Rights Litigation, Law and Political Reform in China

Top Chinese and American scholars and rights activists discuss the accomplishments, challenges and potential ways forward for the rights protection (weiquan) movement in China.

| Penn Law School, Fitts Auditorium ( Golkin 100)


China’s “rights protection” (weiquan) movement has emerged as a significant effort to implement legal rights and to promote government accountability and political reform. Lawyers in the movement and other activists for reform face constant challenges, even detention and prison, as they and public intellectuals and others strive to promote development of a legal system that provides fairness and accountability. We are pleased to host leading rights protection lawyers and scholars from the PRC together with US-based China specialists and international human rights experts for a discussion on the Chinese rights protection movement and wider issues of legal and political reform in China.

Topics of discussion include:

• Is the Rule of Law in Crisis in China?
• Rights Lawyering in China: Accomplishments, Challenges and Prospects
• Individual Case Litigation, Impact Litigation and Media/Political Strategies
• Institutional and International Contexts for Legal Reform and Rights Protection in China

Participants include: 

  • Ira Belkin (NYU Law)
  • Chandra Bhatnagar (ACLU)
  • Donald Clarke (GWU Law)
  • Jerry Cohen (NYU Law)
  • Jacques deLisle (Penn Law)
  • Rangita de Silva de Alwis (Wilson Center)
  • Brian Dooley (Human Rights First)
  • Martin Flaherty (Fordham Law)
  • Amy Gadsden (Penn Law)
  • Mary Gallagher (University of Michigan)
  • Neysun Mahboubi ( University of Pennsylvania)
  • He Weifang (Peking University Law School)
  • Guo Jianmei (women’s rights lawyer)
  • Tom Kellogg (Open Society Institute)
  • Li Zhuang (Attorney)
  • Liu Junning (human rights scholar)
  • Sida Liu (University of Wisconsin)
  • Rebecca MacKinnon (New America Foundation)
  • Mo Shaoping (Attorney)
  • Alex Wang (UCLA Law)
  • Margaret Woo (Northeastern Law)
  • Zhang Kai (Purdue University)
  • Zhang Jingjing (Attorney)
  • Zhu Ruifeng (blogger)

Language: English & Chinese -- Simultaneous interpretation

Co-Sponsored by: Penn Law School, The Ford Foundation, Penn Center for East Asian Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute