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Chinese Law, Society and Economy

A research outlet and platform for China-related socio-legal research at Northumbria University

Chinese Law, Society and Economy (CLSE) is a research outlet and a platform for China-related socio-legal research at Northumbria University.

Our research is by nature multidisciplinary and deliberately covers a wide range of issues in the areas of law, politics, society economics and culture. We also use China as a case study or a starting point to make comparison between China, the UK and other jurisdictions in the world, to engage in global debates. We welcome PGR students who are interested in studying these areas with us.

China is a vast country and a fast-reviving economy in the world. It now increasingly performs a leading role in the international community. Things happening in China – good or bad – attract global attention, and China-related studies are exciting. We feel that a platform, a forum and a home is needed here in Northumbria Law School and the Faculty of Business and Law, to research into China.

CLSE was launched in July 2019 for this purpose. Our members are experts – academics and practitioners – and PGR researchers in the pertinent disciplines or are enthusiastic to carry out research in or in relation to Greater China and overseas Chinese communities. We seek broad international collaboration via research and are keen to make friends globally. We work hard to make CLSE a front runner and a leader of the fields of studies.

Group convenor and main contact: Professor Anqi Shen

CLSE Workshop Series 2021–2022

Launched in 2019, CLSE aims to provide fora to showcase our cutting-edge research and exchange ideas in socio-legal studies between researchers at Northumbria Law School and academics in prestigious law schools and legal and criminal justice professionals in China. We look forward to developing collaborative research with our Chinese partners. 

Fridays 1–2pm (BST); 12–1pm (GMT) ; 8–9pm (Beijing time) The one hour workshops consist of two 20 minute short talks or one 40 minute presentation, Q&A, and discussion. If you would like to attend a workshop, please email Anqi Shen (

15th October. Anna Butler – Fashion and sustainable development. Ann Ferguson – Intellectual property law: recent cases of bad faith/non-use and trademarks.

29th October. Debbie Rook – Companion animals as family members. Tony Storey – Was it something I ate? Challenging a positive test for performance enhancing drugs: to what extent can athletes avoid sporting sanctions by blaming contaminated food.

12th November. Victoria Roper and CCC RIG – Corporate crime in the UK and ongoing reform proposals: Opportunities for international collaboration. 

19th November. Ali Rieu-Clarke & EL RIG – International law applicable to hydropower projects on transboundary rivers – fragmentation or convergence?

26th November. Tony Storey – The defence of insanity: Two wrongs don't make it right: Comparing the interpretation of the M'Naghten rules on the insanity defence in Australia, Canada and England.

10th December. Paul Dargue – Empirical legal research and the Journal of Legal Research Methodology. Anqi Shen. Outside-insider positionality in empirical socio-legal research: A Chinese case study.

Christmas special – TBC



CLSE Events and Workshops


CLSE Webinar Series, Summer 2020  

Following the group's successful launch events in 2019, CLSE held a webinar series through July and August 2020. These aimed to provide opportunities for academics in Northumbia Law School and researchers in leading Chinese law schools and police colleges to meet (online), present and discuss topical issues in relation to Chinese law, society and China-focused comparative socio-legal studies. Topics included internet fraud, counterfeiting, expert evidence, digital evidence, personal data protection, police investigation and privacy protection. We have received very positive feedback from colleagues and friends who participated in the events. CLSE continues to work to establish and strength the links with Chinese academics.   


CLSE held its first research workshop and a social event on Tuesday the 24th of July at Northumbria Law School, part of the launching event. 11 CLSE members, including two visiting PGR students from Nanjing University Law School, presented their ongoing research projects under themes: (1) Technology, crime and law enforcement; (2) Law and evidence; (3) Financial law; (4) Legal education; and (5) Law and justice.

The workshop was followed by a social event. China related studies and comparative socio-legal research between China, UK and many other countries were discussed further.

CLSE held its first research workshop and social event at Northumbria Law School.

Adam Jackson's presentation: PDTOR project on police detective on the Tor Network.

Chris Simmons's presentation: Technology enhanced learning.

Paul McKeown talked about the Law Student Office and his research on legal education and social justice.

External member (Nanjing University Law School) Shuo Yang's presentation: Risk and regulation in financial innovation in contemporary China.

External member (Nanjing University Law School) Fengling Ding compared the International Commercial Courts in China and Singapore.

Tony Ward's current research on weight of evidence: a comparative study.

Ann Ferguson explained her studies on commercial disputes and expert evidence.

Brian Brewis discussed his research on sexual history evidence and a recent publication.

Bethany A'Court explained her research in the areas of youth justice and legal aid.

Anqi Shen talked about a current study on women policing in China.

Callum Thomson sought to investigate the welfare of the child - an issue in the field of family justice - from a comparative perspective.

Social and further discussions.


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