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The China Law Center Co-Hosts Workshop on Central-Local Relations

The China Law Center co-sponsored an “International Workshop on the Legalization of Central-Local Relations” with The Constitutional and Administrative Law Center at Peking University on January 6-7, 2007 in Beijing. 

The event was an effort to bring attention to “federalism” issues that China is facing as local economic development often comes at the expense of other priorities, including environmental protection and civil rights. 

The Workshop brought leading scholars, judges, and officials from China to address how law might help mediate intra-governmental disputes and promote better governance.

The China Law Center invited prominent U.S. experts on federalism, local government regulation, and related issues to participate in the two-day discussion.  Yale Law School Professor Susan Rose-Ackerman, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence attended, along with David Barron, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Robert Inman, Professor of Finance and Economics at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; and Richard Williamson, partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, in Chicago.

YLS Professor Susan Rose-Ackerman and Peking University Professor He Weifang at the workshop

“A number of problems, including local protectionism, discrimination against migrant workers, and corruption are all exacerbated by the lack of clear lines of authority and mechanisms to enforce them,” noted Paul Gewirtz, Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and director of the China Law Center.  “Our goal in this discussion was to expand the conversation in China about what legal reform can do to help address these problems.” 

A key theme of the workshop was the ways in which broad legal standards, accompanied by active and effective enforcement mechanisms, can play an important role in alleviating barriers to effective public administration.