British Legal Week in China

Posted on 28th Sep 2016 in ICLR News

In response to an invitation from the Great Britain China Centre, the ICLR was one of a number of publishers who contributed books and other materials for an exhibition at the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) museum in Beijing earlier this year. The exhibition was held to mark British Legal Week in China, as part of the Third Annual UK-China Judicial Roundtable, led by UK Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger and Chinese Supreme People’s Court President Zhou Qiang.


Chinese Supreme People’s Court president Zhou Qiang (left) and US Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger (centre)

The event was attended by judges, members of Chinese academia and the legal profession, and the general public.  The ICLR, which last year celebrated its 150th Anniversary, provided copies of old law reports dating back to its foundation in 1865 as official publishers of The Law Reports, which were displayed at the exhibition. We also donated to the Supreme People’s Court library a copy of the ICLR Anniversary Edition containing the top 15 most significant cases chosen by readers from ICLR’s century and a half of reporting from the superior courts of England and Wales. These reports are read and subscribed to around the world, not only in common law jurisdictions such as Canada, India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, but also those other countries, including mainland China, who conduct business according to contracts governed by English law, and very often containing English jurisdiction clauses.

Although internet publication has reduced the need for widespread print publication, until recently ICLR used to print an edition of its Weekly Law Report series in Beijing, in China, (and also in Delhi in India). It is fitting that ICLR’s links with China should continue with this year’s exhibition. Important, too, that China should develop and protect its knowledge of other legal systems and continue to promote the rule of law and human rights, since it is only in accordance with the rule of law and a truly independent judiciary that economic freedoms can flourish.

According to the Great Britain China Centre’s website,

On 24 May 2016, the 3rd Annual UK-China Judicial Roundtable was held at the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing. The UK delegation, headed by UK Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger, comprised of four other senior judges: UK Supreme Court Justice, Lord Hodge, Court of Appeal judge and chairman of the Law Commission, Sir David Bean, Sir William Blair, Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court and High Court judge, Dame Katherine Thirlwall.


In his opening remarks, the President of the Supreme People’s Court, Zhou Qiang, framed the roundtable within the context of the global, strategic and comprehensive 21st century partnership between the UK and China, thus signifying the importance of the event to China’s judiciary.


Furthermore, in keeping with this year’s themes of the informatisation of the courts and access to justice, he expressed a wish to work together on areas such as cyber-crime and the rule of law, in addition to deepening judicial exchange.
Discussions between the two sides covered several topics, including alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, access to justice in the digital era and future plans for UK-China judicial co-operation.


 Photograph supplied by the Great Britain China Centre.