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Wearing the Robes: The Future Record of Three Legal Scholars

Legal Weekly Reporter Wu Jie

"On December 28, 2012, the 11th session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee's 30th meeting passed a grounp of personnel appointment and removals, and three eminent legal experts were appointed as Deputy Division heads within the Supreme People's Court." (SPC)


"The SPC's statistics show that as of the first half of 2011, there were already 14 provincial, city or district basic courts receiving some Law Schools Professor or core practitioners to take adjunct positions as deputy court presidents, court president clerks, or division chief clerks. This is the first time, however, that the SPC has invited scholars to take adjunct postitions on a somewhat larger scale. "


"According to a list of appointments and dismissals, Beijing Normal University's Criminal Law Science Research Institute's Deputy Director of Daily Operations Lu Jianping was appointed the Deputy Division head of the third criminal trial section; Renmin University Law School Civil and Commercial Law Research Office Director, Yao Hui, was appointed as deputy division chief of the first civil trial section; Dean Xue Gangling (female) of China University of Politics and Law, Law School, was appointed as deputy director of the Administrative Chamber."


"These three scholars, all born in 1960s, are all qualified professors and doctoral candidate supervisors, and taking this adjunct position at the SPC does not at all mean that they are leaving their original teaching positions. Their engagement, however, has still become a major event in legal circles, and been closely followed from many sides."




"At present, the three legal experts have not formally taken office."


"Before Beijing Normal University Criminal Law Science Research Insitute Deputy Director for Daily affairs, Lu Jianpin received the invitation to be a Deputy-division chief at the SPC, he already had experience taking up adjunct positions; in 2008 he held a post as the Vice-president of the Haidian District Procuratorate in Beijing."


Lu Jianping holds a bachelors in law from Renmin University, a Masters in Law from France's Montpellier University, and a PhD in Criminal Lawal law. His primary research area is Chinese criminal law, criminology, criminal policy and foreign criminal law one of the fourth season's "top ten outstanding young Jurists in China"


When Lu Jianping was not yet 16 years old, he entered university, during his time at Renmin University he studied under Gao Mingxuan, Wang Zuofu and others of the older generation of criminal law scholars. Shortly after the Reform and Opening, he was sent overseas as an exchange students sent by the government, and was also the first of the students sent to France for study to graduate early and return to China.


In the eyes of Lu Jianping, legal scholars' mission is not just to engage in academic research, but is also to actively go participate in practice. Lu Jianping has said that the Criminal Law is relatively stable and it society that is changing; only through flexibly supplementing policy can the justness of the criminal system be tested by practice.


In 2008, Lu Jianping said in a media interview that while his post as a procuratorate's vice-president was for a limited term, he had already fully immersed himself in the procuratorate's work. He felt that handling matters in the procuratorate involved an element of deep thinking and prudence, beyond that in his university work.


He has always believed in "practice before theory", and that practice and legislation are the two paths for promoting the overall progress of rule of law. He said that although some view adjunct positions as 'fake positions', he is fresh and excited, whatever may come, and hopes that through his own hard work he can bring something of use to the judicial organs.


Renmin University Law School Professor Yao Hui was appointed as the deputy division-chief of the first civil trial section. Yao Hui has a bachelors in law from East China University of Politics and Law, and a Masters and Doctorate in law from Renmin University. His research areas are general principles of civil law, personality rights and torts. He has served concurrently as a member of the Beijing Municipal Government's Legislation Experts Committee, the Beijing Procuratorate's Expert Advisory Committee on Civil Administration Prosecution, and the Tianjin Municipal Procuratorate's First Expert Advisory Committee.


When this professor, who combines teaching with inspiration and pays equal attention to both theory and practice, holds class, a lot of people tend to show up. His class is always a packed house, and sometimes when there are no seats, some will pull in stools.

Although his work at the university is far from relaxed, Yao Hui thinks that taking the adjunct position at the court will be good excercise. "The Court's judges might all have similar ways of thinking, if a legal expert can bring some academic legal knowledge to the table and quickly explain his thinking or raise a few suggestions, it may stimulate everyone's thinking, and has a lot of advantages.


Yao Hui said that he has often been invited to participate in SPC meetings or the formulation of judicial interpretations before, but now these things could become part of his own work.


By convention, adjunct positions do not require one to keep office hours, but might only require one workday each week; it won't have too large an impact on university teaching duties.


Dean Xue Ganglin of Renmin University Law School, the only woman selected this time, was a National Top Ten Young Legal Scholar in the fifth season, and is given a lot of credence in legal circles.


Xue Gangling concurrently serves as a special procurator at the procuratorate, a member of the experts committee at the Central Government Leadership Office for Governance of Commercial Bribery, a member of the experts committee at the State Council Office on Reform of the Administrative Approvals System, A member of the Beijing Municipal Politics and Law Office Administrative Review Committee, A leg consultant of the Fengtai district government, a member of the Chaoyang district expert consultants group on governance under law, and a member of the Beijing municipal legal experts group on environmental law.


Xue Gangling has said: "A true legal must be grounded, be dedicated to addressing China's problems, whether they be theoretical problems or problems in practice. It's not how many articles you publish, but how many problems you resolve.




On July 22 of this year, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Guiding Opinion on Establishing a Mechanism for Two-way Communication Between Courts and Law Schools (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines), calling for the adoption of measures such as "going out, please come in" to promote the merging of legal theory and trial practice, and actively explore mechanisms for training excellent legal personnel.


The procuratorate began this kind of two-way exchange comparatively early.Back in 1994, the Beijing Haidian District People's Procuratorate launched an adjunct scholar position system. After the Haidian District Procuratorate adjunct situation bore fruit, the Beijing People's Procuratorate released its " Opinions on Furthering the Recruitment of Legal Expert to Serve as Adjunct Deputy Chiefs in Branch, District and County Pocuratorates" , the first regulation to create procedures for adjunct placement of legal experts.


"It is necessary that the adjunct placement of legal experts continue as a program." said Zeng Jianming, Chief of the Supreme People's Procuratorate at the welcome recetion for the second wave of legal experts to take adjunct positions at the SPP.

At the 11th plenary session of the National people's Congress , "selecting legal experts and scholars for adjunct placements in the procuracy" was put into the work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate for the first time.


Actually, a person in authority at the Supreme People's Court Governance Department revealed long ago during an interview that Supreme Court authorities would employ some expert scholars as testing exercise of an adjunct position system, to participate in research on adjudication, summarizing trial experience, formulating judicial policy, debate over judicial interpretations and collection guiding case examples.


Han Dayuan, Dean of Renmin University of China Law School, believes that giving professors adjunct placements can provide theoretical support for the judicial practice, and can also feedback new cases and experience from judicial practice into teaching. Moreover Supreme Court has promulgated a guiding opinion specifically on this, that is expected to institutionalize and standardize all forms of this two-way communication.








































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