China Study Tour Day 9

Authors Charlotte and Corbin

Today began with a very informative lecture by Professor Cheng Jinhua on, “The Legal Profession in Contemporary China”. The lecture started with an interesting discussion of the history of law in China, and how it developed from lacking a legal profession in Imperial China, to having mixed courts (with judges from the previous Qing Government and Foreign judges) in the Republic of China, to a developed legal profession in the People’s Republic of China. Professor Cheng detailed how the legal profession is tied to China’s political history and has developed in response to China’s economic needs.  This year is the 40th Anniversary of China’s reform and it is amazing to see how much the legal profession has already grown in such a short time and we are excited to see how it will grow.

Combined with analysis of China’s legal transformation, Professor Cheng gave us a very helpful insight into China’s major legal firms. We learnt the practical reality of major law firms which was particularly relevant to us as we visited Zhong Lun law firm yesterday and some students are interning at Allbright and Dentons. This was followed by Professor Cheng raising questions of China’s future legal development, something that we can look forward to seeing in the future.

For lunch, we headed to our newfound favourite local food court. Somehow the combination of noodles, fried rice and bubble tea for $5 AUD never gets old.

Our final afternoon activity involved a visit to the Minhang People’s Court. The building itself was extremely impressive and had a sense of historical grandeur, so we were surprised to learn it was only built in 1998. We were then given a tour of the entrance of the court, which boasted an array of paintings. Our guide, an associate of the court, informed us that not only were these paintings decorative, but they represented Chinese history and ancient myths. We soon learnt about the Chinese version of Adam and Eve, a truth-finding unicorn-lion, and much more.


The tour then continued through to the main court room, where we learnt more about the practice of proceedings and general facts about the court. We also had an inside view into the background activities of the Court, including a movie screening room where judges and associates can enjoy a quick flick on their much deserved 2-hour lunch break.

Following the visit to the Minhang People’s Court, we hopped back on the coach to the hotel for a quiet night of revision in preparation for tomorrow’s exam. We did however find time to squeeze in yet another group dinner… who could resist!

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