Xingzhong Yu will join the permanent faculty of Cornell Law School as the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Professor in Chinese Law, effective January 2012. Professor Yu is familiar with Cornell, having served in fall 2010 as the Wang Distinguished Visiting Professor. He taught a course on Chinese law, lectured on traditional Chinese views of justice, and participated in workshops of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture. He then returned to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where he teaches constitutional law and jurisprudence.
"My experience as a Visiting Professor at Cornell was intellectually elevating," said Yu. "Apart from teaching, I also learned a great deal from Cornell's superb academic environment and its admirable faculty. I utterly enjoyed myself, and that experience has made me eager to come back for a longer stay."
"We have been searching for a number of years for the right person to fill the Wang Chair in Chinese Law," stated Stewart Schwab, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. "I am confident that Professor Yu is that person and that he will lead our Chinese Law program with distinction. Professor Yu is smart, experienced, humble, hard-working, and savvy. He is a great colleague and teacher. Professor Yu has great understanding of Chinese law and culture but also superb training and experience in American law. He can analyze and critique both American and Chinese perspectives on core jurisprudential concepts such as rule of law and individual versus group rights. This comparative understanding underlies his sophisticated approach to Chinese-American legal interactions."
Yu received a bachelor's degree from Lanzhou University in the People's Republic of China, and LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from Harvard Law School. He wrote his 1995 S.J.D. dissertation on A Theory of Civil Order under the guidance of Chinese Law specialist William Alford and now-Dean Martha Minow. In addition to his work at CUHK, Professor Yu has taught at Beijing University, Jilin University, Northwest University of Politics and Law, Shandong University, and Harvard Law School. He also conducted research at Columbia Law School, Australian National University, and the University of Sydney. As an Associate at Chicago's Baker & McKenzie, he assisted clients doing business in China, providing expertise on investment law, labor law, and intellectual property. He is the author of numerous articles and three books, including Rule of Law and Civil Orders (2006).
"Cornell has an excellent program on East Asian law and culture, under the able directorship of Professor Annelise Riles, whose work has laid a solid foundation for further development of Chinese legal studies," said Yu. "I expect to offer general as well as specialized courses in Chinese law, assist Cornell faculty members whose research interests include Chinese law, and work with Cornell to establish academic relations with universities in Greater China. All these efforts require great care and enormous amounts of energy, and I am happy that I now have the opportunity to take up these challenges."