Dr John Zhuang Liu


Associate Professor

LLB, MPhil, PhD, Peking University
LLM, JSD, The University of Chicago


Zhuang (John) Liu’s interests include the role of the courts and judicial behavior, as well as law and development. He is one of the leading scholars in applying quantitative methods to study Chinese law. His present research projects include work that takes advantage of a large dataset of judicial opinions in China to examine and predict judges’ decisions and public reactions; using statistical methods to estimate judicial transparency in China; studying law and development with a combination of court data and economic data in China; and performing experimental studies to reveal the hidden behavioral patterns of judges. His work has appeared in a number of top-tier academic journals that specialize in law and in China studies, including Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Legal Analysis, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, American Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of Comparative Economics, China Quarterly, and Journal of Contemporary China. He also writes in Chinese and publishes in leading law journals in China.

He received a Bachelor of Laws and a Ph.D. in Law from Peking University, as well as an LLM and a JSD from the University of Chicago. Before joining HKU, he was at the School of Management and Economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. He helped establish the legal big data group at the Shenzhen Research Institute of Big Data, which conducts research using mass judicial decision data from China.

He is now developing a structural database of Chinese court decisions in contract cases and criminal cases, aiding scholars who seek to conduct empirical studies of the Chinese legal system. Along with this line of work, he is also constructing indices to measure judicial transparency and judicial performance in China at the county or district level, which is the first of its kind.

His teaching expertise is in two main areas: i) Chinese law and China’s economic development; ii) the application of quantitative methods in the law. He teaches Economic Law and Market Regulations in China, Introduction to Chinese Law, Rule of Law and China’s Economic Miracle, Economic Analysis of Law, and Introduction to AI and Law.

more details