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ABF Research Professor Gives Keynote at Second Annual China Human Rights Lawyers Day

July 23, 2018, ABF news

CHICAGO, July 23, 2018 American Bar Foundation (ABF) Research Professor, Terence Halliday, a specialist in globalization and law who is completing a National Science Foundation funded research project on the development of criminal procedure law and practice in China, was invited to give the keynote speech at the second annual "China Human Rights Lawyers Day." Held at Fordham Law School in New York City on July 8, the second annual "China Human Rights Lawyers Day" was organized by a group of international human rights organizations to honor China's human rights lawyers and activists, who have been persecuted by the Chinese government since the early 2000s for defending the laws and freedoms of Chinese citizens.

The second annual event follows an inaugural "China Human Rights Lawyers Day" that was first organized in Washington, D.C. on July 9, 2017 on the anniversary of the "709 Crackdown," in response to one of the most large-scale attacks and roundups of China's human rights lawyers and activists that the country has seen. During his keynote speech at this year's second annual event, Halliday posed several important questions and discussed:

  • His time spent with some of China's notable human rights lawyers in late June 2015, just before the 709 Crackdown occurred.
  • What the 709 Crackdown tells the world about China and its rulers.
  • Concerns over China's rising threat to international law.
  • What China's human rights lawyers and their struggles for freedom teaches the world.
  • What the future look like for China's human rights lawyers and activists.

"The world is waking up. The world is waking up to the dark side, the cruelty, the brutality of China’s rulers, and we can see these in the way it treats rights lawyers...The world is waking up to the recognition that China is a country that runs on the fuel of fear...When we view China through the eyes of its criminal defense and rights lawyers, we see a fragile China," Halliday said.

In addition to being the keynote speaker, Halliday, who is a co-author of the 2016 book, "Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work," which details the rise of Chinese human rights lawyers and activists, was also a member of the event's advisory committee.

A full transcript of Halliday's keynote address was published on July 9 on, a website featuring news and commentary on civil society, rule of law, and rights activities in China. China Digital Times, a bilingual news website covering uncensored news and voices from China, also published a recent article on July 13 describing Halliday and his speech as "defiantly optimistic." A public letter Halliday co-authored with other distinguished members of the international community published in The Guardian in January 2017, which was addressed to China's President Xi Jinping about China's human rights abuses, was also referred to in another recent article on July 13 in China Digital Times.

About Terence Halliday: Halliday studied at Massey University in New Zealand and at the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. In addition to his appointment at the ABF, Halliday is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, an Honorary Professor in the School of Regulation, Justice and Diplomacy at Australian National University, and a Fellow of the College of Asia and the Pacific at Australian National University. In addition to Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Halliday is the author of several books, including Global Lawmakers: International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Transnational Legal Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Fates of Political Freedom: The Legal Complex in the British Post-Colony (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and Bankrupt: Global Lawmaking and Systemic Financial Crisis (Stanford University Press, 2009). He has served as the editor of several law journals, including Law & Social Inquiry, Onati International Series in Law and Society, and Current Legal Sociology. Halliday is a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Law and Society Association (USA) and chairs its International Affairs Committee.

Halliday, his research and publications have been frequently cited in major media outlets, such as The New York Times, ABA Journal Al Jazeera, and The Guardian. He also recently testified before Congress on China's brutal crackdown of its notable human rights lawyers.

To watch a video of Halliday giving his keynote address, click here

Posted by Danielle Gensburg.

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