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Dr Eva Pils

Dr Eva Pils, Reader in Transnational LawContact details


Room: SW3.12







Eva Pils joined King’s College London in September 2014 and is Reader in Transnational Law. Eva studied law, philosophy and sinology in Heidelberg, London and Beijing. She qualified as a lawyer in Germany and holds a PhD in law from University College London. Before joining The Dickson Poon School of Law she was an associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, where she co-founded the Centre for Rights and Justice. 

She has previously also taught at Cornell University Law School and at University College London, and held visiting positions at New York University Law School, Cornell Law School, the London School of Economics Law Department, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. In Spring 2017, is is a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School.

Dr Pils is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the US-Asia Law Institute of NYU Law School, an external member of the CUHK Centre for Social Innovation Studies, an external fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and a legal action committee member of theGlobal Legal Action Network. She is also an affiliated member of the Lau China Institute, the Transnational Law Institute and the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law at King’s. 

Research interests

Dr Pils’ research interests lie in the areas of human rights, comparative constitutional law, law and development, legal philosophy and the law in China. Her work has addressed the role and situation of Chinese human rights lawyers, property law and land and eviction rights, criminal justice, access to justice and conceptions of justice in China. Her publications on these topics have drawn on her fieldwork in China.  They have appeared in academic publications as well as in the popular press. She is frequently invited to comment on current issues in the media (e.g. in the Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph, Sunday Times, and Washington Post).

She has supervised PhD students working on various aspects of human rights and access to justice, in China and more widely. 

Current PhD student supervision:

  • Elizabeth Rhoads, ‘Continuity and Change: Contours of Land Control and State Crime in Burma/Myanmar’
Selected publications


  • Human Rights in the shadows of China’s authoritarian system, forthcoming,Polity Books, Cambridge (expected 2017).
  • China’s human rights lawyers: advocacy and resistance, Routledge, Abingdon, 2014.

Edited books

  • Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China, co-edited with Mike McConville, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2013.
  • Liu Xiaobo, Charter 08 and the Challenges of Political Reform in China, co-edited with Fu Hualing and Jean-Philippe Béja, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2012.

Articles and book chapters 

  • ‘The Party and the Law,’ chapter in Willy Lam (editor), The Handbook of the Communist Party of China, forthcoming in Willy Lam (editor), Routledge Handbook on the Chinese Communist Party Routledge. Abingdon.
  • ‘Justice, wrongs and rights: understanding traditional and liberal conceptions of justice through the lens of contemporary Chinese advocacy initiatives,’ in Elisa Nesossi, Flora Sapio and Susan Trevaskes (editors), Justice: the China Experience, Cambridge University Press.
  • ‘Resisting Dignity Takings in China,’ Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 41 issue 3 (2016).
  • ‘Assessing evictions and expropriations in China: efficiency, credibility and rights,’ 58 Land Use Policy (2016) pp. 437-444.      
  • ‘Voice, reflexivity and say: governing access to land in China,’ in Olivier De Schutter and Katharina Pistor, Governing Access to Essential Resources, Columbia University Press, pp. 127-155.

Comment Pieces



  • Public Law


  • Human Rights in International & Transnational Perspectives
  • Law & Society in China 
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