As our readers may know, there have been widespread riots in China over the confiscation of land which over there the government leases to farmers, but from time to time decides to kick them out and sell their land to developers, pocketing the price as a source of municipal revenue. Chinese farmers and other small property owners being evicted in this fashion take a dim view of this process, particularly since the compensation paid to them is grossly inadequate. See gideonstrumpet.info/?p=1923. So we though it might be interesting to see what American law academics think of the rule of law in China and we turned with interest to a short article entitled The State of Chinese Law, published in The Law School, one of those slick alumni magazines published by NYU Law School for 2011.
But we were disappointed to learn that the Chinese legal subjects these folks were interested in included none of this stuff. Instead, they were: Labor law, human rights, criminal law, and the justice system. Not a trace of property rights in general, or their confiscation in particular. Not a peep about those riots we have already alluded to.
But all is not lost in Academe. The good news is that next week, the William & Mary College School of Law, together with Tsignhua University, will co-sponsor a symposium on property rights, to be held in Beijing. It remains to be seen what participants in that Beijing conference will have to say about the violence over private property rights, that is going on in China even as we write.
This year, the recipient of William & Mary’s annual Brigham-Kanner prize is Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Her remarks have been videotaped and will be available in a few days. For additional information about the Beijing conference, click here. By now it’s too late to make arrangements to attend, but the information you get when you click on the highlighted word, contains links to various detailed aspectes of the Brigham-Kanner conference in Beijing.