Beijing, China - Prof. John Capowski of the law school was recently an invited speaker at an evidence symposium in Beijing, China. Entitled "The International Symposium on Evidence Law and Forensic Science: International Perspectives and the Chinese Experience," the multi-day meeting focused on China's effort to both reform and codify its evidence law. The conference was sponsored by the China University of Political Science and Law and was hosted by their Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science. China University, located in Beijing and focused on law and political science, has approximately 20,000 students and awards bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in law.
The conference brought together for the first time China's evidence law scholars. Also included in the conference were representatives of China's National People's Congress, the People's Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Justice as well as other government representatives and judges. Foreign evidence scholars, in addition to Professor Capowski, included Prof. Ronald Allen, the John H. Wigmore Professor at Northwestern, and evidence professors from the United Kingdom and Australia.
Professor Capowski's presentation, entitled "Evidence Codification and Transubstantive and Bifurcated Evidence Codes," discussed the most contentious issue the Chinese are grappling with in codifying their evidence law--whether to have one evidence code or separate codes for civil and criminal law. The presentation will be published in the peer reviewed journal, Evidence Science and Forensic Science.
Following the symposium, Professors Capowski and Allen met for four hours with the committee that is drafting China's proposed evidence code. They discussed with the committee the first English translation of the draft code and will be involved in discussions with members of the committee as the process continues.