Challenges Raised by Globalization and Digitalization Tackled in Comparative Law Conference

The interrelated and deepening processes of globalization and digitalization continue to create legal and social challenges of international significance. This year’s annual Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar tackled the need for effective responses to these growing issues of global concern.

The Finnish China Law Center and Faculty of Law, in collaboration with the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), organized the 9th Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar held on 20 – 21 September 2018 in Beijing, China.

The annual academic event was aimed at robust discussion of emerging legal issues of social and scholarly significance, and also served as a platform for Nordic legal researchers to meet and deepen international cooperation.

‘It was important for the seminar organizers that the conference engaged directly with the most pressing social and legal challenges’, says Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center and conference co-organizer.

‘Accordingly, the seminar addressed environmental and social sustainability issues, including the need to protect labour rights and promote the rule of law in China, as well as the latest developments in Chinese domestic law’.

Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law and noted legal historian and legal comparativist, spoke at the seminar about Nordic models of constitutional review. Professor Liukkunen gave a presentation on developments in Nordic and European collective bargaining law, while Professor Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson, together with Doctoral Researcher Emilie Yliheljo, spoke about the role of emissions information in promoting sustainable business.

The seminar also featured speakers Finnish China Law Center member institutions the University of Turku, Hanken School of Economics, Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Eastern Finland.

Chinese speakers included Professor Chen Su, Director of the CASS Institute of Law, a leader with Professor Liukkunen on one of her Academy of Finland-funded projects on China and labour law. In addition to numerous leading scholars from the CASS Institute of Law, other China-based speakers included Professor Zheng Shanguan of Tsinghua University and Professor Jiang Ying, Dean of the School of Law of China University of Labour Relations. 

Notably, for the first time in its almost decade long history, this year’s seminar included participants from other Nordic countries, including Professor Mia Rönnmar, Dean of the Faculty of Law of Lund University, and Professor Ditlev Tamm of the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen.

According to Professor Liukkunen, this expanded participation reflected a shared commitment to Nordic-wide cooperation on China law-related education and research.

‘That scholars from other Nordic countries participated in the conference demonstrated the ever-increasing interest across the Nordic region, and Europe more generally, in understanding the Chinese legal system and in promoting deeper knowledge of what could be called the ‘Nordic legal model’ in China’, Professor Liukkunen says.

Next year the 10th anniversary of the Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar will be held in Finland.