December 08, 2008
The Shanghai People's Courts -- Competence, Autonomy and Independence
Tuesday, March 10
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University
Assistant Professor of Law, Michigan Law School
In late 2005, China's Company Law was almost completely re-written, most importantly to provide for a host of new claims which could be brought by private litigants before the Chinese People's Courts. This new "justiability" of China's corporate law presents a very significant challenge to China's developing legal institutions, and their demonstrated technical competence, institutional autonomy and political independence. In the Fall of 2008, Professor Howson analyzed hundreds of corporate law opinions rendered by the Shanghai People's Court system between 1994 and 2008 and interviewed Shanghai judges, judicial officials and academics on the same topic. In this Noon Lecture, he will report his preliminary findings, and explore a contemporary expression of what one historian has called the "paradox of modernity" arising from a prior effort at judicial reform in early 20th century China."
Nicholas C. Howson earned his J.D. from the Columbia Law School in 1988 after graduating from Williams College in 1983 and spending 1983-5 as a graduate fellow at Shanghai's Fudan University. After law school, he was awarded a fellowship to complete research in Qing Dynasty penal law when he was resident at Beijing University for the Fall of 1988. In 1988, Howson joined the New York-based international law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where he was elected a partner of the firm, practicing in New York, London, Paris and Beijing. Between 1983 and 2003 he lived for more than a decade in Beijing and Shanghai. Howson writes and lectures widely on Chinese law topics, focusing on Chinese corporate and securities law developments, and has acted as a consultant to the Ford Foundation, the UNDP and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and various Chinese government ministries and administrative departments. He serves often as an expert witness on Chinese law matters in U.S. and international litigations. He is a past chair of the Asian Affairs Committee of the New York Bar Association, on the Board of Advisors for the Columbia Law School, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School in 2005 after teaching at the Columbia, Harvard and Cornell Law Schools.
Posted by batesbe at December 8, 2008 10:43 AM