William and Mary Law School

Beijing Property Rights Conference to Focus on Global Perspectives

Ed. Note: For the most up to date information about the Beijing Property Rights Conference, please read our July 7, 2011 press release.

On Oct. 14-15 William & Mary Law School's Property Rights Project will host its annual conference for the first time overseas in cooperation with Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing. The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, now in its eighth year, will be held on the Beijing campus and will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between scholars and other members of the legal community from the United States and China.  Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will receive the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize at the conference and also will be a featured speaker. All seven previous prize recipients will participate on conference panels.

Click here for a description of the conference panels.

Holding the conference in China "will foster a comparative framework for discussion of property rights that is long overdue given the strong ties between the United States and China and China's dynamic role in the world economy," explained Chancellor Professor of Law Lynda Butler, the Project's director.

Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas said the slate of participants comprised many scholars "whose work forms the foundation of contemporary American property law jurisprudence." He added that while plans are still preliminary, he looked forward to having a number of China's pre-eminent scholars also participate. 

The conference will be a featured event during Tsinghua University's celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

On Thursday, Oct. 13, a reception for conference participants, attendees, and members of the Tsinghua University faculty will be held at the U.S. Embassy.

Panels will address the nature of property rights in international legal systems, the function of property in promoting social policies and in shaping economies, the impact of cultural attitudes on the concept of property, and the relationship between property law and environmental interests. In addition, special sessions will be devoted to Justice O'Connor's property law jurisprudence and the future of property rights.

Previous prize recipients who will participate in the conference include Richard A. Epstein, formerly of the University of Chicago Law School and now at New York University School of Law, Robert C. Ellickson of Yale Law School, James W. Ely, Jr., professor emeritus of Vanderbilt Law School, Frank I. Michelman of Harvard Law School, Richard E. Pipes, professor emeritus of Harvard University, Margaret Jane Radin of the University of Michigan Law School, and Carol M. Rose of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and professor emerita of Yale Law School.

O'Connor served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1981 to 2006. She made history in 1981 as the first women nominated to serve on the high court. Her widely cited dissenting opinion in Kelo v.  City of New London (2005) has been hailed as a pivotal opinion in property law jurisprudence. She became Chancellor of the College of William & Mary following her retirement from the judiciary.  In May 2010, the William & Mary Law School faculty awarded her its highest honor, the Marshall-Wythe Medallion, in recognition of her exceptional accomplishments and leadership.

The annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference is presented by the William & Mary Property Rights Project and is named in recognition of Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner for their lifetime contributions to private property rights.  Now going on its eighth year, the conference is designed to bring together members of the bench, bar and academia to explore recent developments in takings law and other areas of the law affecting property rights.  During the conference, the Project presents the Brigham-Kanner Prize to an outstanding figure in the field.

At the conclusion of the conference, attendees also may register for an optional tour, which will include visits to historic sites in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

For information about the conference, CLE credit, and the optional tour, please call (757)221-3796 or email [[w|lsdevl]].