William and Mary Law School

Law School Convenes First International Conference in Beijing

  • Historic Gathering
    Historic Gathering
    Scholars, jurists, and practitioners from the U.S. and China gathered at Tsinghua University in Beijing for the Law School's 8th Annual Brigham Kanner Property Rights Project.
    Conference photos by Stephen Salpukas, W&M Office of Creative Services
  • Proceedings
    Proceedings
    The conference was held on the campus of Tsinghua University School of Law and featured panelists from the U.S. and China.
  • International Exchange of Ideas
    International Exchange of Ideas
    Law Professor Weixing Shen, vice dean of Tsinghua University School of Law, at left, and Joseph T. Waldo, of Waldo & Lyle of Virginia, participated on a panel offering international perspectives on property rights.
  • Dean Douglas in Beijing
    Dean Douglas in Beijing
    Scholars, practitioners and judges from the U.S. and China met for an exchange of ideas about the importance of property rights.
  • The Forbidden Palace
    The Forbidden Palace
    Highlights of the Beijing Conference included sight-seeing excursions to some of China's most famous tourist destinations.

The first international conference hosted by William & Mary Law School's Property Rights Project began today at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Scholars, jurists, and practitioners from the United States and China gathered at the Project's Eighth Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference to discuss the evolution of property rights on a global scale.W&M Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas welcomes conferees.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was honored at the conference with the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize.  Her contributions to property rights jurisprudence were also celebrated at a reception in her honor held at the U.S. Embassy. O'Connor served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1981 to 2006. She made history in 1981 as the first woman 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.

The conference is being held at and in cooperation with Tsinghua University School of Law, one of China's top universities and law schools. The conference is a featured event during Tsinghua University's celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

William & Mary 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 said that the conference was honored to have a number of China's pre-eminent scholars participate.

Holding the conference in China has provided "a comparative framework for the 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.

Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School spoke during a panel discussion of Justice O'Connor's property rights decisions.Previous prize recipients have traveled to Beiing for the conference. They 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, and Carol M. Rose of the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law and professor emerita of Yale Law School.

William & Mary Office of University Relations Media Contact: Suzanne Seurattan, scseur@wm.edu (757)221-1631.

William & Mary Law School Contacts: Jaime Welch-Donahue, jpwelc@wm.edu (757)221-1840; Ami Dodson, aadodson@wm.edu, (757)221-2075.