Oklahoma City University School of Law is playing host this week to a contingent of legal scholars and teachers from law schools across China.
OCU hosted the Second International Symposium on Sino-American Comparative Law on Thursday.
The symposium brought together 30 scholars from nine Chinese universities and 20 faculty members from OCU's law school, making it larger than last year's event, said Lawrence Hellman, dean emeritus of OCU's law school.
Last year's symposium was hosted by Nankai University School of Law. Nine OCU faculty members participated in that event.
During this year's symposium, participants discussed commonalities and differences between legal and criminal justice systems in China and the United States, including the influence of American legal education on law schools in China.
Yu Fengzheng, dean of Beijing Normal University Zhuhai campus' School of Government and Law, said the symposium offers a good chance for cultural and academic exchange between the U.S. and China.
Chinese legal education as it exists today is a relatively recent concept, Yu said. Modern law schools only began to flourish in the late 1970s, after the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, he said.
The country as a whole has been in a constant state of transition since the 1911 Xinhai Revolution that established the Republic of China, becoming a more modern, industrial society, Yu said. The Chinese legal system has continued to modernize to keep up with that shift, he said.
It's also important to encourage dialogue between legal scholars in China and the United States because the two countries represent the world's two largest economies, Yu said. When conflicts arise between the two nations, it's helpful for leaders in each country to have a solid understanding of the legal systems of both, he said.
The symposium is a part of an ongoing relationship between OCU's law school and a number of law schools in China. The law school also offers a summer study abroad program that sends American students to study at Nankai University and hosts a four-week Certificate in American Law program for Chinese students.