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.
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.
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.
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