In December 2011, Yuwen Li was appointed as Professor of Chinese Law at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. In her inaugural speech - which is documented in this book - Professor Li addressed the fundamental and yet controversial issue of judicial independence in the context of Chinese law and judicial practice. While recognizing the impressive progress China has made towards a more efficient judicial independence as part of its judicial reform over the past three decades, Professor Li also identifies the major features of judicial dependence in today's China. Her emphasis lies on the imperative prerequisite of judicial independence in building a professional and impartial judicial authority. Such authority is expected to play a significant role in, not only China's transition, but also the country's overall economic prosperity and social stability in the long run. As China's judicial reform has developed in an incremental manner, Li points out that improving judicial independence is an evolving process. Consequently, recommendations are made for a short-term and a long-term strategy in order to achieve a fully-fledged judicial independence.