The UCASS-UK Unviersity Academic Month was officially launched at the Du Xue Auditorium at Liangxiang Campus on December 12th, 2019. An outstanding panel of guests and experts were present to celebrate the opening ceremony, including Prof. Wang Xinqing, Vice President of UCASS and President of the Graduate School of CASS (GSCASS); Prof. Zhang Bo, Vice President of UCASS; Prof. David Ibbetson, Regius Professor and President of Clare Hall of Cambridge University; Mr. Michael NGAI, Chairperson of Hong Kong Financial Association and Member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC); and Dr. Marie Jansson Jones, Development Director of Clare Hall of Cambridge University. More than 80 faculty members and students from relevant departments and schools of UCASS also joined the event.
On behalf of the UCASS faculty and students, Prof. Wang Xinqing warmly welcomed all the experts and scholars coming from afar in his opening remarks, highlighting the great opportunities the event presents to deepen academic exchanges for stronger engagement with international institutions and with scholars from both home and abroad. With the aspiration to enlighten students through better access to international perspectives and frontier academic developments, the Academic Month serves as a valuable approach to integrate research with teaching endeavors, which will help to improve professional and academic excellence by inspiring new way of thinking. He also pointed out that with all the efforts combined, the event will mark another step towards building UCASS into a first-class university of humanities and social sciences.
Following Prof. Wang Xinqing's remarks, Prof. David Ibbetson delivered an academic lecture on the Western Legal Concept. In his one hour-plus presentation, Prof. David Ibbetson walked the students through the rich history of western legal concepts and theories: ranging from the earliest legal texts of the Code of Hammurabi, the Ancient Greek Thoughts and Medieval Theocratic Theories of Natural Law, to the modern Rationalist legal culture of European Continent, the Codification Movement, the British legislative practice of Tudor Dynasty, the idea of stare decisis and the formation of Classical and Positivist Theories. The 20th century has then witnessed the emergence of various schools of law in great diversity and complexity, including German School of Natural Law, American Legal Realism, British Theory of Positivist, Theory of Legal Interpretation and revival of Natural Law. With their own unique traditions, the legal concepts and legal awareness of the western world have evolved with constant innovation and development, laying a solid foundation for the evolution of its legal system.
During the Q&A session, Prof. David Ibbetson addressed in great detail questions raised on the influence of natural law on UK legislation, the relationship between the history of western legal thoughts and philosophy of law, the applicability of secular law and religious law, and how the latter has influenced contemporary legal system.
In conclusion, UCASS Prof. Wang Lijun of the School of Political Science and Law revisited the gist of the lecture, accentuating the valuable knowledge drawn from legal thoughts from both China and the world across history are essential for building a society under rule of law. Hopefully with Prof. David Ibbetson's global view of the evolving legal thoughts of the western world, students will be inspired to probe deeper into their own reflections.