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With a CESL scholarship in Beijing

With a “Short Stay PhD Research Fellowship” granted by China-EU School of Law (CESL), Spanish PhD candidate Pablo Sanz Bayón conducted research in Beijing in spring 2016. He was interested in the Chinese approach to Corporate Law.

How did your research benefit from the short stay in Beijing?

I carried out comparative research on Corporate Law for my PhD thesis at the China-EU School of Law for two months. More specifically, I examined the so called corporate deadlock. That is when severe conflicts occur amongst the directors and shareholders of a company and when none of them wishes to compromise. I analysed this phenomenon in the Chinese context, because I want to find out whether Chinese law offers solutions to this problem which could be integrated into European law. So I studied Chinese Company Law in detail and collected much data, reports and papers on recent developments in this field. I also had the chance to exchange views with Prof. Wang Yong from the China University of Political Science and Law, who specialises in Chinese Business Law, and several other Chinese experts in this field, for instance at Peking University and Renmin University. It has been a profitable time to live and work at the China-EU School of Law.

What was the most surprising experience?

I knew that it is a challenging task to fully understand the standpoint of a legal system other than your own. Yet I was surprised how strongly, as legal scholars, our mindsets and ideas rely on the legal system of our home country. Thus, personal interaction with Chinese scholars to discuss different legal jurisdictions and getting their feedback on my research on Chinese law was an extraordinary opportunity. In my experience, a friendly exchange of views with other scholars is the best way to develop a multi-jurisdictional comprehension of the law. I have recently joined the Law School of Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid, Spain, as a lecturer in law. Yet I hope to further strengthen ties with Chinese scholars.

How was living in Beijing?

Before I came to China I thought everyday life would be more difficult for me in a foreign country with a foreign language. But when I arrived everything went smoothly. On campus, I was even assigned an academic tutor and a student assistant who introduced me to other scholars, explained how the library and databases work, and also which bus to take and so on. I was impressed by the rich intellectual culture of China and the vibrant atmosphere on campus, so I enjoyed an exciting academic life at the China-EU School of Law.

To support young researchers, the China-EU School of Law offers scholarships for 2 to 12 months research. European PhD candidates can conduct research in Beijing, Chinese PhD candidates can stay in Europe. They are paid a monthly grant of up to 1,000 euros and a fixed travel grant for one return trip. More information on the China-EU School of Law’s Short Stay PhD Research Fellowships.