Hamish, Liaison Officer to Beijing since 2010, studied for two years for his Master of Laws at Beijing’s China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), funded through the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia.
He says he wanted a deeper understanding of Chinese law to help bridge the divide between China’s socialist legal system and New Zealand’s common law practice.
“When dealing with two such different legal systems, even simple questions around procedural law can be difficult to find workable solutions for.
“I wanted to know more so we could ask better questions and understand how we could improve our criminal case cooperation.”
He chose CUPL, which is known as the leadership cradle of the Chinese Government. It takes around 20 foreign scholarship students a year.
“It’s a very austere campus with a ‘no-frills’ attitude to education,” says Hamish. “But it’s all substance – that’s something I came to appreciate after studying there.”
The final step was a ‘defence’ of his thesis on the Western and Chinese views on rule of law to a panel of five professors. He passed on a unanimous vote.