Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

The Rise of China and Its Implications for a Changing International Legal Order

Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

The Rise of China and Its Implications for a Changing International Legal Order

Article excerpt

The panel was convened at 1:00 p.m., Friday, April 10 by its moderator Thomas Kellogg of the Open Society Foundations, who introduced the panelists: Captain J. Ashley Roach of the National University of Singapore Centre for International Law; Steve Wolfson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of the General Counsel, International Law Group; Zhu Dan of Fudan University Law School; and Ji Li of Rutgers Law School.


Thank you all for joining us today for what I am sure will be a very exciting conversation about China's approach to international law. My name is Tom Kellogg, and I am the director of the East Asia Program at the Open Society Foundations in New York. I also teach China and International Law at Columbia Law School. Let me briefly introduce our panel, and then I will say a word or two about the format.

To my immediate left, Captain J. Ashley Roach, who is a former JAG for the U.S. Navy and was an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Advisor at the State Department for many years until his retirement in 2009. He continues to actively speak and write on Law of the Sea issues and has taught on Law of the Sea in a number of universities in the United States, and also has an affiliation with the National University of Singapore, which, unsurprisingly, has a deep interest in all of these issues.

To his left, Steve Wolfson, who is a senior attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of General Counsel, where he coordinates international capacity building activities on environmental law. Steve has worked in a number of different parts of the world including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and also is recently back from China, and hopefully will fill us in on some of his meetings there, and has worked quite closely with the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection to strengthen Chinese environmental law and institutions.

To his left, Zhu Dan, who I should say was the originator of the idea for this panel, so all of us want to thank her for this opportunity today. She is a professor of law at Fudan University, where she teaches public international law, among other issues, and she is a leading expert on China and international criminal law, a subject on which she has written widely. She has also worked in the International Criminal Court (ICC), so she is not just an academic observer but also a direct practitioner, most recently working in the ICC Appeals Chamber.

Last but not least, Ji Li, who is a professor of law at Rutgers Law School from the great state of New Jersey. I know we have some New Jerseyans in this audience. Feel free to give Ji Li a shout-out at any point in time during his remarks. He has a JD from Yale Law School, where he was an Olin Fellow, and he has written widely on a range of issues including trade law, tax law, Chinese law and legal reform, and a host of other issues. I have had the opportunity, as somebody who also works on Chinese law, to discuss all of these issues with Ji Li and have uniformly found him to be one of the most informed observers of what is a very opaque process--at times, I should say, a very opaque process--of legal reform in China.

You can see we have a very distinguished panel here today, and we are going to try to cover an impossibly vast amount of real estate, including Law of the Sea, environmental law, China and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and China and international criminal law. You could not ask for a better group of experts to address these questions. And I have asked the panelists to think about some of the answers that their colleagues give and see if they can elicit some comparisons between China's approach to some of these different issues so that we will have, over the course of our time together, hopefully a compare- and-contrast moment in terms of China's overall approach to international law.

Inevitably, I should say, some of our panelists, and I myself, will make comparisons with America's approach to international law and use that as a pivot point, but I hope that we will limit ourselves to using the United States more as a comparator rather than as a direct subject of discussion. …

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