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Durham University

Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP)

Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP)

The Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP) was officially established on 27th February 2019. It is an interdisciplinary centre that aims to become a leading research institution for Chinese law and policy outside of China. Members of the CCLP are committed to conducting original researches on Chinese law and policy issues that are of contemporary significance and disseminating the research results via leading publishers. The centre also brings together advanced scholars and practitioners around the world to study Chinese law and policy in the form of conferences, regular seminars, workshops, dialogues, etc.

The CCLP dedicates itself to the teaching of Chinese law in prominent ways. Apart from offering high-calibre modules of Chinese law within Durham Law School’s curriculum, the centre will develop intriguing extra-curricular activities for students and scholars who are interested in studying Chinese law.

The CCLP also seeks to expand the impact of its research and teaching through cooperation and by maintaining a wide range of academic, social, and political contacts with various academic institutions, think tanks, and government agencies within and beyond the UK.

The CCLP is a member of the Asia-Pacific and Europe Law Institutes Alliance, a recently established league that consists of a cohort of top institutions such as British Institute of International and Comparative Law, as well as prestigious law schools including those of Tsinghua University, Peking University, National University of Singapore, City University of Hong Kong, University of New South Wale, among others.

Durham CCLP Research Seminars: Dr Matthieu Burnay (Queen Mary University School of Law)

10th March 2020, 13:00 to 14:00, Hogan Lovells Lecture Theatre, Durham Law School

'China and the Global Commons: Localisation of Transnational Legal Orders

The objective of this seminar is to analyse how and why the People’s Republic of China (PRC) influences the making of regulatory and non-regulatory frameworks governing commons. The seminar seeks not only to highlight common patterns in China’s engagement with the global commons but also to understand whether China’s engagement is – by and large – to be seen as a form of contestation of existing global governance structure, or rather a contribution thereto. In this regard, the seminar will assess the extent to which China acts as a ‘norm-taker’, ‘norm-maker’ or ‘norm-shaker’ of global governance. With the former two clearly linked to China’s constructive role as a complying actor and norm developer, the latter sees China’s role as a critical actor, contesting existing structures and regimes.


Dr Matthieu Burnay is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Global Law at Queen Mary University of London. He is also a Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University and Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, as well as an Associate Researcher at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven. He has an interdisciplinary background in law, political science and history. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Leuven and a Double MSc degree in International Affairs from Peking University and the London School of Economics. His main research interests are in global law and governance; the study of the political and legal aspects of EU-China relations in global governance; as well as the comparative study of the rule of law in Europe and Asia. He is particularly interested in the relationship between international law and Chinese law in the areas of international security and trade governance. In 2018, he was awarded a Jean Monnet Network on EU-China Legal and Judicial Cooperation (EUPLANT).

Durham CCLP Public Lecture: Mr Peter Lu (Baker McKinsey)

18th February 2020, 16:00- 18:00, Calman Learning Centre 406, Durham Law School

'The Demand for International Excellent Lawyer and How to Be One' at 16:00- 18:00 in Calman Learning Centre 406.

Durham CCLP Research Seminars: Prof Eva Pils (KCL)

4th February 2020, 13:00 to 14:00, Hogan Lovells Lecture Theatre, Durham Law School

"Legal Resistance: The Experience of China's Human Rights Lawyers"

Legal resistance: the experience of China’s human rights lawyers. China’s human rights lawyers, a relatively small group of legal professionals who emerged in the post-Mao era, insist that the Party-State follow the law in all cases, including those deemed ‘sensitive’ by the authorities. Throughout their existence, they have faced a highly repressive system. Drawing on my work on Chinese human rights lawyers since 2006, I will argue that the contrast between their liberal outlook and a system in or neo-totalitarian regression has become sharper in Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era,’ further pushing the lawyers to engage in legal advocacy as a form of liberal resistance.

Eva Pils is Professor of Law at King’s College London. She studied law, philosophy and sinology in Heidelberg, London and Beijing and holds a PhD in law from University College London. Her most recent book, Human rights in China: a social practice in the shadows of authoritarianism, was published in 2018. Before joining King’s in 2014, Eva was an associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law.

2019 ECLS Annual Conference in Durham

Date: 26 to 28 July, 2019

2019 Durham Summer School for Chinese Law and Policy

Date: 14 to 26 July, 2019

2019 ECLS Annual Conference Call for Papers

Date: 26 to 28 July, 2019

Contact Details

Durham Law School
Durham University
Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham DH1 3LE