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Peking University International Law Institute, Peking University Law School, and the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (‘CILRAP’) co-organized a launch of Volumes 3 (ISBN 978-82-8348-015-3, 837 pp.) and 4 (ISBN 978-82-8348-017-7, 996 pp.) of ‘Historical Origins of International Criminal Law’ (‘HOICL’) at Peking University Law School on 28 November 2015. The programme of the event – which took place in Chinese – is available here.

The speakers included Professor YI Peking (Peking University Law School), Vice-Dean Professor XUE Jun (Peking University Law School), SUN Ang (Deputy Director General, Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China), Professor GONG Renren (Peking University Law School, former Director, Research Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law), Professor LING Yan (China University of Political Science and Law), Assistant Professor CHEN Yifeng (Peking University Law School), Professor GAO Xiudong (China Foreign Affairs University), and SONG Tianying (Legal Adviser, ICRC East Asia Delegation). Among the participants were Professor ZHANG Aining (China Foreign Affairs University, Secretary General of the Chinese Society of International Law) and WANG Mei (Secretary of the Chinese Society of International Law).

The statement by Professor LING Yan is available here, and the PPT-slides of SONG Tianying are accessible here. Professor LING observed: “For those interested in ICL and who want to study its history and evolution comprehensively, these four volumes serve as a timely and rich source. They are also useful for teaching ICL and the preparation of relevant moot court competitions. […] I hope you will follow and participate in future FICHL academic activities, so as to increase the voice of Chinese scholars at international fora”.

In his remarks, Professor CHEN Yifeng observed that “these four volumes have important academic value”, and that they “emphasize diversity, incorporating cross-culture, cross-civilization perspectives, and uncover non-western history, experience and wisdom in international criminal law, in an attempt to overcome the Eurocentric tendency in research in this area”. He remarked that the “study of international criminal law’s history in the HOICL volumes may enrich the theoretical basis of the discipline, diversify the methodology”, by that providing “a rare opportunity for international criminal law scholars to reflect upon the discipline itself”. He noted that “the volumes pay attention to Chinese experience” and that “[s]uch writing enriches the Chinese academics’ knowledge and understanding of international criminal law, and may contribute to the research and teaching of international criminal law in China”. He pointed out that “the goal of studying international criminal law’s history is not to prove the correctness, richness, long tradition of the discipline, but rather to elaborate human society’s attempt to use criminal justice mechanisms to solve cross-border, inter-state problems”, and that this “calls for meaningful participation of both Chinese and Western scholars, their candid communications, and concerted efforts”.

The overall theme of the HOICL Project is described in the leaflet ‘United by the Basics of International Criminal Law: Exploring its Historical Origins’.

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