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The Joint Managerial Committee (JMC) is CESL's highest decision making body. The JMC is composed of ten members. It is led by the Chinese Co-Chairperson Zhang Fusen, former member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), former Director of the Committee for Social and Legal Affairs of the CPPCC and former Minister of Justice, and the European Co-Chairperson Prof. Hinrich Julius from the University of Hamburg (UHH).

The ongoing affairs of CESL are administered by Co-Deans (of both Chinese and European nationalities). The Co-Dean of Chinese nationality is nominated by CUPL and acts as the Executive Principal of CESL, the other Co-Dean is nominated by UHH in cooperation with the European partners and is in charge of the Finances. The present Chinese Co-Dean is Prof. Liu Fei. The European Co-Dean is Prof. Bengt Lundell. Mr. Ronald Montague Silley has been appointed as the European Executive Co-Dean in Beijing from April 2019. The Co-Deans are responsible for running CESL and all its activities. Former Co-Deans were Prof. Fang Liufang (2008-2012), Prof. Ninon Colneric (2008-2011), Prof. Thomas Bruha (2011- 2012), Prof. Aalt Willem Heringa (2013) and Prof. Armin Hatje (2014-2017). European Executive Co-Dean was Dr Clemens Richter (2014-2017).