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Barceló Visits Chinese Universities to Present Lectures, Discuss Collaboration

“Cornell is very well known in China,” says John J. Barceló, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law and Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director of the Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program, reflecting on the enthusiastic response he received during a recent trip.

Barcelo lectures before Zhejiang University students.

In mid-October Barceló, accompanied by his wife, journeyed to China to visit two universities. He traveled first to Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, southwest of Shanghai. Barceló had been contacted by Jun Zhao ’06, a former student and research assistant of his at Cornell Law and now a professor at Zhejiang, and was then formally invited by the university to deliver the 2011 Zhu Kezhen Distinguished Lectures. On October 12, he addressed a general university audience on the topic of business dispute arbitration as an instrument for economic development, and the following day, he presented on climate control border measures and World Trade Organization law before students and faculty of the university’s Guanghua Law School. Barceló also met with law school faculty and students to discuss mutual research and study interests.

On October 14, Barceló traveled to Shanghai, where he gave a talk on international commercial and investment arbitration before students and faculty of Jiao Tong University’s KoGuan Law School. Cornell and KoGuan signed an official agreement of educational cooperation in August 2011.

John Barcelo meets with Zhejiang University faculty

“It was a very fruitful trip,” says Barceló. Though he found the graciousness of his hosts and the beauty of Hangzhou remarkable, the most striking aspect of the excursion, he recalls, was the attendance for his general presentation at Zhejiang, where he arrived to find 500 students packed in to the lecture hall, many standing or sitting on the ground. (He was later told that the turnout was even greater than that for a lecture once given in the same room by Jürgen Habermas.) “It was a great pleasure to see their eagerness to study the issue of arbitration,” says Barceló, adding, “I tried to make the topic somewhat sexy by [relating it] to economic development.”

Photos courtesy Zhejiang University students.