Professor Mimi Zou

Professor Mimi Zou


B Ec SocSci (Medal & Hons 1) USyd, LLB (Hons 1) USyd, BCL (Dist) Oxford, DPhil Oxford 

Law & Justice
School of Private & Commercial Law

My research focuses on the impact of new technologies such as AI and blockchain on private and commercial law, and the regulation of new technologies from comparative and international perspectives. I have spent most of my academic career in the UK and Hong Kong, and have held senior positions at top universities including a Chair in Commercial Law at the University of Exeter and the first-ever Fellowship in Chinese Law at the University of Oxford. In 2019, I founded and led Oxford Law Faculty’s inaugural lawtech research and innovation lab. 

I am a member of the LawtechUK Panel and a senior independent expert advising the UK Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary on new and emerging technologies, data governance, and open justice. I have previously served on the UK Government’s expert body on responsible AI and data innovation and on international taskforces and panels on digital law and governance topics, including the G7 and World Economic Forum Taskforce on Governance for a Digitalised Society, the World Bank Group Taskforce on Technology and Access to Justice, and UNIDROIT Working Group on Private Law and Digital Assets.

I am a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Martin School. I have held honorary and visiting appointments at Columbia University (New York), University of Zurich, Peking University School of Transnational Law, China University of Political Science and Law, University of Sydney and Newcastle University, Australia.

I have been called to the Bar in England and Wales and admitted as a Solicitor in New South Wales.

  • Book Chapters | 2018
    Zou M, 2018, 'Regulating child labour in China: A historical perspective of internal child migration', in Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice, pp. 219 - 235
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Zou M, 2017, 'Migrant precarity under China's new immigration law regime', in Studies in Critical Social Sciences, pp. 160 - 178,
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Korff VP; Zou M; Zwart T; Wittek R, 2016, 'RATIONALITY AND SOCIETY', in Movements for Human Rights: Locally and Globally, pp. 62 - 71,
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Korff VP; Zou M; Zwart T; Wittek R, 2015, 'Rationality and society', in Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights, pp. 290 - 299,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Zou M; Lansbury RD, 2013, 'Multinational corporations and employment relations in the People's Republic of China: the case of Beijing Hyundai Motor Company', in 'Making Sense' of Human Resource Management in China, Routledge, pp. 181 - 201,
    Book Chapters | 2012
    McGrath-Champ S; Zou M; Taylor L, 2012, 'Exploring new frontiers in an internationalised classroom: Team-based learning and reflective journals as innovative learning strategies', in Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning for Home and International Students: Internationalisation of Pedagogy and Curriculum in Higher Education, pp. 27 - 40,
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Zou M; Zwart T, 2011, 'Rethinking human rights in China: Towards a receptor framework', in Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Towards Institution Building, pp. 249 - 263,
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Zou M; Zwart T, 2011, 'Rethinking human rights in China: Towards a receptor framework', in Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Towards Institution Building, pp. 249 - 263,
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Bogojević S; Zou M, 2021, 'Making Infrastructure 'Visible' in Environmental Law: The Belt and Road Initiative and Climate Change Friction', Transnational Environmental Law, 10, pp. 35 - 56,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Zou M, 2020, 'Code, and other laws of blockchain', Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 40, pp. 645 - 665,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Zou M, 2018, 'Economic Development and the Social Rights Hypothesis: Regulating Labour Standards in China', Asian Journal of Law and Society, 5, pp. 315 - 331,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Zou M, 2018, 'International and Comparative Employment Relations: National Regulation, Global Challenges', Industrial Law Journal, 47, pp. 583 - 585,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Zou M, 2017, 'The regulatory challenges of 'Uberization' in China: Classifying ride-hailing drivers', International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 33, pp. 269 - 294
    Journal articles | 2017
    Zou M, 2017, 'Towards exit and voice: Redesigning temporary migrant workers' programmes', Lavoro e Diritto, 31, pp. 91 - 109,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Zou M, 2016, 'Migrants at Work: Immigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law', Industrial Law Journal, 45, pp. 565 - 569,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Goudkamp J; Zou M, 2015, 'THE DEFENCE OF ILLEGALITY IN TORT LAW: BEYOND JUDICIAL REDEMPTION?', Cambridge Law Journal, 74, pp. 13 - 16,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Zou M, 2015, 'Legal issues regarding confidentiality and consent in HIV testing in Hong Kong', Asian Bioethics Review, 7, pp. 402 - 409,
    Journal articles | 2012
    Zou M, 2012, 'Labour relations with "Chinese characteristics"? Chinese Labour Law at a historic crossroads', Lavoro e Diritto, 26, pp. 145 - 162,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Zou M; Lansbury RD, 2009, 'Multinational corporations and employment relations in the People's Republic of China: The case of Beijing Hyundai Motor Company', International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20, pp. 2349 - 2369,
  • Conference Presentations | 2009
    Renshaw C, 2009, 'The Role of Networks in the Implementation of Human Rights in the Asia Pacific Region', presented at University of Sydney International Conference on Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Towards institution building, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 10 December 2009

I have successfully obtained a wide range of individual research grants and external funding throughout my academic career. Two of the most significantly funded projects included:

  • 2019-2020: Principal Investigator of the Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab at the University of Oxford: I led a team of 12 researchers from law, computer science, ethics, economics, finance, psychology and sociology (approx. AU$500,000 in total external funding)
  • 2019-2021: Technical Lead, China Business Environment Programme (the key strand of a AU$30 million China Prosperity Fund Programme of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office).

Academic awards

  • British Academy Talent Development Award
  • Association for Asian Studies-Luce Foundation Law, Society, and Justice Workshop Award
  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) Early Career Workshop Award
  • International Association of Labour Law Journals (IALLJ) Marco Biagi Award for Best Paper
  • Taylor and Francis Commonwealth Scholars Best Journal Article Prize (Runner-up)
  • Innovation in Teaching Award, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Union Internationale des Avocats International Jacques Leroy Prize (Runner-up)
  • University Medal, University of Sydney
  • Walter Reid Memorial Prize for Economics and Law, University of Sydney
  • Kingsley Laffer Memorial Award for Work & Organizational Studies, University of Sydney
  • Sydney Law School Negotiations Competition Winner
  • Cutler Hughes and Harris Prize for Labour Law
  • University of Sydney Outstanding Academic Achievement Award



Professional Achievement Awards

  • UK Women of the Year (Finalist) 
  • Young Women to Watch in International Affairs Award
  • Inaugural 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians Award
  • Asian Women of Achievements Award UK (Finalist)
  • British Council’s Education UK Alumni Social Impact Award (Finalist)
  • Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader
  • University of Sydney United Kingdom Alumni Association Award
  • Young Australian of the Year (Finalist)

My research has been published in leading international peer-reviewed journals and won/been shortlisted for various research prizes and awards. I received a British Academy Talent Development Award in 2021, as the only legal scholar to have received the Award to date. These Awards recognise influential researchers in the social sciences and humanities who are developing innovative interdisciplinary approaches in their fields and creating new opportunities for knowledge and skills exchange across disciplines. I am currently co-editing a statutory commentary of the EU's AI Act with Beck and Hart Publishing. I am also leading a book project on Generative AI and the Law involving 35 researchers from Asia, Europe, Americas and Africa, which will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.