On October 11, 2019, the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law (SAHSOL) held a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies (CCLS) at LUMS. The Centre, a groundbreaking initiative for research in and the promotion and teaching of Chinese legal studies in Pakistan, has been established in collaboration with the School of Law at Wuhan University, China. The ceremony drew a large attendance, and featured prominent individuals from not only the legal field, but also from the government sector. Honourable Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, served as the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker.
Given Pakistan’s increased interaction with China over the past years, the CCLS has been founded as a hub for shared legal resources and an exchange of knowledge between Pakistani academics and their Chinese counterparts. The Centre with the School of Law at Wuhan University (SLWU) will also train qualified academic staff based in Pakistan in order to create capacity for the study and teaching of Chinese Law in all relevant areas of concern for Pakistan, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The CCLS will broaden the legal knowledge base and equip lawyers to work on Pak-China projects. Mutual collaboration on research projects and exchange visits will build intellectual capital for both nations. In this regard, CCLS and the School of Law at Wuhan University have commenced a short Law course at SAHSOL titled, ‘Introduction to Chinese Law’.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor LUMS, noted the importance of this partnership, “The role of CCLS is to promote exchanges with Wuhan University to teach Chinese law courses, conduct training seminars and attend conferences and symposia on the Chinese legal system. By building academic capacity to study and teach courses in Chinese law through CCLS, both countries stand to gain as our ties are strengthened through CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative. This important initiative must succeed for future generations not only to benefit Asia, but to benefit the world, which is increasingly looking to China for its remarkable progress in scientific research and higher education.”
Dr. Parvez Hassan, member of the Board of Trustees, LUMS, spoke to the audience and noted how the University is suited to spearhead this initiative. He said, “With the growing Chinese interest in the region, SAHSOL can position itself as a leading legal research hub for students and professors, particularly from Pakistan, China and other Central Asian republics.”
SAHSOL has collaborated closely with Wuhan University to establish this Centre. As one of the earliest universities in China, it is a comprehensive research university that has been extensively involved in creating linkages with international universities across the world through exchange programmes and partnerships. Its world-class facilities and educational quality, along with its beautiful campus, attracts more than, 2000 international students every year to study in the university's various disciplines.
Professor Li Fei, Vice President Wuhan University, also spoke at the event and expressed his pleasure at the collaboration, “The establishment of this Centre will provide a good platform for Pakistani teachers and students to study Chinese law and culture. Wuhan University will support the developments through legal personnel training, legal academic research and intellectual exchange. The Centre will become an important link, and I hope the two universities will work together to continuously develop China and Pakistan’s friendship.”
In his keynote address, Honourable Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, stressed on the importance of mutual collaboration and the understanding of Chinese culture and said, “Unless we endeavour to understand the history, the tradition and the ethos of the Chinese people, we will not be able to understand their laws. There is much to learn from the Chinese - understanding their people and their culture goes hand in hand with legal education."
He then spoke about how the CCLS is the need of the hour, “Thanks to the visionary leadership at LUMS we have moved in the right direction with China. This Centre will go a long way in developing expertise to assist Chinese and Pakistani companies walking in through the economic corridor. The new cadre of professionals with a good sense of Chinese law and tradition will help fasten the wheels of business by forging partnerships and joint business ventures with much more ease and understanding.”
Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali, Acting Dean SAHSOL, thanked the speakers and the audience for their presence at the ceremony and expressed his positive outlook for the success of this venture and for future collaborations as well.
This partnership between the two universities promises to be an important stepping-stone to advancing legal knowledge for not just students and faculty at these universities, but for both countries and their joint projects as well. The establishment of this Centre is a monumental occasion for the University, and exemplifies that LUMS is a national premier educational institution, and also an entity that continues to build partnerships that will create an international impact.