China Program 2011 – Week 2 – By Professor Tiefenbrun
June 6, 2011
We have all just come back from an incredible day at the Beijing People’s Supreme Court and the Forbidden City. All 85 of us are literally overwhelmed by the excitement of Beijing, the splendor and beauty of the Supreme Court which is bedecked in marble throughout, and the majesty of the Forbidden City which transports you to the age of the Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, the Last Emperor, and all of China’s long and rich imperial history. At the Supreme Court we had a private tour by the Vice President of the Court and a lecture by four judges about Chinese legal reform measures (initiatives to increase transparency and fairness, the expansion of mediation, the training of judges, etc). Their speeches were a perfect continuation of our very successful 2011 Rule of Law in China Conference held May 27th in Hangzhou at the law school. After the visit to the Supreme Court we went by foot to Tiananmen Square, and amazingly our guides did not and probably could not mention the protest and atrocities that occurred there in 1989! We then had a fabulous lunch of special Beijing dishes. After lunch we all walked leisurely through the incredible Forbidden City, the palace of the Emperors, their concubines, their wife and relatives and servants. The palace was built to house 30,000 people. It is as big and beautiful as Versailles in France but much older. What a day! And tonight we have another succulent dinner followed by a KungFu show. Tomorrow Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, and the next day the Temple of Heaven and visit of a small alley in Beijing called a hutong.
This past week we all had a great time recovering from the excitement of the conference, the trip to Suzhou and its magnificent gardens and silks, and the intellectual excitement of our 5 courses.
It is hard to believe that we have only one more week left. Next week the basketball and pingpong tournament:US v. China on Tuesday.
All is going well. We have a spectacular group of adventurous students and wonderful professors. It is all in all a great group!
Wish you were here to explore China and its developing legal system with us.
Professor Susan Tiefenbrun