FACES 2019 Telesummit Report: American and Chinese Legal Systems and Practices - Past, Present, and Future


On Friday, May 3, the Stanford University and Zhejiang University chapters of the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES) held a telesummit on “American and Chinese Legal Systems and Practices: Past, Present, and Future.” FACES is an international organization based at Stanford University, representing a global network of professionals, scholars, and leaders who are shaping their respective fields in the United States and China.

 During the telesummit, speakers from the two universities and students from Stanford, Zhejiang, and Fudan Universities compared American and Chinese legal systems and practices over video conferencing. Speakers from Stanford University included Dr. Mei Gechlik, founder of the China Guiding Cases Project (CGCP), Mr. Hongbo Hei, former Senior Legal Counsel at Tencent, and Dr. Adrien Gabellon, lecturer at the University of Geneva. Speakers from Zhejiang University included Mr. Hao Lan and Ms. Qing Wu, PhD candidates in intellectual property at the university’s Guanghua Law School.

 During the opening remarks and guided discussion sessions, Dr. Gechlik spoke about the importance of China’s guiding cases and Mr. Hei compared legal education between the two countries, while Dr. Gabellon discussed cross-border transactions and attempts at international collaboration between the U.S. and China. Mr. Lan and Ms. Wu examined the impact of new, highly sophisticated technology such as “deepfake” on intellectual property law and the broader U.S.-China relationship.

 “I found it so fascinating that the American and Chinese laws that have to do with the same issues are still based on different cultural understandings, and a seemingly simple issue like data protection is actually a highly controversial and political international issue,” said Stanford undergraduate Catherine Baron.

 The telesummit closed with a Q&A session between students and speakers. During the Q&A session, students from both sides of the video call asked speakers about topics such as the relationship between China’s Belt and Road initiative and international law, or advice for Chinese international students seeking legal education in the United States.

 “Thanks to the telesummit, I had the opportunity to get to know the students at Stanford and better understand the different legal systems between China and the United States,” said Fudan University undergraduate Haoran Tao.

The Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES) is currently accepting student delegate applications for its 2019-20 Annual Summit, which will bring forty extraordinary students from around the world together to learn about and discuss U.S.-China relations for a week at Stanford University in Fall 2019, and then for a week in China in Spring 2020. Learn more and apply at: https://faces.stanford.edu/apply-now.

Author: James Noh ‘22, FACES Director of Telesummit (jamesnoh@stanford.edu)