Skip to main content

Dr Zhiyu Li

Assistant Professor in Law and Policy

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in Law and Policy in the Durham Law School  
Fellow in the Durham Research Methods Centre  


Zhiyu Li joined Durham Law School as an Assistant Professor in 2018. She holds undergraduate degrees in law and economics, and a J.S.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the law faculty, she was a Hauser Post-Doctoral Global Fellow at New York University School of Law on a merit-based full fellowship stipend. At Durham, Zhiyu participates in the Research Methods Centre and Research Project Leadership Programme, and was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies of the National University of Singapore in 2019.

Zhiyu’s teaching and research interests centre on public law and comparative law. She writes at the intersection of law and policy, with a particular emphasis on the role of the courts in the administrative state. Her work employs both qualitative and quantitative methods and has appeared in U.S. and international journals. Her research on the role of Chinese courts as policymakers was selected by the American Society of Comparative Law as one of two younger comparativist projects featured at its Annual Meetings in 2017 and 2019. Zhiyu’s most recent piece examines the proliferation of legal technology and its implications for authoritarian legality. Besides documenting Chinese exceptionalism in modernizing its courts, the paper draws on online surveys and interviews with legal aid seekers to illuminate the two faces of internet and artificial intelligence technologies.

Research interests

  • Comparative Law
  • Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
  • Administrative Law
  • Law and Policy

Research groups

  • Centre for Chinese Law and Policy

Supervision students