The Fourth Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in October 2014 focused on the rule of law. On November 3, 2014, the National Committee convened a discussion with Carl Minzner, professor at the Fordham University School of Law. In an on-the-record teleconference moderated by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins, the two reflected on the Fourth Plenum and its implications for the development of China's legal system and governance. A question and answer session followed the speakers' remarks.

Carl Minzner is an expert in Chinese law and governance. He has written extensively on these topics in both academic journals and the popular press, including op-eds appearing in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor. Recent academic works include "China's Turn Against Law", in the American Journal of Comparative Law (2011) exploring Chinese authorities' shift against legal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, and "The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education" in the Fordham International Law Journal, examining both the expansion of Chinese legal education since the late 1990s, and its impending retrenchment. He is a fellow in the National Committee's Public Intellectuals Program.