Institut für Föderalismus
Faculté de droit

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Sino - Swiss Workshop on Globalisation and Domestic Law: An Unequal Relationship or a Fine Balance? 21- 22 November in Fribourg

The Workshop brought together a wide range of views addressing the tensions between globalisation-induced legal changes and domestic responses.

The Opening Key Note Speech by em. Prof. Thomas Cottier, University of Bern, laid the foundation for the discussions of the two day Workshop. Prof. Cottier proposed the concept of a five storied house in multilevel governance as an analytical framework for studying the tensions between democracy, international law and sovereignty. He highlighted the role of international law as primarily being an instrument of keeping peace. The other key note speakers were Dr. Eva Pils from Kings College, London and Prof. Yuan Ding from CEIBS, Shanghai. While Dr. Pils looked at developments in China from a rule of law perspective, Prof. Yuan Ding’s presentation revealed the reasons for outward investments by Chinese firms.

The papers presented covered a broad range of perspectives on multilevel governance, new forms of trade agreements, and issues of transparency and legitimacy in law making processes at both the international and domestic levels. Another set of papers looked at issues of decentralisation, on clashes between new peace agreements and existing decentralisation mechanisms as well as theoretical analysis of asymmetrical federalism. Chinese participants presented on various new regulations being adopted in the form of administrative legislation on issues relating to increasing use of the internet as a mode of commerce. Others looked at concept of human rights in China from a genealogical perspective and critically reviewed notions of legal transplantation. A comparative paper on international commercial dispute resolution addressed the similarities and differences in the approaches of the Swiss and Chinese judicial authorities. Other papers looked at the development of international law, whether through unequal modes of creation and enforcement and the question of integrating resistance into international law.
In addition to participants from China and Switzerland, the Workshop included participants from Belgium, Philippines, Uganda and Romania. Intensive discussions and new perspectives on current developments made the Workshop an enriching experience for both the organisers and the participants.
The Institute of Federalism and the China University of Political Science and Law will continue this fruitful cooperation in the future.