This publication collects together papers delivered at the first Sino-European Private Law Forum, held at Yantai University, China, in September 2013, organized jointly by the Sino-European Tort Law Institute of Yantai University, the Institute for European Tort Law of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Graz (etl, Vienna) and the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (ectil, Vienna) in the context of their collaboration agreement. Alongside the revised versions of the presentations delivered there, additional contributions by Chen Lei, Wang Jia and Ernst Karner have been included in order to further the aim of the research, namely to examine the aims of, and divergences in, the protection of personality rights in tort law within the Chinese and European legal traditions. Given the substantial period between the conference and the date of publication, an opportunity to revise the reports was offered to contributors in the first half of 2016 and (for minor updates only) when making proof corrections.
With this research, the editors hope to have contributed to a mutual understanding of the different modes of thought of Chinese and European legal scholars. This has been attempted on the example of a topically important subject intensively debated in the context of the coming Chinese Civil Code. This codification discussion is particularly clearly reflected in the contributions on Chinese law, but similar themes equally arise in the discussion of a potential unification of European tort law by the European authors. We hope that this investigation of the legal protection of personality rights in Europe and China will both inform the Chinese debate and introduce non-Chinese readers to the arguments made and their legal context.
At this point we would like to thank all of the contributors for their enthusiastic cooperation and commitment in participating. Additionally, we would like to express our special thanks to the Executive Director of the Sino-European Tort Law Institute of Yantai University, Associate Professor Zhang Yudong, for his valuable and active support in the organisation of the conference, as well as to the staff in Vienna, in particular Donna Stockenhuber, Kathrin Karner-Strobach, Andrew Bell, Simona Buss, Thomas Thiede, Eva Ondreasova, David Messner and Lisa Zeiler, for their engagement throughout the project.
Ken Oliphant, Zhang Pinghua and Chen Lei