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Dr Ge Chen

Assistant Professor in Chinese Law

B.A., LLM, Mag.iur., Dr.iur., FHEA, FRSA

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Assistant Professor in Chinese Law in the Durham Law School  


Ge Chen is Assistant Professor in Chinese Law at Durham Law School. Having studied at the universities of Fudan, Nanjing and Göttingen, he received his doctorate in law from the George-August-University of Göttingen. He held the post of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Intellectual Property and Global Regulation at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), and Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge. He was Visiting Academic of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) based at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) of the University of Oxford. He was a Konrad Adenauer scholar and research fellow at the Institute for International Law and European Law and the Sino-German Institute for Legal Studies of the University of Göttingen. He was a senior legal expert at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). He is an associate of the CIPIL in Cambridge, and a fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA). In the academic year of 2021-22, he will be on research leave in the Michaelmas Term and Epiphany Term and a visiting fellow of the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School.

Dr Chen specializes in Chinese media and information law and China’s constitutional and rule-of-law development in international and comparative law perspectives. His research so far focuses on interdisciplinary legal issues, especially on the intersection of international economic law and human rights law. He is the author of Copyright and International Negotiations: An Engine of Free Expression in China?, a monograph published by Cambridge University Press in 2017 (“Cambridge Intellectual Property and Information Law” series). The book was featured in Harvard Law Review (March 2018) and presented at Yale Law School (YLS)’s 2017 Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference under the auspices of the Abrams Travel Fellowship of the YLS Information Society Project. His coauthored book on German constitutional case law has been published by China’s Law Press. His research articles have appeared in Global Constitutionalism and Journal of International Economic Law of the Chinese Society of International Economic Law (annual award-winning article). He has received research funding from various regions and channels such as Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Germany/political), Le Club Informatique des Grandes Entreprises Françaises (France/industrial), Yale Law School (US/scholarly), and Chinese Society of International Economic Law (China/civil).

Dr Chen is enthusiastic in teaching and active in disseminating his research results through academic, professional and media outlets. He is a fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He taught undergraduate and LLM courses of Chinese constitutional law, Chinese administrative law, and Chinese copyright law at the Göttingen Summer School of Chinese Law. He was a faculty member of the Anneberg-Oxford Media Summer Institute and the CIPIL seminar at the University of Cambridge. He participated in professional training of Chinese legislators and judges in Germany. He coached Jessup moot court teams and is regularly invited to act as a senior judge in international rounds of the Oxford Price Media Law Moot Court. He was invited to talk at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Göttingen Journal of International Law. Besides, Dr Chen articulates opinions on a wide range of issues concerning China’s legal development, and has published articles in opinion outlets such as Oxford Human Rights Hub, Cambridge Core Blog, YaleGlobal Online, The Diplomat, ChinaFile, South China Morning Post, and Die Zeit. He has accommodated media interview requests from the Reuters (UK), Deutsche Welle (Germany), Foreign Policy (US), Weekendavisen (Denmark), etc.

Dr Chen dedicates himself to public service and political engagement and has rich experiences of government consultation and think-tank work for more than a decade. Prior to his appointment at Durham University, he worked as a full-time researcher in China’s legal system and policies at MERICS, the EU’s biggest China think tank based in Berlin. Before that, he was consulted by Chinese and European governments on a variety of legal projects under the framework of the Sino-EU “Dialogue on the State of the Rule of Law”, especially with regard to constitutional dialogues, lawmaking process, and judicial practice in China. Among others, he advised the EU (e.g., European Parliament, European Commission, European Court of Human Rights), Germany (e.g., Bundestag, Bundesrat, Chancellor's Office, Ministry of Justice, Federal Constitutional Court), China (e.g., working bodies of National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Ministry of Justice, Supreme People’s Court), as well as other parliamentary bodies, governments, and courts in China, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

In 2016, How Germany Ticks (, Germany’s official web portal hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office, listed him as one of five prominent “Chinese living in Germany” (Chinese version) for their “creativity and engagement”.

Research interests

  • Copyright law issues (related to free speech)
  • Free speech in international and comparative perspectives
  • Global constitutionalism and its relation with China
  • TRIPS Agreement

Research groups

  • Centre for Chinese Law and Policy
  • Human Rights Centre


Authored book

  • Chen, Ge (2017). Copyright and International Negotiations: An Engine of Free Expression in China?. Cambridge University Press.
  • Chen, Ge Liu, Jianlong & et al (2015). 《德国联邦宪法法院典型判例研究•基本权利篇》(Studies of Classical Case Law of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany: The Basic Rights). 法律出版社 (The Law Press).

Book review

  • Chen, Ge (2021). INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CHINA. By Zhenqing Zhang. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. 298 pp. (Tables, graphs, figures.) US$69.95, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8122-5106-7. Pacific Affairs 94(3).

Chapter in book

  • Chen, Ge (2015). 《德国联邦宪法法院视角下的意见表达自由及其限制:从吕特案出发》(The Lueth Case: Freedom of Expressing Opinions and Its Restrictions in the Perspective of the German Federal Constitutional Court). In 《德国联邦宪法法院典型判例研究•基本权利篇》(Studies of Classical Case Law of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany: The Basic Rights). Chen, Ge & Liu, Jianlong 法律出版社 (The Law Press). 181-212.

Conference Paper

  • Chen, Ge (2017), Copyright and Freedom of Expression in China, Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference V. New Haven, Information Society Project. Yale Law School.
  • Chen, Ge (2016), The Unbearable Lightness of China’s Judicial Reforms: the Ongoing Process of Retrieving Control over Local Governance, European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) Annual Conference. Rome, European China Law Studies Association (ECLS).
  • Chen, Ge (2013), Media Governance or Media Freedom? Digital Regulation and Deregulation in the P2P and SNWs Context, International Workshop on Media Law. Cambridge, University of Cambridge.
  • Chen, Ge (2012), Copyright in Developing Countries: From Normative Interoperability to Institutional Inclusivity in Global Copyright Governance, Berlin Colloquium for Internet and Society 2012. Berlin, Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society. Berlin.
  • Chen, Ge (2010), Fragmentation of International Law: Its Impact on Access to Knowledge in International Copyright Scenario, Seminar on Intellectual Property and Creative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; Intellectual Property Reforms – International and Comparative Perspectives. Geneva, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Chen, Ge (2010), Fragmentation of International Copyright Law and China, Annual Conference of the Chinese Society of International Economic Law. Nanjing, The Chinese Society of International Economic Law.

Journal Article

  • Chen, Ge & Zenglein, Max (2019). The Global Faces of China's Incomplete Reforms: A Perspective from China's New Intellectual Property Regime. Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies 17(4): 425-443.
  • Chen, Ge (2014). Piercing the Veil of State Sovereignty: How China’s Censorship Regime into Fragmented International Law can Lead to a Butterfly Effect. Global Constitutionalism: Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law 3(1): 31-70.
  • Chen, Ge (2012). 《德国新环境行政法之立法经验及其对中国之启示》(The Legislation Experience of the New German Environmental Administrative Law and Its Implications for China). 《南京工业大学学报(社会科学版)》Journal of Nanjing University of Technology (Social Science Edition) 11(3): 23-28.
  • Chen, Ge (2011). 《国际版权法碎片化视野下发展中国家的知识获取及对中国之启示》(Access to Knowledge in Developing Countries from the Perspective of Fragmentation of International Copyright Law and its Significance to China). 《国际经济法学刊》(Journal of International Economic Law) 18(1): 183-201.
  • Chen, Ge (2010). 《千年发展目标转化为法律:从国际法角度看性别平等及母婴权利保护目标的实现》(The Legal Conversion of the Millennium Development Goals: the Realization of Gender Equality and Protection of Maternal and Children Rights from the Perspective of International Law). 《中德法学论坛》(Sino-German Jurisprudence Forum) 8: 231-253
  • Chen, Ge (2007). 《从基本权利看跨国公司网络数据保护的法律责任》(Liabilities of the Transnational Corporation for Data Protection in Internet). 《中德法学论坛》(Sino-German Jurisprudence Forum) 5: 180-198.

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Chen, Ge (2020). Global Trade in Times of Coronavirus: Will the WTO Survive the Next Round of Sino-US Trade War? Public Jurist 11(May): 21-24.
  • Chen, Ge (2018). How intellectual property and censorship have haunted a century of China-US trade talks. South China Morning Post
  • Chen, George G. & Wong, Tiffany G. (2017). Waiting for China’s Data Protection Law. The Diplomat
  • Chen, George G. & Shi-Kupfer, Kristin (2017). Massenhaft Nutzer – mangelhafter Datenschutz. Zeit Online
  • Chen, George G. (2017). Eine Metropole vom Reißbrett. Der Tagesspiegel
  • Chen, George G. (2017). Xiongan: A New City for the Xi Jinping Era. The Diplomat
  • Chen, George G. (2017). How Big a Deal is the New U.S.-China Trade Deal? ChinaFile, A ChinaFile Conversation
  • Chen,Ge (2017). 专访:旅德华人学者眼中的两会 (Interview: The Annual Plenary Sessions of the State in the Eyes of a Chinese Scholar Living in Germany). Deutsche Welle
  • Chen, George G. (2017). TPP is Dead, Now What? ChinaFile, A ChinaFile Conversation
  • Chen, George G. (2016). Is censorship bad for business? How trade laws could break through China’s Great Firewall. Asia Times

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Chen, Ge (2021). China and International Law: History, Theory, and Practice. The Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden). Focus Asia: Perspective & Analysis.
  • Chen, Ge & et al (2019). Chinese Censorship: A Global Export? TRT World Roundtable Discussion (TV interview).
  • Chen, Ge (2019). Fighting Words: US and China Clash on Free Speech. YaleGlobal Online.
  • Chen, Ge (2018). US Free Speech vs China’s Censorship. YaleGlobal Online.
  • Chen, Ge (2017). China’s Anti-Corruption Bill Exposes the Achilles’ Heel of Xi’s Legal Reforms. YaleGlobal Online.
  • Chen, George G. & Stepan, Matthias (2017). Ruling the Country by Red-letterhead Documents? China Policy Institute: Analysis.
  • Chen, George Ge (2017). Le Droit, C’est Moi: Xi Jinping’s New Rule-By-Law Approach. Oxford Human Rights Hub .
  • Chen, Ge (2017). A chip of controlling free expression: why China wants to “trade” its copyright protection? Cambridge Core Blog.
  • Chen, George G. (2017). China’s New Circuit Tribunals Allow Tighter Control of Judiciary. Oxford Human Rights Hub.
  • Chen, George G. (2017). A national supervision system: the CCP’s new permanent anti-corruption campaign. MERICS Blog.
  • Chen, George G. (2016). Why China relies on outsiders to get the inside story. MERICS Blog.
  • Chen, George G. (2016). A Whitened White Paper on Human Rights. Oxford Human Rights Hub.
  • Chen, Ge (2013). Still on Pinckney, the CJEU, offline distribution and Latin mottos. IPKat .


  • Chen, George G & Shi-Kupfer, Kristin (2018). Wie China mit Personenbezogenen Daten Umgeht. DeutschChinesischen Plattform Innovation (DCPI).
  • Chen, George G. & Stepan, Matthias (2017). Activating The National People’s Congress: Law-making on Behalf of the Party Center. Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).
  • Chen, George G. & Shi-Kupfer, Kristin (2016). The Function of Judicial Reforms in Xi Jinping’s Agenda: Rectifying local governance through reforms of the judicial system. Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).
  • Chen, Ge (2015). Intellectual Property Law and Freedom: between the national and the international. CiGREF: Réseau de grandes entreprises.