From the ABA International China Committee Co-Chair Michael Burke:
I would like to extend an invitation to register for the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) 18th Annual Conference (www.ipba2008.com) on Monday, April 28 in Los Angeles. The Section of International Law is a cooperating entity for the IPBA Annual Conference, and is co-sponsoring an exciting program on Antitrust issues in Asia. Some of you may know that the IPBA's President-Elect is Jerry Libby, a former Chair of the Section of International Law.
The IPBA is comprised of approximately 1500 senior level attorneys from all over the world who share a common focus on Asia-Pacific related business law. The IPBA expects between 800-1000 total delegates for the Annual Conference. The majority of conference delegates are from key Asian trading partner countries that represent influential firms and government agencies within their respective countries.
The Section of International Law is co-sponsoring (with the ABA Section on Antitrust Law) the program "Asia-Pacific Antitrust Law: Redefining the Rules of Engagement" that will be held at 3:15 on Monday, April 28. There will be 38 other panel sessions which feature 225 speakers from over 25 jurisdictions worldwide. To see a full listing of panels, please visit http://www.ipba2008.com/concurrent_sessions.html.
Evening social programs include a gala at the world renowned Getty Center and an "IPBA in Hollywood" gala on the Sony Pictures Studios back lot. For accompanying persons, private functions have been arranged at the Getty Villa, Huntington Museum & Gardens, and Chanel's flagship store on Rodeo Drive. Learn more at www.ipba2008.com.
I encourage you to register for the IPBA Conference. You may do so online at www.ipba2008.com. For more information, please contact the conference organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-478-0170.
Edward Lehman will be speaking on the panel Balancing Interests: Insolvency Reform in the Asia-Pacific Region
on Tuesday, April 29, at 3:45pm. We hope to see you there!
March 26, 2008, 5:35 pm
According to the China Daily, ¡°experts forecast that the Property Law will continue to remain the focus of legislation in 2008.¡± After this, the Labor Contract Law, and the Employment Promotion Law, ¡°discussions about laws related to gender are likely to emerge this year.¡± This seems an apt description of where women¡¯s ¨C particularly migrant women¡¯s ¨C issues sit on the agenda. After all, women already have been given economic equality under the Chinese Constitution. However, the current situation often indicates that they bear a lot more ¨C or a lot less ¨C of the ¡°half the sky¡± to which they are entitled. So what does this new attention mean?
Take a look at a recent proposal by Chen Saijuan, NPC deputy: ¡°Women migrant workers should enjoy better social security rights in regard to childbearing.¡± Of the six social insurances available, migrant women have the lowest rate in childbirth insurance. Because of the traditional belief that childbearing is an individual concern, many firms employing these women do not consider their social security needs. Often, pregnant migrant workers who live in cities must travel all the way back to their hometowns to give birth, because they simply cannot afford doing so in the city. While information about the flight of women, especially of migrant workers, is in no short supply, evidently a clear plan to ameliorate these problems is lacking.
Women who are not migrant workers face other legal disadvantages, too. In rural areas, traditional attitudes and practices prevent women from obtaining equal financial benefits, their share of allocated land, and their share of compensation for land acquisition. Often, this is simply because of marital hierarchies and the preference for male children over females. With these deep-rooted causes in mind, it is no wonder legislation is so difficult to implement.
Retirement age and employment opportunity, however, are among the topics more recently debated by the CPPCC. Possibly more important is the call for more legislation discouraging domestic violence. The number of complaints concerning domestic violence, sometimes involving the death of women and children, has increased significantly in the past two years, and more attention has been given to this arena of women¡¯s rights.
Here are some suggestions put forward to be implemented in the next five-year term, suggested by leading women¡¯s activist and professor Sun Xiaomei:
- Clearly defining crimes of domestic violence and its punishment.
- Providing guidance and assistance to women in areas where they meet difficulty.
- Acknowledging the role of social organizations to aid women.
Others have found different ways of fighting legal barriers. Li Ying, deputy director of Peking University¡¯s Center of Women¡¯s Law and Legal Services, has helped spearhead a movement to give legal aid to rural females workers, who are often left behind by their husbands (who find work in cities) to do both housework and farm work. Add this to the discriminations inherent in rural society, and you can see why some women even threatened suicide if their plight was not improved. Li believes that the problem is not so much a legal inadequacy as ¡°weak enforcement of law by local governments and courts, [and] strong resistance from village committees.¡± By increasing legal awareness and cheap aid, perhaps those with the approach of Li will most influence the rights of women, at least in rural areas.
One last story of (albeit small) consequence takes on yet another approach. After being laid off, Dong Yundan ¡°set up a responsible company that didn't only provide good service to customers, but also helped its staff gain back their lost confidence.¡± By hiring mostly laid-off workers, disabled persons, and former military personnel to do traditional household servicing work. In this situation, Dong stands as another example of the importance of individual activities to supplement legal action to combat both issues of women¡¯s inequality and unemployment.
The legal disadvantages that women face are not easily remedied. While individual efforts are influential in making some changes, it seems as though legal enforcement may be the only way to handle some of the more deeply established obstacles to women, such as village committee prejudices. As the NPC and CPPCC have recognized the need for more legislation on this issue, it remains to see whether or not they will follow through.
March 19, 2008, 2:40 pm
The China Law Center of Yale Law School is seeking a graduating senior or recent university graduate for a Research Associate position based in Beijing. The Research Associate will support Center projects in China by conducting research and writing on issues related to legal reform; interacting with scholars, officials, and lawyers in China; and performing administrative and logistical tasks.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume (including contact information for references) to The China Law Center at email@example.com. Applications should be submitted by April 15, 2008 but will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning March 31, 2008. Applicants will only be contacted if invited for an interview. The Research Associate will receive a competitive one-year fellowship stipend for the 2008-2009 year.
March 18, 2008, 1:48 pm
The State Council's White Paper on the Rule of Law was released late last month. Donald Clarke has posted a single-page English-language version of the entire white paper, but there's an excerpt of the White Paper on the China Daily website and apparently included on page 4 of the physical newspaper itself, interesting because, well, the title of the article is called "Striving Ahead on the Road of Democracy." The article also includes this photograph:
The box reads: "Ballot Box."
Naturally, a story or two about democracy and voting in the Chinese news doesn't necessarily signify a policy shift, but could it be possible that China's media may well be introducing democracy to China's civic conversation? On Tuesday, our managing director Edward Lehman participated on a CCTV "Dialogue" program called "Voices and Votes."
The episode featured a discussion of progress in China's still-developing rule of law as well as the stronger movement against corruption in the Chinese government.
To view the video, please visit the CCTV website: Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
, Part 4
, Part 5
: Here's another (awkwardly titled) story in China Daily describing China's path to democracy: Democracy on nation path
March 14, 2008, 10:58 am
Tang Wei, leading actress of last year's thriller "Lust, Caution," has been blacklisted by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television. A recent television for skin care brand Pond's was pulled by the agency's order on Thursday night.
According to the Hollywood Reporter (not a usual source for China Law Blawg news):
In a statement titled "Reassertion of Censorship Guidelines" and dated March 7, SARFT said that, on Monday, it informed all major film and broadcast entities and governing bodies that it was renewing prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content" and content that "show promiscuous acts, rape, prostitution, sexual intercourse, sexual perversity, masturbation and male/female sexual organs and other private parts." However, the public notice, posted on SARFT's Web site, did not specifically mention "Lust" or Tang.
In addition, all awards shows in China were advised to exclude Tang and the producers of "Lust, Caution" from their list of guests, while discussions about the film and Tang on online forums were deleted, Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily reported.
Personally, I think it's interesting that they chose only to ban the woman involved in the "pornographic" scene. However, the AFP report
offers this somewhat contradictory report and analysis:
The United Evening News said Chinese print and electronic media "were notified on Friday to immediately remove" any works and commercials featuring the Chinese actress. It was unclear how long the ban would last.
The report cited unnamed sources as saying that Tang came under fire as the film, a tense drama set during Japan's occupation of Shanghai in the 1940s, was deemed as "beautifying" those who collaborated with the Japanese at that time.
"Beautifying Japanese collaborators sparked the controversy over 'Lust, Caution' in China even more than the sex scenes did," the report said.
In the movie, Tang joins the Chinese resistance and is tasked with killing a powerful Japanese collaborator, but she changes her mind at the last minute.
Taiwan-born director Ang Lee was spared blacklisting because he is an artistic advisor to the Beijing Olympics, unnamed industry watchers were quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Regardless of why or how the decision was made, however, Mr. Lehman offers the following opinion:
"China's media is China's business and they should be able to ban whomever they wish. The FCC and BBC does it, why not the Chinese media? I support their decision."
March 10, 2008, 10:33 am
From China Law Mailing list:
FRIDAY, APRIL 4
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm China's First Comprehensive Antitrust Statute
After 13 years of effort, China in 2007 enacted its first comprehensive antitrust law, effective August 1, 2008. This law, with its broad imposition of merger control and expansive definition of market dominance, as well as stringent rules on market conduct and express references to intellectual property, may have a substantial impact on foreign investors in China, particularly those holding significant IP portfolios. A key enforcer of the law will discuss its implementation, while a leading Chinese competition law scholar will analyze its major provisions and a seasoned China practitioner will explain its impact on foreign investors. Senior U.S. antitrust enforcers will offer lessons learned from the U.S. experience for the implementation of the China's Anti-Monopoly Law.
Yee Wah Chin (Moderator), Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti LLP, New York, NY
Zhongliang Zhu, Deputy Division-Chief, Antimonopoly Investigation Office, Law and Treaty Department, Ministry of Commerce, Beijing, China
Xiaoye Wang, Professor and Director, Economic Law Department, Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China
William Blumenthal, General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC
James J. O'Connell, Chief of Staff, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Washington, DC
Lester Ross, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Beijing, China
March 6, 2008, 2:40 pm
The Institute of Asian-Pacific Business Law (IAPBL), the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa and AIIFL are co-organizing a Symposium "The PRC 2006 Enterprise Bankruptcy Law: A New Beginning?" on 25 March 2008 at the University of Hong Kong.
Attendance will cost HK$1,600 for full day/HK$800 for half day; and HK$2,000 for full day/HK$1,000 for half day if CPD credits are sought. Please make cheque payable to "University of Hong Kong" and mail it to Flora Leung, AIIFL, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, 4/F KK Leung Building, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.
For enquiries, please contact Flora Leung at +852 2859 2941.
March 4, 2008, 2:33 pm