China between reform and repression: lawyers in the fight for political liberalism

Image of vintage revolutionary poster, with the slogan 'Sternly Attack Criminal Activities'

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 07 February 2017


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Terence Halliday



An enormous struggle is underway over China’s legal and political futures. This seminar provides an overview of Terence Halliday and Sida Liu’s research on the interweaving of politics and practice in five segments of the practicing criminal defense and human rights bar in China from 2005 to 2015.

Their newly published book, Criminal Justice in China:The Politics of Lawyers at Work (Cambridge University Press, 2016), places China in a world-historical context of extensive scholarship on lawyers and the fates and fortunes of political liberalism from 17th-century Europe to late 20th-century Korea and Taiwan.

About the speaker

Terence Halliday is Research Professor and Co-Director, Center on Law and Globalization, American Bar Foundation; Honorary Professor, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University; Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University. His research and writing focuses on globalization and law in markets (global lawmaking, regulation, governance, finance, terrorism) and politics (lawyers, the legal complex and sites for struggle over basic legal freedoms). His China research and policy consultations have included professional regulation, corporate bankruptcy reforms, and revisions of the criminal procedure law.

His recent writings on China include “The Invisible Defender: Three Media Images of Chinese Criminal Defense Lawyers,” International Journal of the Legal Profession (with Cheng-Tong Lir Wang, Sida Liu, 2015); “The Trial of Li Zhuang: Chinese Lawyers’ Collective Action Against Populism,” Asian Journal of Law and Society, 1: 79-97 (with Sida Liu, Lily Liang); “ Political Liberalism and Political Embeddedness: Understanding Politics in the Work of Chinese Criminal Defense Lawyers”, Law and Society Review, Vol. 45: 1540-5893 (with Sida Liu); and “Birth of a Liberal Moment? Looking through a One-Way Mirror at Lawyers’ Defense of Criminal Defendants in China,” (with Sida Liu in Fighting for Political Freedom: Comparative Studies of the Legal Complex and Political Change, edited by Terence C. Halliday, Lucien Karpik, and Malcolm M. Feeley.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet