CUHK LAW – a Leading Teaching and Research Hub for Chinese Law

CUHK LAW is proud to be recognised as one of the world-leading institutions in terms of teaching and researching Chinese Law. Acknowledging on the one hand the ever-increasing importance of China and Chinese Law and on the other hand the breadth of Chinese Law in modern times, CUHK LAW has taken the conscious decision to arrange and brand its teaching and research activities in a topic-related manner using very diverse approaches. Teaching and research at CUHK LAW thus addresses the relationship(s) and interaction between China and other parts of the world, between the different Greater China regions as well as between different substantive legal topics which are covered by China’s legal system as they are addressed in other jurisdictions.
 
Find out more from our professors about their Chinese law research and teaching.
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Prof. Lutz-Christian WOLFF

Dean and Wei Lun Professor of Law, CUHK LAW

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Prof. Lutz-Christian Wolff studied in Shanghai as early as in 1983 and later became a China lawyer advising clients on different aspects of Chinese investment law. He moved to academia and continued his work in this very practical area. So far Prof. Wolff has published five editions of his book on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in China.

Further to his previous work focusing on inbound investments, Prof. Wolff has developed an interest in Chinese outbound investments in recent years, particularly China’s Belt and Road initiative.


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Prof. Michelle MIAO

Associate Professor, CUHK LAW

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Prof. Michelle Miao has developed a research profile in Chinese law and society, in particular for the areas of criminal justice, judicial institutions and ethics, law and technology. Combining empirical investigations and theoretical analysis, her research work explores and critiques some of the most fundamental legal and ethical issues at the heart of our contemporary societies.

Alongside her research on Chinese law and society, Prof. Miao has been teaching various courses on Chinese law at CUHK LAW, including Chinese legal system and methods, artificial intelligence and big data, and criminal justice in the context of Chinese society.


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Prof. Hao ZHANG

Assistant Professor, CUHK LAW

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Prof. Hao Zhang’s research focuses on the laws and regulations surrounding the energy transition and climate mitigation in China, compared with other jurisdictions. One of his ongoing research projects examines how the power market reform in China and the supporting mechanisms under China’s Renewable Energy Law have facilitated renewable energy integration. With funding support from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, Prof. Zhang’s project has contributed to scholarly discussion on the regulatory governance of energy infrastructure and networks, as well as a collaborative project involving leading energy law scholars to comparatively examine the legal and regulatory pathways of the low-carbon energy transition in different jurisdictions. Based on this collaborative project, an edited volume titled ‘Handbook of Energy Law in the Low-Carbon Transition’ will be published this year.


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Prof. Chao XI

Professor and Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Law, CUHK LAW

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One of Prof. Chao Xi’s ongoing research projects examines empirically the question of how shareholders in Chinese listed companies exercise their rights to vote.

With significant funding support from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, Prof. Xi’s project has helped to fill the important gap of the largely understudied and under-theorised research on how Chinese shareholders vote their shares, and to thereby significantly enhance our understanding of corporate governance both in China and more generally.

Globally, shareholders’ right to vote has become an increasingly important focus of academic work and an issue for policy-making at both international and regional levels. Prof. Xi’s project has helped to lay the groundwork for a major project of international collaboration involving leading experts covering as many as 19 jurisdictions around the world. The project has recently led to the publication of a Research Handbook with the Cambridge University Press.


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Prof. Shixue HU

Assistant Professor, CUHK LAW

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Prof. Shixue Hu’s research interests are at the intersection of international economic law and Chinese business law. One of her research projects is about Chinese state-enterprises and their legal issues in international law, including the theories of non-state actors and state responsibilities, also the specific problems in trade and international investment law.

Prof. Hu’s research provides conceptual frameworks and new understanding of state enterprises for the ongoing scholar and policy discussions. The project has led to several publications on top international law journals.


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Prof. Ryan MITCHELL

Assistant Professor, CUHK LAW

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Prof. Ryan Mitchell’s research on Chinese law bridges the areas of domestic and international public law, legal history, and comparative legal theory. His research aims to better understand the relationship between China’s unique legal development path and global changes in public law since the late 19th century. In his monograph with Cambridge University Press, Recentering the World: China and the Transformation of International Law, Prof. Mitchell explores archival historical sources and secondary literature, aiming to bring back to life long-forgotten voices, arguments, and points of view. His next projects continue in this vein, connecting the macro-level historical themes with specific practices such as those related to economic sanctions and management of resources in the global commons.


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Prof. Dennis HIE

PCLL Programme Director and Professional Consultant, CUHK LAW

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China started its economic reform and open door policy in 1978 and has since successfully attracted large amount of foreign investments. Owing to Hong Kong’s unique status and geography, lawyers in Hong Kong are well positioned to assist foreign parties who wish to invest in the Mainland and to offer advice to PRC parties who wish to invest outside China. As a result, knowledge of Chinese law and practice becomes increasingly important for Hong Kong lawyers.

CUHK LAW appreciates the importance of Chinese law on legal practice in Hong Kong. To cater for this need, the Faculty has introduced China Practice as an elective in the PCLL programme. This video features Prof. Dennis Hie who introduces the background and the course further.


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Chinese Law Research and Teaching

Research

CUHK LAW research activities related to Chinese Law are cutting-edge in terms of quality standards and often pioneering, if not ground-breaking. They are conducted with a special emphasis on the need to create impact beyond academia. CUHK LAW researchers are on a regular basis engaged in China-related knowledge transfer activities with the goal to foster the interaction with the profession and to enhance the China-related knowledge and skills of the local and international legal communities. CUHK LAW professors are also often invited to join China-projects as consultants or expert witnesses.

CUHK LAW research covers many ‘traditional’ areas, such as Chinese private, public and criminal law, Chinese investment law, Chinese banking and finance law, Chinese securities regulation as well as China’s role in international law.

Furthermore, CUHK LAW emphasises research in Chinese legal history. The Transnational Legal History Group has a special focus on the historical development of the Chinese legal system. The Greater China Legal History Seminar Series is now running in its 8th  year and is globally unparalleled. In 2022, CUHK LAW has introduced a new LLM in Legal History Programme.

In line with the CUHK LAW focus on Law & Technology, the work of many CUHK LAW scholars addresses the importance of law for technological developments in China. Related research has a broad coverage including not only data security, Chinese IP law, crypto currencies and FinTech but also new technology-based forms of China-related empirical research. A more recent research focus is the Greater Bay Area (GBA) which is facilitated by the CUHK LAW GBA Forum. Public seminars organised by the CUHK LAW GBA Forum have each time attracted over 500 participants.

Recent publications by CUHK LAW professors covering different aspects of Chinese law include:

The quality of China-related research at CUHK LAW is evidenced by the fact that many research projects at CUHK LAW are funded by internal and external competitive grants. Examples are:

Research Grants Council, HKSAR
General Research Fund

Prof. Anatole BOUTE
Phasing Out Coal Along the Belt and Road: Traditional Regulation and Market-based Approaches (HK$816,041)

Prof. Bryan MERCURIO
Engaging with China to Reform the World Trading System (HK$1,067,713)

Prof. Chao XI
Corporate Charters in China (HK$930,625)

Prof. Robin HUANG
The Regulation of Fintech in China (HK$539,852)

  
Research Grants Council, HKSAR
Early Career Scheme

Prof. Jingyi WANG
Taxation of the Digitalised Economy in China: Challenges and Proposals (HK$424,000)

Prof. Hao ZHANG
Legal and Regulatory Pathway of Renewable Energy Integration in China: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives (HK$397,410)

Prof. Ngọc Sơn BÙI
Order by Design: China in Comparative Constitution-Making (HK$390,400)

Prof. Ryan MITCHELL
The Development and Influence of Chinese Theories of Sovereignty (HK$592,000)

Prof. James ZENG
Soft Regulation and Corporate Governance in China (HK$366,656)

  
Research Grants Council, HKSAR
Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme

Prof. Robin HUANG
Cross-border Listings and Regulatory Responses: Chinese Experiences and International Implications (HK$366,900)

Prof. Bryan MERCURIO
Reshaping Global Trade: The Impact and Effects of the US-China Trade War (HK$412,100)

  
Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office, HKSAR
Public Policy Research Funding Scheme

Prof. Robin HUANG
Improving the Effectiveness of Cross-boundary Securities Law Enforcement Between Hong Kong and Mainland China

  
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Direct Grant for Research

Prof. Robin HUANG
Hong Kong’s Regulation of Fintech in the Context of the Greater Bay Area

Prof. Chao XI
Regulation of Cryptocurrencies in China

Prof. James ZENG
Enforcement of Administrative Contracts in China

Prof. Yuhong ZHAO
Environmental Administrative Litigation in China

Prof. Hao ZHANG
Developing Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Projects in China: Regulatory Challenges and Lessons from Other Jurisdictions

Prof. Chao XI
Shareholder Voting During a Crisis

Teaching

Chinese law has always stood at the core of the teaching at CUHK LAW highlighting the ever-growing importance of Chinese law for other countries and global developments. CUHK LAW offers special courses and training modules related to Chinese law at all programme levels. However, the (comparative) discussion of different aspects of Chinese law also forms part of many general courses.

At undergraduate level CUHK LAW empowers students to specialise in Chinese law by opting for the Chinese Law Stream. A special LLM in Chinese Business Law Programme allows postgraduate students to gain special knowledge and skills related to doing business in China and with Chinese partners. At PCLL level special courses on ‘China Practice’ and ‘Writing and Drafting Commercial Documents in Chinese’ enable students who are about to qualify to join the legal professions to acquire China-related lawyering skills.

Chinese law courses offered at different CUHK LAW programme levels include:

LevelCourse codeCourse title
UGLAWS1030Legal System of the PRC
UGLAWS3290Chinese Civil Law
UGLAWS4311Chinese Environmental Law
UGLAWS4371Chinese Tax Law and Policy
UGLAWS4488Intellectual Property Law of the PRC
PGLAWS5016Writing and Drafting Litigation Documents in Chinese
PGLAWS5017China Practice
PGLAWS5018Writing and Drafting Commercial Documents in Chinese
PGLAWS6086Chinese Law on Corporate Finance
PGLAWS6101Legal System and Methods in China
PGLAWS6102Chinese Civil Law
PGLAWS6103Chinese Contract Law
PGLAWS6104Chinese Company Law
PGLAWS6116Chinese Intellectual Property Law
PGLAWS6118Chinese Tax Law
PGLAWS6119Chinese Environmental Law
PGLAWS6128Chinese Financial Law
PGLAWS6130Chinese Investment Law
PGLAWS6132Criminal Justice and Society in China
PGLAWS6134Chinese Law and Society in an Age of Digital Technologies and Artificial Intelligence
PGLAWS6416Chinese Energy Law

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