2014

Eva Pils publishes new book, "China’s Human Rights Lawyers: Advocacy and Resistance (Routledge Research in Human Rights Law)"

This book offers a unique insight into the role of human rights lawyers in Chinese law and politics. In her extensive account, Eva Pils shows how these practitioners are important as legal advocates for victims of injustice and how bureaucratic systems of control operate to subdue and marginalise them. 

Alvin Y.H. Cheung. The Battle for the Soul of Hong Kong. The Diplomat

Beijing’s hardline stance has set the stage for a dramatic showdown with Hong Kong’s democrats. After months of mobilization and counter-mobilization by democrats and anti-democrats, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) has finally spoken on Hong Kong’s chief executive electoral arrangements for 2017. 

Eva Pils. China's Human Rights Lawyers: Advocacy and Resistance. Routledge Research in Human Rights Law

This book offers a unique insight into the role of human rights lawyers in Chinese law and politics. In her extensive account, Eva Pils shows how these practitioners are important as legal advocates for victims of injustice and how bureaucratic systems of control operate to subdue and marginalise them. 

Jerome A. Cohen. Settling International Business Disputes with China: Then and Now. Cornell International Law Journal

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has come a long way with respect to settling international business disputes. At the time of my first Chinese business discussions at the Canton Trade Fair in May 1973, the PRC was still using only Soviet-style foreign trade companies to conduct trade with the socialist world and other foreign entities.

Jerome A. Cohen. Zhou Yongkang case shows China’s rule of law still good only in theory. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

For decades, China’s communist leaders have admonished their cadres to “combine theory and practice”. This is sound advice for any society. Yet, it is easier said than done. This perennial challenge now confronts the party’s Central Committee as it prepares to convene the highly anticipated fourth plenary session in October.

Margaret K. Lewis and Jerome A. Cohen. How Taiwan’s Constitutional Court Reined in Police Power: Lessons for the People’s Republic of China. Fordham International Law Journal

For over six decades, police in Taiwan could lock up people they deemed “hooligans” (liumang) for years with at most a cursory review by the courts. It was not until Taiwan’s Constitutional Court (the “Court”)—also known as the Grand Justices of the Judicial Yuan—stepped in that important change began to occur, culminating in the ultimate repeal of the law that authorized the police-dominated process. As a result, in 2009, all of Taiwan’s imprisoned liumang who did not have concurrent criminal sentences were released.

Barry J. Weiner. USALI's Work to Push Bail Reform in China. JNET

Recently I hosted a group of high-level Chinese officials whom I helped train several months ago while in Chengdu and Xian, China. These officials wanted to better understand the way we make pretrial bail and detention decisions and how the courts and prosecutors’ offices are structured, including how staff make budget and personnel decisions and how individual judges, prosecutors, and police are held accountable for their actions.

Jerome A. Cohen. Xu Zhiyong’s trial makes a mockery of Beijing’s pledge to enforce rule of law. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Whenever asked about China’s latest criminal prosecution of a human rights advocate, the foreign ministry says it is being handled “in accordance with law”. This sounds assuring, but what does it mean? Last week’s trial of Xu Zhiyong , which the ministry termed “a common criminal case”, provides an occasion for inquiry.

Jerome A. Cohen. Struggling for Justice: China’s Courts and the Challenge of Reform. World Politics Review.

China’s new leaders are striving to consolidate their country’s return to prominence on the world stage. They confront Promethean challenges: restructuring a dynamic economy; responding to the demands of an increasingly prosperous and sophisticated society; controlling horrendous environmental pollution; liberating the cultural, civic, academic and intellectual potential of their talented people; reducing the endemic corruption that is undermining their success; adapting the Communist political system to promote these prodigious changes while balancing the needs of public order and human rights; and improving cooperation with other countries by enhancing foreign respect for China’s accomplishments.