https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/the-reforming-constitution-and-the-change-of-order_1.jpg6561269andrewkamhttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngandrewkam2019-05-21 16:48:482019-05-21 16:48:48One of the Peak Forums on Constitution and Basic Law: “The Reforming Constitution and the Change of Order”
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/improving-the-system-and-mechanism-for-the-implementation-of-the-basic-law_1.jpg570927andrewkamhttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngandrewkam2019-04-17 15:51:042019-04-17 15:51:04One of the Peak Forums on Constitution and Basic Law: “Improving the System and Mechanism for the Implementation of the Basic Law”
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https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/the-constitution-as-law-why-2.jpg10801440andrewkamhttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngandrewkam2019-03-29 18:35:522019-03-29 18:35:52One of the Peak Forums on Constitution and Basic Law:“The Constitution as Law: Why?”
Every year, many students from Portuguese-speaking countries choose to study law at the University of Macau (UM). The Faculty of Law (FLL) at UM has a strong faculty team comprised of high-calibre scholars from Macao, mainland China, Portugal, and other countries. The faculty regularly invites world-renowned scholars in the field to serve as visiting professors, and hires incumbent judges, prosecutors, as well as legal experts and attorneys working in the government to teach on a part-time basis, in order to produce legal professionals with a global mindset and competitiveness.
Similarities to Law Programmes in Portugal
Kennedy Antonio from the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is a second-year law major at UM. There are two main reasons why he chose to study law at UM. First, because of Macao’s unique historical background and its rapid development in various areas, there is an openness about its legal system that befits an international metropolis. Second, a more important reason, the law programmes at UM are taught in Portuguese, which is a big draw for students from Portuguese-speaking countries. The law programmes at UM largely follow the Romano-Germanic system or the Continental European system. Antonio says, ‘I made up my mind to study law at a young age because I wanted to understand the relationship between individuals and the relationship between states and their citizens in terms of rights and obligations. UM has strict requirements for law students. It requires the students to thoroughly understand the legal theories and principles, which helps to deepen my understanding of the different laws in our society.’
The bachelor of law programmes at UM cover important issues in law, such as the current trends in law and the evolution of legal theories. The bachelor of law in Chinese and Portuguese programme includes courses in European Union Law, International Law, and Comparative Law. Antonio believes the knowledge in these fields will be very useful when he returns to his native country. He says, ‘UM is very flexible in law education and its law programmes meet global trends. So graduates of the programmes, whether they are from Macao or elsewhere, will have a great competitive edge and will be able to make a contribution to their countries or regions.’ He plans to stay at UM to pursue further studies until he obtains a PhD degree.
Building a Knowledge-based Business Platform
Manuel RoDirigues De Veiga, a law major from the Republic of Cabo Verde, obtained his bachelor’s degree from UM this June and decided to stay at UM for further studies. Several years ago, Veiga was admitted to UM on a scholarship for his outstanding academic performance, thus beginning a new chapter in his life. He says, ‘UM is like my second home. It has excellent faculty members and teaching facilities. Studying here is like savouring a cocktail, because you meet people from different nationalities.’ He believes the strong faculty team at UM and the university’s effort to support the government in developing Macao into a business platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries will help him achieve his dream. He says, ‘Cape Verde has a huge demand for merchandise from China, especially electronics. Importing Chinese merchandise to Cape Verde via Macao naturally involves a lot of legal issues.’ He explains that the legal systems in Macao and Cabo Verde are both based on the Portuguese law, with close similarities in language and logic. He plans to pursue a career in e-business after graduation. Specifically, he wants to build an e-platform in Macao to facilitate business activities between China and Cabo Verde, so knowledge of business laws in both places will be a great advantage.
The Unique Advantage of Studying Law at UM
Rita Rocha from Portugal decided to study law at UM as an exchange student because she wanted to understand Macao’s special legal status in China as a special administrative region. She says, ‘The legal system in Macao is based on the Portuguese law, but the laws in the two places have both experienced changes with time. On the one hand, all the Portuguese heritage is still left in Macao’s legal system, but on the other hand Macao didn’t copy the alterations and adaptations the Portuguese have made, so it’s fascinating to study the differences between Macao’s law and the Portuguese law and how they have evolved.’ It’s been nearly 20 years since the handover of Macao’s sovereignty to China, Rocha is pleased to see Macao’s effort to become more independent in its legal system. Her sentiments are echoed by another exchange student from Portugal, Beatriz Lourenço, who points out that the differences between Macao’s law and the Portuguese law are largely attributable to the differences in religions and cultures.
Lourenço says, ‘The fact that the laws in Macao are written in Portuguese is itself a great advantage. Take Macao’s neighboring city Hong Kong. The laws in Hong Kong are written in English, which makes business people from around the world more confident to do business in Hong Kong because they can understand the laws in English. Likewise, Portuguese being the official language of law in Macao accords the city the role of a gateway to China for people from Portuguese-speaking countries. Also, because of Macao’s proximity to China, studying in Macao allows me to access information about China that I couldn’t access in Portugal, so I can have a deeper understanding of China’s current development.’ Lourenço plans to find a job in Macao after graduation. That’s why she decided to study law at UM. She wants to familiarise herself with Macao laws and build networks in order to pave the way for her future career development.
Learning Chinese to Increase Competitiveness
Francisca and Teresa are two other exchange students from Portugal in the FLL. They both treasure the opportunity to study at an Asian university, so they want to make the most out of it. They have enrolled for a Chinese language course in the Confucius Institute at UM which is targeted at people whose native tongue is not Chinese. Teresa says, ‘I love to learn new languages and new cultures, and UM is the ideal place to learn Chinese, because when you live in a Chinese-speaking environment, it’s easier to remember the new words. My Chinese language instructor is very strict. He believes in the importance of speaking Chinese with the correct pronunciations and intonation, so if you can’t do it right, he will ask you to try again and again, until you get it right.’
Francisca wants to pursue a career in business law after graduation. As a European, she feels studying and living at UM offers her a window to the Chinese culture. She says college graduates who have studied in China are favoured on the European job market. She says, ‘Many Chinese companies are investing in Portugal. So many Portuguese companies want to hire people who can speak Mandarin, because proficiency in Chinese, and better yet, in the Chinese culture, is very useful during business negotiations.’
Source: Communications Office
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/47116-72075.jpg38405760nicolatai Tai Wai Chenghttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngnicolatai Tai Wai Cheng2019-01-18 17:36:312019-01-18 18:11:01UM’s Faculty of Law Draws Students from Portuguese-speaking Countries for Its Unique Advantages
Fan Xueke, a PhD student from the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Law (FLL), recently received a second prize of a national award for outstanding papers on criminal justice. Her supervisor is Adjunct Professor Zhao Guoqiang from the FLL, who also received an award at the event. The award aims to recognise outstanding PhD papers on criminal justice published between 2016 and 2018. This year, scholars from 12 universities in different parts of China received the award.
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/46954-71586.jpg12101816isisvong Vong Hio Tonghttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngisisvong Vong Hio Tong2019-01-04 17:44:312019-01-04 17:45:58FLL PhD student receives second prize of national outstanding paper award
Today’s law students are tomorrow’s guardians of justice. How should the university prepare law students to fulfil their mission upon graduation? This is a question that Shui Bing, a veteran law professor at the University of Macau (UM), has sought to answer throughout his teaching career. Prof Shui believes in using a question-oriented approach to guide students to discover the joy of thinking and the power of logical reasoning. Because of his dedication and outstanding performance, he received the Teaching Excellence Award from UM in 2018.
Leaving the Classroom with a Greater Passion for Law
A one-time attorney, corporate senior executive, founder of a law firm, and vice president of a local court, Prof Shui has a wealth of legal experience under his belt. But his romance with law was not love at first sight, but rather, to use his own words, ‘love after marriage’. ‘It was only after I started studying law that I came to appreciate the fun of it and slowly fell in love with it,’ he says. ‘Some people think law is a boring subject, but it’s not. It can be tremendously fun, as long as you learn to enjoy thinking.’ In class, he often stresses that the process of thinking is more important than the answer itself. To him, a cardinal sin in studying law is parroting what others say without thinking independently. ‘Legal issues need to be analysed from different angles, and there may not necessarily be only one correct answer,’ he says.
Before joining UM in 2013, Prof Shui was a professor in law and doctoral advisor at the Law School of Nanjing University, with a concurrent position as a professor at Nanjing University-Johns Hopkins University Centre. In 2012, he was selected as one of the outstanding university scholars to receive funding under a programme of the Ministry of Education. In 2013, he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Jurists in Jiangsu Province.
Prof Shui has a secret ambition—he hopes his students will develop a greater passion for law after completing his courses. To him, law is never about rote learning; it is about experiencing the joy of thinking by paying attention to issues one usually overlooks and understanding the spirit and principles behind a law. ‘As law professors, we must teach the students how to construct compelling arguments to support their views,’ he says.
But as he learned from his first experience acting as a defense attorney, having a silver tongue is not enough. That time, despite thorough preparation, he lost the case. In retrospect, he realised that representing a client in court is not the same as participating in a debate competition. So he often tells his students, ‘You don’t appear in court to show off your silver tongue. You are there to calmly present your arguments in a way that respects the audience, the opposing counsel, the judge, and both litigants.’
Improving Learning Outcomes by Simulating Real-life Scenarios
How to better prepare students for the competitive job market in Macao is an issue constantly on Prof Shui’s mind. As a programme coordinator, he not only adopts innovative teaching methods to liven up his classes, but also organises the College Court with one of the residential colleges at UM in order to extend teaching beyond the classroom.
The idea of the ‘College Court’ was inspired by a classroom survey. At the beginning of each semester, Prof Shui asks students to write down what they hope to learn from the course. One student wrote, ‘I hope to learn how to prevent others from falling asleep when discussing legal questions with them.’ This unexpected answer prompted Prof Shui to explore ways to improve learning outcomes by simulating real-life scenarios. That’s how the idea of the ‘College Court’ was born. It is an innovative attempt to simulate court proceedings to help students put what they learn into practice by role-playing as attorneys or judges.
In the last three ‘College Court’ sessions, students debated hot social issues, such as whether Uber should be legalised in Macao, how to prevent the tendency for public works projects in Macao to fall behind schedule, and whether Macao should institute rent control. Students from the RC and guests were invited to act as Macao residents to listen to the arguments of both sides. ‘The College Court was definitely an innovative attempt that allows law students to experience what it’s like to debate in court, and having lay people as the audience forces them to express complex legal concepts and articles in simple yet vivid language,’ says Prof Shui. ‘They must present compelling arguments to support their views. It helps them to cultivate the right legal perspectives and can serve as a “warm-up exercise” before graduation. ’
Preparing Students for Their Future Careers
Prof Shui continuously pursues innovation in his teaching. He enjoys interacting with students in class and adopts a question-oriented approach to help students improve their logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. In recognition of his outstanding performance in teaching, he received the Teaching Excellence Award at the university’s 2018 congregation.
Prof Shui appreciates the recognition of the award but understands that with recognition comes higher expectations. He believes educators should prepare the students for their future careers by teaching them the most important knowledge in a given discipline. He says, ‘For instance, when I teach contract law, I don’t just talk about things that interest me. I teach students what I think is the most important knowledge to make sure they won’t feel at a loss in their future careers. Secondly, I adjust my teaching methods according to the characteristics of different courses.’ Prof Shui considers critical thinking skills to be of extreme importance, so he designs his courses in such a way as to make sure that training of these skills is present throughout the teaching process.
‘It’s like leading students into a forest of knowledge and then leading them out. After we walk them through it once, they will know how to navigate it by themselves in the future without getting lost. They will know how to analyse and find the patterns behind legal relations and how to develop counter strategies,’ he says.
Developing Textbooks that Explain Complex Concepts in Simple Language
Currently, Prof Shui is writing a textbook on the civil law of Macao, which he hopes will help students learn the laws of Macao in a more systematic and precise manner. He has completed data collection. Next, he will analyse and interpret the data and select some for inclusion in the book. He hopes to produce a book that not only combines legal provisions, theories, and case studies, but also explains complex concepts in plain language so it can better serve the needs of Macao society.
Law is widely perceived as an instrument for resolving disputes and serving justice in society. While Prof Shui agrees with this view, he doesn’t think it completely captures the value of law. He points out that law can fulfill various other social functions, such as promoting economic growth and protecting the environment. Indeed, in a time where there are many interests to serve, legal professionals have a huge responsibility on their shoulders.
Using Big Data to Aid Teaching
The integration of the Greater Bay Area and the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) present both challenges and opportunities for legal education in Macao. Prof Shui predicts that AI technologies will promote the development of law, but he cautions against over-dependence on these technologies. ‘Just like Hawk-Eye Live cannot replace human umpires, big data and logic cannot replace human thinking and empathy,’ he says. ‘Only thinking beings are qualified to serve as the guardians of justice. AI and big data are indeed useful in analysing legal rules and regulations, so there is nothing wrong with using the latest technologies to study legal data, but at the same time law students must cultivate the ability to think independently with a question-oriented approach. The qualities that are essential for legal professionals, such as the ability to exercise sound judgement and broad-mindedness, can only be cultivated through critical thinking. This is the only way legal education in Macao can meet society’s needs in the new era.’
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/s1.jpg6671000isisvong Vong Hio Tonghttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngisisvong Vong Hio Tong2019-01-02 10:54:202019-01-02 10:56:54Preparing Students for Future Careers Faculty of Law Professor Shui Bing
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/img_9113.jpg13652048isisvong Vong Hio Tonghttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngisisvong Vong Hio Tong2018-12-04 10:53:392019-01-04 17:41:51Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening-up - Constitution and Basic Law Seminar
Hugo Luz dos Santos, a PhD student from the Faculty of Law (FLL), University of Macau (UM), has been granted the fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce of the United Kingdom (commonly known as the Royal Society of Arts, RSA), in recognition of his contributions to the fields of justice, rule of law, and policies worldwide.
The fellowship recognises exceptional individuals across the world who have made significant contributions to social change, arts, manufacture, and commerce, including leading artists, writers, journalists, and former politicians. Among past recipients are Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Benjamin Franklin, and Nelson Mandela. Santos has devoted himself to investigating the legal frameworks of Macao, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The novelty of his research lies in the combination of several legal fields which, when synergistically fused, can provide teleological and functional gains to a given legal framework. Santos’ supervisor is Assistant Professor Wang Wei from the FLL.
Santos has published dozens of scientific articles on civil procedure law, commercial law, company law, securities law, civil law, administrative law, criminal procedure law, criminal law, gaming law, family law, European Union law, and banking law and arbitration. Most of his articles have been published in Portuguese and English, and have undergone double-blind peer-review in reputable academic journals. Founded in 1754, the RSA Fellowship is a community of leaders in the fields of art, literature, journalism, and business.
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Wei Dan, Associate Dean of the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Law, has been elected executive committee member and Vice President of the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL) at its 20th conference Wei is the only representative from Asia on the executive committee and will serve a four-year term. The other three vice presidents come from North America, South America, and Africa, respectively. This is the first time in the academy’s history that a Chinese scholar has been elected its vice president. The conference attracted over 800 legal professionals from around the world. Founded in 1924, the IACL holds an international conference every four years.
https://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/45557-67071.jpg10801440isisvong Vong Hio Tonghttps://fll.um.edu.mo/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/flllogowhite-noshawcolor3.pngisisvong Vong Hio Tong2018-08-08 09:27:142018-08-08 15:01:06Professor Wei Dan, Associate Dean of Faculty of Law, becomes first Chinese scholar to be elected Vice President of International Academy of Comparative Law
Faculty of Law
E32 Faculty of Law, University of Macau, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, China.