven people in the city -- voiced their opposition to an extradition bill that would allow fugitives to be transferred to mainland China. Speaking to the Hong Kong Free Press, demonstrator and retired civil servant HK Lau said that the passage of the bill would mean the end of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle under which the city had been governed since the resumption of Chinese rule in 1997.

But speaking after the demonstration, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged to continue with the bill, asserting that it would improve the legal system. However, describing a bill that would permit renditions to China -- a country whose leader, Xi Jinping, has categorically rejected judicial independence -- as strengthening the rule of law is not merely cynical doublespeak. Rather, Lam's statement reflects her government's strategy of abusing the city's judiciary to do its dirty work.

Link to full CNN article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/opinions/hong-kong-protests-government-abuse-judiciary-cheung/index.html

THE INTERPRETER
Author: Alvin Cheung

Excerpt:
On Saturday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend consideration of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”). The Bill would have, among other things, allowed mainland Chinese authorities to make extradition requests against anyone who set foot in Hong Kong, and as a result, had drawn expressions of concern from the legal profession, numerous chambers of commerce, and foreign governments. It also prompted large-scale protests within the territory (Umbrella Movement 2.0 exposes flaws in “one country, two systems”), and on 12 June police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and engaged in violence against journalists.

Following Lam’s announcement on 15 June, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was quick to congratulate the Hong Kong government for a job “well done”. Hunt’s congratulatory message was premature and ill-advised. The Hong Kong government’s conduct throughout the abortive legislative process shows that – even without the Bill – the widespread concern about the continued viability of Hong Kong’s business environment remain valid.

Link to full article: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/deeper-malaise-hong-kongs-civil-service

China Law & Policy Podcast: Frank Upham - Our Man in Wuhan

On May 29, 2019 Elizabeth Lynch interviewed NYU Law Professor Frank Upham in observance of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. The interview details how in 1989 Professor Upham was a researcher at Wuhan University faculty of law and as a result witnessed the pro-democracy protests that were also occurring in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province. Listen / Read Transcript of the Podcast here.

USALI Welcomes Summer 2019 Interns

This week USALI is delighted to welcome our interns for the summer! This internship provides an excellent opportunity for practical and hands-on legal research experience, close mentorship and career advice, the opportunity to development independent research with guidance from USALI staff, and a connection with a community of legal scholars, academics, and professionals committed to understanding the Rule of Law in Asia.

Workshop in China: International Approaches to Sexual Harassment Law

From June 1 – 2, 2019 the U.S.-Asia Law Institute held “International Approaches to Sexual Harassment Law” in partnership with Sichuan University Law School, Chengdu, China. The workshop was structured to explore comparative means of addressing anti-discrimination cases, litigation, mechanisms and standards throughout the world for the purpose of strengthening understanding of international approaches. 

NPR: Professor Jerome Cohen Featured in Discussion about US/China Visas

Academic exchanges between the U.S. and China have blossomed in frequency and scope since relations were normalized in 1978. Now, as relations sour, Chinese scholars and students face suspicions of espionage and spreading propaganda. The U.S. scrutiny is especially intense for Chinese scholars affiliated with state-linked think tanks and research institutions…

Book Launch in China: Pre-trial Detention & Police Interrogation

Book Launch in China: Pre-trial Detention & Police Interrogation

On May 29, 2018, the U.S.-Asia Law Institute (USALI) of NYU School of Law held a book launch for the release of their two newest publications, Questioning Police Interrogation Methods: A Comparative Study and The Evolution of Pretrial Detention Law: A Comparative Study.  These two books are products of multi-year projects undertaken by USALI, featuring a variety of articles written by leading legal scholars, social scientists and law practitioners from the U.S., the UK and P.R. China about the important and evolving fields of pretrial detention and police interrogation methods.

Webcast recap: “Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law — Lessons for Today"

By Jerome A. Cohen

I gave a talk entitled “Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law — Lessons for Today" at the Woodrow Wilson Center today in Washington, DC.  It was in memory of the late distinguished historian of Sino-American relations Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and reviewed the case of my Yale college classmate Jack Downey, a CIA agent whose plane was shot down in China November 29, 1952.  

The Taiwan Relations Act: Charting a Stable Course for the U.S. & Asia

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) is a model of legal ingenuity spurred by political necessity. Jimmy Carter inherited Richard Nixon’s challenge, which was to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Nixon took the first step in February 1972 with his famous trip to Beijing, where he, Henry Kissinger, and China’s leaders concluded the Shanghai Communiqué. The Communiqué gave ambiguous assurance to China about Taiwan.

April 1, 2019: Wrongful Convictions Observer

We were delighted to see this article by USALI long-term partner Judge Jed Rakoff in this week's New York Review of Books, regarding the problem of inaccurate eyewitness identifications and also responding thoughtfully to how this problem might be addressed in an age where the majority of criminal matters are disposed of by plea bargain.

Wrongful Convictions Observer

There have been several important legal developments in Australia and New Zealand over the past two weeks relating to the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations. The first takes place in Australia's second largest state - Victoria. The second development is that the New Zealand Law Commission (a government funded law reform body) will soon close its public submissions period for its study The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations.

Affiliated Scholar Aaron Halegua's Ongoing Legal Work in Saipan

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) — Seven Chinese men allege in a lawsuit that they were victims of a forced labor scheme while constructing a Saipan casino.

The casino and its contractors violated U.S. trafficking laws by exploiting the workers, the lawsuit said. Saipan is part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Diplomat: "Is Nissan a Japanese Company?"

At this stage the basic facts surrounding the case against former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn remain unclear. It is too early to decide between the two diametrically opposed narratives that have been offered to date: (1) Ghosn is a greedy autocrat who violated laws and company rules to enrich himself at the expense of the company and its stakeholders or (2) Nissan management, aided by inadequate protections for the accused under Japanese law and by the Japanese government, undertook a coup d’etat to rid Nissan of Renault’s control. We may ultimately discover that this case contains elements of both narratives.

Wrongful Convictions Observer

Two great pieces on junk science litigation and investigations this week:

The first, from the ABA Journal, tracks a lawsuit by the Innocence Project against the National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Department of Defense seeking disclosure of the records of the American Board of Forensic Odontologists (ABFO) (aka "the bite mark experts"), more here: 

Gelatt Dialogue 2018 Video Highlights

In November 2018, the U.S.-Asia Law Institute hosted our 24th Annual Timothy A. Gelatt Memorial Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia. The theme to the forum was “East Asia, America & International Law'“ with noted speakers from Asia and the United States to discuss human rights, intergovernmental and territorial disputes, and international tribunals.

Financial Times: China’s globetrotting labourers face dangers and debt

Affiliated Scholar Aaron Halegua quoted and referenced in recent Financial Times article. Desperate for cash because he had not been paid for two months and fearing he could be deported because he lacked official papers, Jiang Wei and two colleagues turned up at the Chinese consulate in the Zambian capital of Lusaka in search of help.

Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) 2018 Annual Report

(October 10, 2018) U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chair and Cochair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), issued the Commission’s 2018 Annual Report and announced several new joint initiatives to protect U.S. citizens and residents from intimidation and address possible crimes against humanity occurring in China.