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The Joint Managerial Committee (JMC) is CESL's 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 two Co-Deans (one of Chinese nationality, one of a non-Chinese nationality). The Co-Dean of Chinese nationality is to be nominated by CUPL and the Executive Principal of CESL, the other Co-Dean is nominated by UHH in cooperation with the European partners and in charge of Finances. The present Chinese Co-Dean is Prof. Liu Fei. The European Co-Dean isProf. Bengt Lundell, the European Executive Co-Dean is Dr. Clemens Richter. The Executive Co-Dean represents the European Co-Dean in every respect of his functions. They are both responsible for running CESL and its activities. Former Co-Deans were 2008-2012 Prof. Fang Liufang, 2008-2011Prof. Ninon Colneric, 2011- 2012 Prof. Thomas Bruha, 2013 Prof. Aalt Willem Heringa and Prof. Armin Hatje 2014-2017.