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Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Reestablishment of School of Law at Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University has deep roots in the development of legal and political education in modern China. Between 1909-1929, Tsinghua School (the predecessor of Tsinghua University), sent about 1,000 students to study abroad, among them were approximately 150 students majoring in law and politics. These students attended prestigious institutions in America, including Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago. Following the students’ graduation abroad they returned to China to assume key positions in Chinese law, politics, and foreign affairs. Among them were well-known jurists such as Qian Duansheng, Yan Shutang, Wang Huacheng, Xiao Gongquan, Pu Xuefeng, Honorable Judge Mei Ruao, Procurator Xiang Zhejun, Honorable Diplomat Tang Yueliang, and Yang Guangsheng. This esteemed group was representative of the numerous Tsinghua graduates who continued their legal education abroad during that period.

In 1929, Tsinghua University formally established the School of Law (hereinafter referred to as Tsinghua Law School or the Law School). Within four years, a wide range of legal disciplines including public international law, constitutional law, administrative law, civil procedure law, criminal procedure law, criminal law, Chinese legal history and private international law were all taught at Tsinghua Law School. During those years, the Law School attracted many acclaimed jurists to teach law in Tsinghua’s classrooms, including Professors Zeng Bingjun, Shao Xunke, Wang Tieya, and Chen Tiqiang.

After World War II, Tsinghua returned to Beijing and the Department of Law was reopened in October 1946. The curriculum included 25 courses covering all major aspects of law. After the founding of the new China in 1949, the Departments of Political Science, Economics, and Law as well as the entire Law School were all merged into other universities.

Beginning in 1978, with the reform and opening up led by Mr. Deng Xiaoping, legal education in China experienced a revival. In April 1995, Tsinghua University re-established the Department of Law, with Professor Wang Shuwen as the head of the department. In April 1999, the Mingli Building, the home of the newly re-established Tsinghua Law School, was opened. The first Dean of Tsinghua Law School was renowned jurist Wang Baoshu.

Over the past 20 years, legal education and research at Tsinghua University has made outstanding achievements. Loyal to Tsinghua’s motto of “Self Strengthening, and Social Commitments”, the School of Law has maintained high standards with its own characteristics. In November 1999, the Degrees Committee of the State Council and the Ministry of Justice recognized Tsinghua Law School’s graduate program and approved it to award the degree of Jurist Master (J.M.). Since the year 2000, the Law School has been approved to award doctoral degrees.

Tsinghua Law School is continually committed to reform and innovation, stressing the quality of teaching and developing its' international outlook. Penal Law  lectures by Professor Zhang Mingkai and Civil Law  lectures by Professor Cui Jianyuan have been recognized nationally for their excellence. The Tsinghua Law School is the only school in China to include Anglo-American common law courses. In 2005, the School of Law was the first among Chinese universities to offer an LL.M. degree in Chinese Law to international students in the English language. Advocating the highest standards in teaching, integrating theory and practice, the School of Law offers its' students diverse education, combining legal theory and the application of learning into social practices.

In terms of faculty development and academic research, Tsinghua Law School’s staff includes 70 full-time academic teachers (of which 35 professors and 18 associate professors), all are dedicated to the teaching and educating the Law School’s 1,400 students.

Tsinghua Law School faculty members publish a vast array of academic papers, which impact society and are often cited by academia, policy makers, and practitioners. Research published by Tsinghua Law School faculty has become part of curricula in other jurisdictions, including the U.S., Britain, Germany, and Japan. In addition, Tsinghua Law School is proud that many of our faculty members are recipients of national awards for their outstanding achievements.

In January 2007, the Tsinghua Law Journal  was launched and has since received nationwide recognition. In 2009, Tsinghua Law School began publishing the English-language Tsinghua China Law Review . This Tsinghua law student-edited and managed journal has an international subscription base and brings English-language research concerning recent development in Chinese Law into the global spotlight.

For the past two decades, the Ming Li Building has been the home of Tsinghua School of Law, where teachers and students have been leading legal education and helping develop the Rule of Law in China.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Tsinghua Law School, there will be many activities marking the event, such as academic fora and alumni reunions. These gatherings of Tsinghua Law School’s past and present will reinvigorate Tsinghua Law School’s commitment to leading the construction of the Rule of Law and further developing legal education and research in China.

Tsinghua University Spotlights : http://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/newthuen/8914/2015/20150907082816520629197/20150907082816520629197_.html