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Riccardo Vecellio Segate, an Italian PhD candidate in the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Law (FLL), has published research articles in three well-known international journals in the past 18 months. The three journals are Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Art Antiquity and Law, and Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law.
Launched in 1987, Columbia Journal of Asian Law (CJAL) covers a diverse array of legal subjects in the areas of public and private law and publishes articles on the latest legal developments in Asian countries. Vecellio Segate’s article published by CJAL is titled ‘Fragmenting Cybersecurity Norms Through the Language(s) of Subalternity: India in “the East” and the Global Community’. The article examines how China, Russia and India negotiate cyber-security norms on cyber-terrorism, cyber-warfare, and cyber-espionage within formal and informal regional arrangements, especially the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It also cites evidence to show India’s changeable stances on these issues.
Art Antiquity and Law is a quarterly journal targeted at those who value the cultural and historical environment. It tells those who work in the art and antiquity world about the laws governing their activities and the policies behind those laws. Vecellio Segate’s article published by Art Antiquity and Law is titled ‘Reconceptualising Musical Treasures in Italy, the EU and the World: The Functional Legacy of Performativity’. It builds on the concept of functionality to illustrate for the first time why musical instruments are a special category of cultural heritage in terms of protection policies and why ‘national treasure’ laws should protect them differently than it protects other tangible expressions of heritage in ancient and modern times.
Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law (MJECL) serves academics and legal practitioners who want to stay informed about the latest developments and the challenges within the European Common Law (Ius Commune Europaeum). Vecellio Segate’s article published by the MJECL is titled ‘The Unified Patent Court and the Frustrated Promise of IP Protection: Investors’ Claims in (Post-)Brexit Britain’. It provides a wake-up call to British investors by arguing that the government of the United Kingdom has unlawfully and deliberately created expectations on certain categories of international investors in intellectual property, only to subsequently withdraw its promises and use Brexit as a pretext for such withdrawal. The journal
After completing his master’s studies at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Vecellio Segate joined UM in September 2018 through the recently launched UM Macao Talent Programme. Within that programme, he was the first PhD student in the FLL to receive the UM Macao PhD Scholarship. Vecellio Segate is grateful to the university’s leadership—particularly Prof Billy So, vice rector of student affairs at UM—for their support. He is also grateful to his supervisor, Prof Rostam J Neuwirth, for his patient guidance.
Media Contact Information: Communications Office, University of Macau
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Release on 2020-03-20 15:45
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Text: Davis Ip & Debby Seng │ Photo: Davis Ip, with some provided with interviewees
Editor’s Note: Since the novel coronavirus outbreak and the consequent suspension of classes to prevent the spread of the virus, distance education has become a hot topic in Macao, Hong Kong, and mainland China. Here at the University of Macau (UM), faculty members have been offering online courses to ensure that students keep learning amid class suspension. In these My UM articles, we cover the online courses from different faculties and departments and take a closer look at how faculty members prepare these courses and how they monitor the students’ learning progress.
Since the Chinese New Year, Faculty of Law (FLL) Associate Dean Augusto Teixeira Garcia and Associate Professor Li Zhe have been giving lectures online. Based on the requirements of their courses, they implemented a series of measures to help students quickly adapt to the new education mode.
Adapting to a New Mode of Education
Prof Augusto Teixeira Garcia teaches several courses this semester, one of which is the ‘Commercial Law’ course for students enrolled in the master’s degree programme in law (Portuguese). In the past few weeks, Prof Garcia mainly focused on laws related to commercial paper and negotiable instruments.
FLL Associate Dean Augusto Teixeira Garcia gives a lecture online
He uploaded the reading materials for this course, including academic papers written by himself, to UMMoodle at the beginning of this academic year. In each online lecture, Prof Garcia would discuss a specific topic revolving around these materials. He would record himself teaching the lecture and upload the audio clip to UMMoodle before each class. Students would then receive notifications that remind them to download the content. His students can reach him via email for questions about his lectures, and although they can listen to the recordings any time, Prof Garcia likes to check the students’ UMMoodle login record on a regular basis to evaluable their participation in class.
According to Prof Garcia, in his teaching career that spans nearly four decades, this is the first time he has ever done online teaching. He remembers feeling a little weird the first time he recorded himself teaching in the office without students around him. ‘I guess life is all about adaptation,’ says Prof Garcia. ‘I am already used to it.’ He plans to continue to record his lectures even after class resumption. ‘I know some students like to record my lectures anyway, so I might as well do it myself so that every student can listen to the lecture again if they want,’ he says.
FLL Associate Dean Augusto Teixeira Garcia
Encouraging Students to be Self-disciplined
Prof Garcia encourages students to build self-discipline and to study hard at home during the epidemic, because unlike classroom-based education, which involves interactions with the instructor and other classmates that help one stay focused, learning at home without self-discipline could cause the learner to fall behind, and if not remedied early, it would be very difficult for him or her to catch up a few months later.
Different Teaching Styles for Different Students
Li Zhe, an associate professor in the FLL, teaches two courses this semester: one is ‘Foreign Criminal Law’, and the other is ‘East Asia Legal System’. The first course is taught to more than ten postgraduate students from Macao and mainland China, some of them are working students. ‘These students have diverse backgrounds, so when preparing the course materials, I take into consideration their understanding of the subject and the difficulty they may have finding the materials because of the novel coronavirus epidemic,’ she says.
FLL Associate Professor Li Zhe
Prof Li starts each online class with a hypothetical case. For instance, she may present a case where a young adult suspected of participating in illegal parades is arrested under the current criminal law. The students need to discuss whether the young adult should be held in custody, how he or she would be prosecuted, how the trial would be conducted, and how the person may lodge an appeal. The case will serve as a basis for the students to explore and compare legal solutions in different places. They will also compare criminal laws of different places and the pros and cons of the legal solutions under these laws.
‘When I analyse a case with the students, I would break down one big question into at least ten smaller sub-questions and assign one sub-question to a student,’ says Prof Li. ‘The students then share the relevant laws in mainland and Macao and discuss how a problem should be solved from a comparative perspective. The students are very active during each online class and there is a lot of interaction.’
Making Good Use of UMMoodle
Some students have no microphone on their computers, while others do not have stable internet connection at home. For this reason, Prof Li only asks her students to provide audio comments in discussions via a WeChat group. To ensure quality and a smooth teaching process, she always gives lectures in her office. Before the epidemic, her students usually submitted assignments to her via email instead of UMMoodle, but now she communicates with them mainly through a WeChat group. She would upload cases, electronic legal documents, teaching materials, and PowerPoint (PPT) slides to UMMoodle. As her students are now studying German law, she would share with them links to promotional videos of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany and the European Court of Human Rights as reference materials.
Considering that some students may not feel comfortable turning on the webcam because of concerns about their clothes, home environments, or other factors, Prof Li only requires students to discuss and answer questions through voice messages, which lets her know if the students are paying attention. ‘Sometimes I would make jokes with the students to try to keep them engaged,’ says Prof Li. ‘I would ask them if they could hear me clearly during a lecture on Zoom. If they could, they would reply to me with “666”,’ she says. (Editor’s Note: ‘666’ is a popular internet slang in China which means that somebody or something is very cool)
UMMoodle Launched in 2008, UMMoodle is an online teaching platform at UM, where students can obtain course-related learning resources including text files, PPTs and video clips. They can also submit assignments and take quizzes on the platform. Website: https://ummoodle.um.edu.mo/
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Yang Suijia, a student of the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, recently won a second prize at a national public speaking competition on China’s constitution in the high school and university category. The competition attracted 206 contestants in 34 teams from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. The event was organised by the Ministry of Education, and hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University.
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The University of Macau’s (UM) Centre for Constitutional Law and Basic Law Studies (CCLBCS) and Educational Research Centre (ERC) today (26 December) became the official partners of two key research centres under the Ministry of Education in the field of humanities and social sciences, namely the Center for Studies of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Peking University and the Centre for Teacher Education Research at Beijing Normal University. The three universities will strengthen collaboration in the field of humanities and social sciences in order to create a high-quality education system, participate in national strategy, and seize the opportunities brought by the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Guests attending the plaque-unveiling ceremony include Vice Minister of Education Tian Xueliang, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U, Deputy Director of the Central Government’s Liaison Office in Macao Luo Yonggang, UM’s University Council Chair Lam Kam Seng, Director of the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs under the Ministry of Education Liu Jin, Head of the Department of Language and Words under the Ministry of Education Xu Xiaoping, Director of the Higher Education Bureau Sou Chio Fai, UM Rector Yonghua Song, Peking University Vice President Tian Gang, and Beijing Normal University Vice President Zhou Zuoyu.
Rector Yonghua Song said in his speech that UM is the only public university in Macao to have a centre for the studies of the constitution, the Basic Law, and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’policy, adding that the centre has received considerable attention and support from the Macao SAR government and the central government’s liaison office in Macao. The centre is dedicated to popularising knowledge of the constitution and the Basic Law in Macao to promote the continued implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’policy. Rector Song said that the ELC was established with the great support of the Macao SAR government, and is the only educational research centre at a public university in Macao. According to Song, the ELC is committed to nurturing high-calibre educators to contribute to education development in Macao and the Greater China region. The collaboration is an example of the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’policy and represents UM’s effort to carry out President Xi Jinping’s expectations for Macao to establish a high-quality education system.
The delegation visited the University Gallery in the company of Rector Song to gain a deeper understanding of UM’s new campus project and latest developments in scientific research. The guests also met with the heads of various academic and administrative units at UM.
Two centres at UM have become the MoE’s official research partners in humanities and social sciences
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In 1990, Prof Augusto Teixeira Garcia relocated from Portugal to work on a two-year contract at the University of East Asia (UEA), the predecessor of the University of Macau (UM). At the time, he did not anticipate that this city would become his home, or that he would become an associate dean of the Faculty of Law (FLL). In the past 20 years, he has taught commercial law, in particular the Commercial Code of Macao, of which he was the main drafter. ‘All these years, I’ve never wanted to leave Macao,’ he says.
Reforming the Commercial Code in the Transitional Period
Born in Porto, Prof Garcia worked as a lawyer and professor in higher education institutions in Portugal. Despite his first impression of Macao as a ‘hot and humid place’, he later discovered that he was charmed by the city’s attractions, and he decided to stay on. In 1996, the local government appointed him the coordinator of the reform of the Commercial Code, a 19th-century creation that could no longer meet Macao’s needs.
After the signing of the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macao in 1987, Macao was to pursue the localisation of the civil service, language (with Chinese serving as an official language) and law. ‘Legislation in Macao did not come with a Chinese translation until the late 1980s. All the laws created in the past, including the Commercial Code that came into force in 1888, had no Chinese version. So we had to translate the laws. We could either translate them as they were, or take the opportunity to reform them to provide Macao with a more modern legal environment. The government took the latter path,’ he says.
The new Commercial Code came into force shortly before the handover of Macao in 1999. At that time, Prof Garcia already had three children who were born in Macao and a close tie with the city. While some of his Portuguese friends were planning to leave Macao, he felt an obligation to stay in FLL to teach commercial law according to the new law.
Students Across the Legal Sector
On FLL’s role, Prof Garcia says, ‘The FLL is the oldest law school in Macao. Its objective is to train jurists with expertise in Macao’s legal system for all kinds of legal tasks. The programmes offered by the FLL aim to nurture legal professionals to serve the local community. The majority of the legal professionals, including judges, public prosecutors, jurists in the civil service and lawyers, are our graduates. Also, some of our graduates are current or former members of the Legislative Assembly.’
Prof Garcia has taught commercial law and company law for decades, and he fondly remembers many outstanding students. ‘One of my former students is now a judge,’ he says. ‘When she enrolled in our Bachelor of Law programme in Portuguese, she could hardly speak any Portuguese, but she did not give up and did very well later on. After getting her degree, she entered the civil service and eventually became a judge. She also did a master’s programme with me. Now she speaks Portuguese fluently. I am amazed and very proud of her because I know the difficulties she has overcome with the language.’
Links to Portuguese-speaking Countries
FLL has always cultivated special links with Portuguese-speaking countries, especially Portugal, African countries, and East-Timor. As early as the late 1990s, Prof Garcia travelled to Mozambique as part of a UM delegation to develop cooperation with Educardo Mondlane University (EMU), which he visited again this year with UM Rector Yonghua Song. This time, he explored new areas for cooperation with EMU and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two universities.
According to Prof Garcia, there are many students from Portuguese-speaking Africa in FLL. For instance, in the Master of Law Programme in Portuguese Language, of which Prof Garcia is the coordinator, nearly half of the students come from these countries. ‘After they [FLL students from Africa] graduate, the majority of them go back to their countries for a legal career. Some have even become ministerial-level officials in Cape Verde. Although in lesser numbers we also had students from East-Timor, some of them occupy relevant positions within the legal judiciary, the government, or the academia.’ he says.
As the Macao Special Administrative Region is approaching its 20th anniversary, Prof Garcia believes that the city will become more prosperous, and he hopes the economic prosperity can benefit residents in a more balanced manner. He says, ‘Meanwhile, UM and the FLL will continue to play an important role in Macao’s development and nurture professionals in different fields.’
The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Law recently held a forum on civil and business law for master’s students and PhD students from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. The forum was jointly initiated by various universities, with the aim of fostering academic exchange in the Greater China region and nurturing researchers in the area of civil and business law. The event attracted many postgraduate students, experts, and scholars in the field. During the forum, participants had in-depth discussions on civil and business law.
The seminar included two sessions. A total of 29 master’s students and PhD students gave speeches. Their speeches were then commented by professors from various universities, including Soochow University, Fujian Normal University, Jilin University, Taiwan University, and UM.
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Qiao Xiaoyang, honorary doctor of the University of Macau (UM), former chairman of the Legal Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and chairman of the Hong Kong and Macao Basic Law Committee of the NPC Standing Committee, today (9 November) gave a lecture in UM’s Ho Yin Conference Hall. He discussed the relationship between the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Macao and the high degree of autonomy of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) from three perspectives. The talk attracted many UM faculty members and students.
In his speech, UM Rector Yonghua Song said that Qiao Xiaoyang participated in or was in charge of the drafting or amending of dozens of laws, including the Amendment to the Constitution, having made a tremendous contribution to the legislation in China and the return of Hong Kong and Macao. His ties with Macao and UM go back a long way. He was involved in the central government’s authorising Macao SAR to exercise jurisdiction over the new campus, the selection of the campus site, as well as the groundbreaking ceremony and the inauguration of the new campus. Therefore, Qiao was a contributor and a key facilitator of UM’s new campus project. Rector Song added that the achievements Macao has attained over the past two decades since Macao’s return to the motherland would not have been possible without the guidance of the Constitution and the successful implementation of the Basic Law and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy.
During the lecture, Qiao discussed the relationship between the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Macao and the high degree of autonomy of Macao SAR, from three perspectives, namely ‘the proposal of the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Macao and its meaning’, ‘the high degree of autonomy of Macao SAR and authorisation-related issues’, and ‘questions and answers regarding the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Macao’. Qiao pointed out that when the sovereignty over Macao was returned to China in 1999, it essentially enabled China to resume its jurisdiction over Macao. Within the ‘One Country’ framework, the central government has overall jurisdiction over all its territories, which is an important principle of the Constitution. In the case of Macao, when resuming its overall jurisdiction over Macao SAR, the central government established the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy and the Basic Law, which stipulate that certain powers shall be exercised directly by the organs under the central government, while certain powers shall be jointly exercised by the organs under the central government and the Macao SAR government. The central government authorised Macao SAR to manage its internal affairs that do not involve the central government or the mainland. Therefore, the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Macao is the result of the central government’s exercising overall jurisdiction over Macao.
Qiao explained that within the ‘One Country’ framework, the relationship between the central government and the Macao SAR government in terms of power is one of authorisation. The Basic Law established a rigorous authorisation system to ensure that Macao SAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy but will under no circumstances become an independent or semi-independent political entity, in order to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity. The relationship between the central government’s overall jurisdiction and the SAR’s high degree of autonomy is akin to the relationship between the source of a river and the river; the two are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, whether in theory or practice, the two must never be held as opposing positions, and the high degree of autonomy must never be used to challenge or undermine the central government’s overall jurisdiction.
Reviewing the implementation of the Basic Law in Macao over the past two decades, Qiao pointed out that from the outset, the Macao SAR government and people from all walks of life in Macao correctly grasped the relationship between the central government’s overall jurisdiction and Macao SAR’s high degree of autonomy. Over the past 20 years, there has never been any instance in which the constitutional relationship between the central government and the Macao SAR government was disputed; nor has there been any instance in which the central government’s authority was publicly challenged. This fully demonstrates that Macao residents have a very strong sense of national identity and great respect for the constitution. This also shows that the academic community in Macao has done a good job of promoting the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy and the Basic Law in Macao; Therefore, the central government’s overall jurisdiction and the Macao SAR’s high degree of autonomy have been well integrated, demonstrating the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy with local characteristics.
Qiao Xiaoyang discusses the relationship between the central government’s overall jurisdiction and Macao SAR’s high degree of autonomy
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Chen Zhi, a PhD student from the Faculty of Law (FLL) of the University of Macau (UM), received a third prize at the 12th China Arbitration and Justice Forum, for his paper titled ‘Some Considerations Concerning Non-litigation of Service in Arbitration’. The paper focuses on the service of documents in commercial arbitration in mainland China and proposes a more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective service system to cover the three aspects, namely legislation, arbitration practice, and judicial review.
In mainland China, the service of documents in arbitration is highly analogous to that in civil litigation, which can be regarded as an example of judicialisation of arbitration. Over the past few years, leading arbitration institutions have tried to promote a more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective service system. But according to Chen, more efforts will have to be made in order to change traditional judicial opinions. In reference to The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law and related legal practices in international arbitration, a non-litigation delivery system should be established to cover the three aspects, namely legislation, arbitral practice, and judicial review, in order to strike a balance between justice and efficiency. Chen’s supervisor is Prof Tu Guangjian.
This year’s forum attracted around 300 participants. More than 100 research papers were received and ten of them were awarded after a blind review process conducted by seven renowned scholars and experts. The event was organised by the China Academy of Arbitration Law, which is the only national arbitration research organisation in mainland China, and hosted by the Langfang Arbitration Commission.
Chen Zhi (4th from left) receives a third prize at the China Arbitration and Justice Forum
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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of Macao’s handover to China, the University of Macau (UM) held a seminar on the implementation of the Basic Law in Macao over the past two decades.
UM Rector Yonghua Song delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, in which he said that UM owes its rapid development to the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy, which allowed UM to build on Hengqin Island a new campus that is nearly 20 times larger than the old one. Rector Song said that the new campus project showed the central government’s support for higher education in Macao and was an innovative implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy. He added that with the rapid development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy and the Basic Law will also enter a new era, which dictates that Macao must take full advantage of the policy and integrate with the Greater Bay Area.
Xu Ze, president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, praised the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in Macao and expressed his hope for UM to play a leadership role in cultural development in Macao. Liu Dexue, director of the Legal Affairs Bureau of Macao, discussed how to adhere to ‘One Country’ principle while ensuring that the two systems co-exist in harmony and create maximum benefits.
Experts and scholars from renowned universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Shenzhen University, Macau University of Science and Technology, and UM, attended the seminar and had an in-depth discussion on related topics, including the relationship between the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy and the governance of the nation, the Basic Law and the governance of the special administrative region, the development of the Greater Bay Area and Macao’s participation in the country’s development.
UM holds a seminar on the implementation of the Basic Law in Macao
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Faculty of Law
E32 Faculty of Law, University of Macau, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, China.