Themed, "The Rule of Law and Harmony of International Society," the 22nd Congress on the Law of the World opened today at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The congress will move to Shanghai on Wednesday for another two-day session.
The biennial congress is an international conference sponsored by the World Jurist Association (WJA).
According to sources with Chinese organizers, over 1,000 delegates from home and abroad are taking part in the week-long congress.
Among them are 450 overseas delegates from 60 countries, including justices, prosecutors, lawyers, law professors and senior judicial officials.
"Strengthening global communications in the field of law is important in building a harmonious world," Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court, said yesterday at a ceremony marking World Law Day.
"It also plays an important role in world peace," Xiao said.
He added: "Building a harmonious world with the rule of law requires participation and efforts from legal professionals worldwide."
World Law Day typically falls on the eve of the congress.
Ronald Greenberg, the WJA's first vice president, echoed Xiao's views yesterday. "Under the current world situation, no theme is more timely and important than 'the Rule of Law and Harmony of International Society' for the congress," he said.
Greenberg added that it was a pleasure for the congress to return to Beijing since the 14th congress was held here in 1990.
Panel discussions will be held today on topics including international terrorism, Family Law, Real Estate and Property Law, International Criminal Law, alternative dispute resolution, commercial arbitration and conciliation, and International Investment and Transnational Corporation Law.
Ved Nanda, the WJA's honorary president, expressed gratitude yesterday to the Chinese organizers for a well-organized event.
World Law Conference Program
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2005)