Guest Lecturer to Discuss the Modern Chinese Legal Identity


Akron, Ohio, Jan. 27, 2010 - The University of Akron School of Law will host a lecture by John Head, professor of law at the University of Kansas School of Law. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled "China's Legal Soul - The Modern Chinese Legal Identity in Historical Context" and will be held Tuesday, Feb. 2  at 4 p.m. in Room 151 at The University of Akron School of Law, 150 University Ave., Akron, Ohio. A reception will immediately follow the lecture.

In his presentation, Head will draw from his most recent book on Chinese law to offer observations on two key questions. First, is there a "rule of law" in China - and if so, what form does it take? Second, what might we consider the "legal soul" of modern China, providing that vibrant society with its central spirit or ideology?  In addressing these issues, Head highlights the dramatic legal reform movement occurring in China today, almost exactly a century after the collapse of the (official) dynastic form of governance, in which Imperial Confucianism served (in Head's view) as the "legal soul" of the society.

Head holds both an English law degree from Oxford University and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Before joining the KU law faculty, he was in private practice in Washington, D.C., and served as legal counsel to the Asian Development Bank and to the International Monetary Fund. He has taught law in several countries in Europe and Asia and regularly undertakes overseas assignments involving international financial law, international organizations, and international legal training. He was the Paul Hastings Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong in March-April 2008 and spent the spring 2009 term teaching and conducting research at the University of Trento in northern Italy as the Trento Chair in Law, part of the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Awards Program.

Head has published widely in the area of international financial law and institutions - with his most recent book in that area, Losing the Global Development War, released in 2008 - as well as in the area of Chinese law and legal history. His most recent book in that area, China's Legal Soul, will serve as the basis for his presentation on Feb. 2.

About The University of Akron

The University of Akron is the public research university for Northern Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the "Best in the Midwest" in its 2008 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Serving 26,000 students, the University offers approximately 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit

About The University of Akron School of Law

The University of Akron School of Law promotes justice, the protection of individual liberty and the rule of law through commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. A regional school of national impact, the law school features renowned programs in intellectual property, professional responsibility and trial advocacy, and is home to one of four Constitutional Law Centers in the United States, established by the U.S. Congress in 1986.To learn more, visit