Chinese Law Clinical Programme
Objectives and Content
The Chinese Law Clinical Programme provides the student with hands-on legal experience from a Norwegian, Chinese or international work environment. Through a clinical placement the student will gain practical experience from and insight in Chinese law. Prior to the clinical placement in China, there is an introductory course in Bergen.
This course is aimed at students who will study law without any previous knowledge of Chinese language or society. The course will help the student adapt to study, work and thrive in China.
While completing the clinical placement, the student will simultaneously be enrolled in courses at a Chinese university. The theoretical knowledge the student gains from these law courses, will be supported and enhanced by the practical experience and knowledge simultaneously gained through the Clinical Programme.
The student will not receive any salary for the placement.
The clinical placements are offered at companies or organisations, within different areas of the law, in both public and private sector. For a list of available placements, please consult the information given at the following webpage: http://www.uib.no/utvekslingsavtale/1240
The course leader is responsible for offering a placement to all students enrolled in the Clinical Programme, agree upon the general content of the placement with the company or organisation offering the placement, and stay in touch with the student and a representative of the organisation (the mentor/contact person of the student) throughout the placement period.
The student will be able to profess interest in a particular placement. Students enrolled in the Clinical Programme must be prepared to accept any of the available placements, as placements will be distributed according to the students¿ wishes, in order of the individual student's overall grade performance. However, if the number of available placements is higher than the number of students admitted to the Clinical Programme, the faculty reserves the right to decide which placements to use based on the strategic interests of the faculty.
Prior to or at the very beginning of the clinical placement period, a training agreement for the placement shall be prepared and signed by the student, the course leader and the mentor/contact person at the work place. The training agreement shall include a more detailed programme for the placement, the knowledge, skills and competences to be acquired by the end of the placement and a monitoring plan. The student is responsible for being the motive power for the development of this agreement, which must be approved by the course leader before signing. A template agreement is provided by the Faculty of Law.
The goal of the introductory course to Chinese language and society is to meet the basic requirements of the student's daily life in China. After completing the introductory course, the student shall have acquired:
- The ability to engage in basic communication with Chinese people in practical everyday situations;
- Knowledge of some Chinese manners;
- Awareness of the main cultural differences between China and Norway.
The goal of the clinical placement is that the student shall acquire practical skills, competences and hands-on experience from Chinese working life, in addition to increased knowledge about Chinese law and legal culture and increased understanding of Chinese culture and society
After having completed the Chinese Law Clinical Programme, the student shall have acquired:
- Insight into areas of Chinese law relevant to the particular placement;
- Increased understanding of how Chinese law functions in real life;
- The ability to identify relevant legal sources, and to extract and apply information from these sources for the purpose of giving legal advice on questions relevant to the employer;
- Experience from an international or Chinese work environment;
- Ability to interact, communicate and cooperate with fellow workmates from a work culture different from Norwegian work culture;
- Increased intercultural competence and social skills needed for an international or Chinese work environment;
- Legal English skills necessary to work in an international legal setting.
Required Previous Knowledge
3 years of law studies.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Good level of English.
Access to the Course
Admission to the Chinese Law Clinical Programme presupposes that the student has been accepted for studies abroad in the "Chinese Law Studies with Clinical Placement in China". To apply for studies abroad, the student must submit an application through Søknadsweb by 1 February the year before he or she intends to enroll in the course.
The student may also submit an application by 1 September the semester before he or she intends to enroll in the course, given that there are still vacant positions for studies abroad in the above mentioned semester unit of Chinese law with clinical placement in businesses in China.
Maximum of 15 participants.
Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching
The semester starts with an introduction to Chinese language and society, offered in Bergen.
Students will then go to China where they will do a clinical placement with a Norwegian, Chinese or international company or organisation while at the same time studying part time at a Chinese university.
More information about the clinical placement can be found here: Chinese Law Studies with Clinical Placement in China.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Participation in the introductory course to Chinese language and society lectures is mandatory. Up to 25 % deviation from the general rule of 100 % attendance can be accepted.
After finishing the introductory course to Chinese language and society, the students will be given information about the possibilities for registering for the official Chinese language test HSK level 1, either at the Confucius Institute in Bergen or during their stay in China. The test is not a mandatory requirement in the Chinese Law Clinical Programme, but the students are strongly advised to complete a test (both written and oral) which will help them to know how well they master the course content. The test will mainly focus on checking the ability of their communications skills in practical situations.
As a general rule, the student must work at the designated company or organisation for a minimum of 5 weeks, or with a total of 25 working days throughout the semester, during the stay in China. The duration of the clinical placement must be verified by a time sheet which is signed by the student's mentor/contact person at the designated company or organisation.
In case of termination of the clinical placement before the minimum work requirement has been fulfilled, up to 25 % deviation from the general rule can be accepted.
Should the occasion of a deviation of more than 25 % arise, and the student is not responsible for the deviation, the Faculty of Law may conditionally still award credits for the Chinese Law Clinical Programme. Award of credits in such case may be done one the condition that the student's final report proves that substantive learning has still taken place. Also, the number of credits awarded will be reduced relative to the reduction of the duration of the clinical placement.
Forms of Assessment
Written home exam.
After completion of the clinical placement, the student must submit a report, about 3000 words, that elaborates on the tasks the student has been engaged in during the legal placement period, how the legal questions, and other challenges the student has been faced with, have been solved, and which considerations the student has made in the process of solving the legal questions. The report shall not contain confidential information obtained through the clinical placement.
In the report, the student must also elaborate on the areas of Chinese law related to the relevant work tasks, and where relevant, compare this to Norwegian or international law. In the report, the student should also reflect on the experiences and lessons learned from working in a company or an organisation with operations in China, and from interacting, communicating and cooperating with fellow workmates from different cultures.
If the student has conducted legal writing and research during the placement, for example one or more reports or memos on specific legal topics, these may be submitted as part of the student's final report. Submission of such documents may only be done if it does not breach the confidentiality agreements made between the student and the company or organisation where the clinical placement has been performed.
The report and a signed and final time sheet for the clinical placement must be submitted to the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen at the end of the semester. The learning outcome of the Chinese Law Clinical Programme is dependent on the combination of studies of Chinese law at a Chinese university parallel to the clinical placement. Hence, a passing grade in the Chinese Law Clinical Programme depends on the student receiving a passing grade in courses from a Chinese university equalling minimum 10 ECTS, during the semester when the clinical placement has taken place. The examination result will hence not be published until the transfer of credits from the Chinese university has been completed. The application deadline for transfer of credits is one month after a transcript of records has been received (cf. § 5-9-6 in Supplementary regulations for studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen).
The report must be written in English.
Pass or fail
No overlapping with other courses.
Spring and fall
According to Faculty of Law routines.
Course leader: Professor, dr. Bjørnar Borvik, PhD / firstname.lastname@example.org
The introduction to Chinese language and society will be given by lecturers from the Confucius Institute in Bergen.