China’s legal reform explored at Feb. 25 law school forum

Top experts in Chinese law will gather at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law Thursday, Feb. 25, for a panel discussion and open public forum.

The event, co-sponsored by the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C., begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall. A live webcast also will be available through the program Web site,

“Chinese legal reform is at a crossroads,” says Carl Minzner, J.D., associate professor of law at Washington University. “Three decades of official reform efforts have resulted in the emergence of a more professionalized judiciary, the creation of legal institutions to restrain governmental abuses, and the rise of an active cadre of Chinese public interest lawyers.

“But such reforms have also generated backlash,” Minzner says. “In recent years, Chinese authorities have mounted a crackdown on activist lawyers and attempted to curb an increasingly assertive Chinese judiciary.”

Panelists, moderated by Minzner, will focus on the present situation and future direction of legal reform in China.

Panelists are:

Tom Kellogg, J.D., program director at the Open Society Institute and adjunct professor of law at Fordham University, on “Legal Reform in China: The Domestic Debate.”

Sida Liu, J.D., LL.B., assistant professor of sociology and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on “The Changing Role of Chinese Lawyers.”

Andrea Worden, J.D., adjunct professor of law at American University, on “Dissent in China: Liu Xiaobo and Charter ’08.”

Maggie Lewis, J.D., associate professor of law at Seton Hall University, on “Exclusionary Rule and Police Behavior: Developments in the PRC and Taiwan.”

Alex Wang, J.D., senior attorney and director of the China Environmental Law Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing, on “Domestic and International Transparency in China.”

Jeffrey Prescott, J.D., deputy director of the Yale Law School China Law Center and lecturer in law, on “Human Rights, Rule of Law, and U.S.-China Relations.”

The event is free and open to the public. The program will be followed at 7 p.m. by a public reception in Crowder Courtyard in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

For more information, visit or call Nancy Cummings at (314) 935-7967.