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“Discussion about Experience in Legal Studies Based on the Underworld Phenomenon in China”

On the evening of May 13, 2016, Lecture series of interdisciplinary salon of criminal law at Peking University was held successfully in Room 303 of Koguan Building. The lecture invited Prof. Chen Bofeng from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law as the keynote speaker and Peking University Law School A.P. CheHao as the presider. Themed “Discussion about experience in legal studies based on the underworld phenomenon in counties of China”, the lecture attracted many participants like students and people in the community.

At the beginning of the lecture, A.P. CheHao accounted for the original intention of the lecture series. He believed that neither of the teaching research and the study of ideological content should be neglected. Since criminal law permeated in every aspect of people’s life, not only the internal integration of it counted, the interdisciplinary study also played a vital role. After a brief introduction, Prof. Chen Bofeng started the lecture.

Prof. Chen Bofeng interpreted the formation of rural gangdom and pointed out that the rural gangdom circle also organized and functioned on the basis of interpersonal relationships just the same as the operation of normal social relationships. Yet we still needed to distinguish the rural gangdom from the “mafia organization” which was considered illegal strictly in law. The rural gangdom usually implemented activities in such a “gray space” that neither legal nor illegal. Emphasized on empirical research, Prof. Chen Bofeng explained that we must first figure out “what is it” and then make clear “why is it”. In the end, Prof. Chen Bofeng stated his own opinion in academic research according to both his research and teaching experience.
The participants had a heated discussion with Prof. Chen Bofeng after the lecture. One of the students raised the questions that how would the fact research of rural gangdom influence legal policies and would the definition of rural gangdom as “mafia organization” lead to the expansion of the normative meaning of the underworld-nature organization. In addition, some students put forward that whether the current law and regulations work for the rural gangdom. In response to all the questions posed by the students, Prof. Chen Bofengexpressed his opinions and tried to make himself understood.
The lecture ended in a brief retrospection and review by A.P. CheHao. He indicated that the rural gangdom described by Prof. Chen Bofeng varied greatly from the normal “mafia organization”. The rural gangdom refers to some “individual” and “gang group” that do not have a fixed position in society, while “mafia organization” is strictly defined in criminal law in terms of organization, financial status, behavior and illegal control.
 The lecture ended successfully in ardent and strict academic atmosphere.   
Translated by: TianYajuan
Edited by: Li Rui