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Prof. Dr. Björn Ahl


Curriculum Vitae

Björn Ahl is Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture. Before joining the University of Cologne in 2012, he was Visiting Professor of Chinese Law, Comparative Public Law and International Law in the China EU School of Law at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Prior to that he held a position as Assistant Professor of Law in the City University of Hong Kong. He has also worked as Associate Director and Lecturer in the Sino German Institute of Legal Studies of Nanjing University and as a Researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.

He received a doctorate in law from the University of Heidelberg in 2008 and passed the second state examination in law in 2001. He completed the first state examination in law with distinction in 1999. Björn Ahl studied law and Chinese language at the Universities of Heidelberg and Nanjing with scholarships of the German National Scholarship Foundation and the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation.

Björn Ahl has been a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki (2019-23), where he is Academic Advisor to the Finnish Centre of Chinese Law and Legal Culture. He is President of the European China Law Studies Association, an International Fellow at the Philip K.H. Wong Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, and a Board Member of the Sino German Jurists Association.

He is editor-in-chief of the Chinese Law and Legal Culture Series (Schriftenreihe zu Recht und Rechtskultur Chinas) as well as a member of the editorial boards of the German Chinese Law Journal (Zeitschrift für chinesisches Recht), Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, Chinese Journal of Transnational Law, and the Chinese and Comparative Law Series.

Selected Publications

  • International Law in Chinese Courts, Ignacio De la Rasilla and Congyan Cai (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of China and International Law, Cambridge University Press 2024, 113-130. (Download)

  • Norm Taker oder Norm Maker? Chinas Haltung zum Völkerrecht, Osteuropa, 7-9/2023, 209-226. (Link)

  • Review: Law as an Instrument: Sources of Chinese Law for Authoritarian Legality Shucheng Wang. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2022, xv 223 pp. £85.00 (hbk). ISBN 9781009152563. The China Quarterly, 254, 2023, 514-516. (Download)

  • The Development of the Due Process Principle in post-2013 China, The Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 17 (2022), pp. 254-276. (Download)

  • Book review of: Pitman Potter, Exporting Virtue? China’s International Human Rights Activism in the Age of Xi Jinping, The China Journal, Vol. 87, 2022, 211-213. (Download)

  • China's Evolving Data Protection Law and the Financial Credit Information System: Court Practice and Suggestions for Legislative Reform (co-authored with Lu Yu), Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 51, 2021, 287-308. (Download)

  • China’s Perspectives on Public International Law: Selective Adaptation of International Treaties and the Community of Common Destiny Concept, German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 64 (2021), 97-116.

  • Chinese Positions on Global Constitutionalism, Community of Common Destiny for Mankind and the Future of International Law, The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 9, 2021, 304-327. (Download)

  • Chinese Courts and Criminal Procedure: Post-2013 Reforms, Cambridge University Press, 2021. (Download)

  • Post-2013 Reforms of the Chinese Courts and Criminal Procedure: An Introduction, in: Björn Ahl (ed.), Chinese Courts and Criminal Procedure: Post-2013 Reforms, Cambridge University Press, 2021, pp. 1-28. (Download)

  • Review of Fu Hualing, Michael Palmer, Zhang Xianchu (eds.) - Transparency Challenges Facing China, Amicus Curiae, Series 2, Vol 2, No 1, pp. 123-127. (Download)

  • The Reform of Chinese Migration Law and the Protection of Migrants' Rights, in: Gunter Schubert (ed.), East Asian Migration Governance in Comparative Perspective: Norm, Diffusion, Politics of Identity, Citizenship, Routledge 2021, pp. 179-197. (Download)

  • Why do Judges Cite the Party? References to Party Ideology in Chinese Court Decisions, in: China: An International Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, May 2020, pp. 175-185. (Download)

  • Labour Rights Protection of Foreign Employees in China, forthcoming in Asia Pacific Law Review Vol. 28, Issue 1, 2020, pp. 122-137. (co-authored with Pilar-Paz Czoske and Cui Xu). (Download)

  • Taiwan, in: Rüdiger Wolfrum (ed.), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2020). (Download)

  • How Immigration is Shaping Chinese Society, China Monitor, 27 November 2019 (co-authored with Frank Pieke, Elena Barabantseva, Michaela Pelican, Tabitha Speelman, Wang Feng and Xiang Biao). (Download)

  • Data-Driven Approaches to Studying Chinese Judicial Practice: Opportunities, Challenges, and Issues (co-authored with Lidong Cai and Chao Xi), in: The China Review Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019, 1-14. (Download)

  • Judizialization in Authoritarian Regimes: The Expansion of Powers of the Chinese Supreme People's Court, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2019, 252-277. (Download)

  • How China Manages Economic-Stream Migration: The New Points Scheme (co-authored with Pilar-Paz Czoske), Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Vol. 24, 2018, 476-485. (Download)

  • Recent Reform of the Chinese Employment-Stream Migration Law Regime (co-authored with Guofu Liu), China and WTO Review 2018, Vol. 4, 215-243. (Download)

  • Towards judicial transparency in China: The new public access database for court decisions (co-authored with Daniel Sprick), China Information, Vo. 32, 2018, 3-22. (Download)

  • The Politicization of the Chinese National Judicial Examination (2007-2012), Modern China, Vol. 44, 2018, 208-240. (Download)

  • Björn Ahl, The Relation between International Law and German Law: Suggestions for the Amendment of the Chinese Legislation Law (国际法与德国法的关系以及对立法法修改的建议), in: Libin Xie, Chinese-German Comparative Study on Legislation (中德立法比较研究), CUPL Press, Beijing 2017, 62-72. (Download)

  • Interaction of National Law-Making and International Treaties: The Implementation of the Convention Against Torture in China, forthcoming in: Zhao Yun, Michael Ng (eds.), Chinese Legal Reform and the Global Legal Order: Adoption and Adaptation, Cambridge University Press 2017. (Download)

  • China's New Global Presence and Its Position Towards Public International Law: Obeying, Using or Shaping? In: Lutz-Christian Wolff, Chao Xi (eds), Legal Dimensions of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Wolters Kluwer, Hong Kong 2016, 481-505. (Download)

  • Migration, the Law and ‘One Belt, One Road’ (co-authored with Pilar Paz Czoske), in: Lutz-Christian Wolff, Chao Xi (eds), Legal Dimensions of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Wolters Kluwer, Hong Kong 2016, 393-416. (Download)

  • Modern Chinese Court Buildings, Regime Legitimacy and the Public (co-authored with Hendrik Tieben), International Journal for the Semiotics of Law – Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique, Vol. 28, 2015, 603–626. (Download)

  • The Rise of China and International Human Rights Law, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 37, 2015, 637–661. (Download)

  • Retaining Judicial Professionalism: the New Case Guiding Mechanism of the Supreme People’s Court, The China Quarterly, Vol. 217, 2014, 121–139. (Download)

  • The Delineation of Treaty-making Powers between the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, Vol. 31, 2013, 116–135. (Download)

  • Statements of the Chinese Government before Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Doctrine and Practice of Treaty Implementation, The Australian Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 12, 2010, 82–105. (Download)

  • Exploring Ways of Implementing International Human Rights Treaties in China, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, Vol. 28, 2010, 361–403. (Download)