Friday, October 20, 2017

New book: Jianlin Chen on The Law and Religious Market Theory (CUP)

The Law and Religious Market Theory: China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
Jianlin Chen
Cambridge University Press
September 2017
Description: With comparative case studies from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Jianlin Chen's new work offers a fresh, descriptive and normative perspective on law and religion. This presentation of the original Law and Religious Market Theory employs an interdisciplinary approach that sheds light on this subject for scholars in legal and sociological disciplines. It sets out the precise nature of religious competition envisaged by the current legal regimes in the three jurisdictions and analyses how certain restrictions on religious practices may facilitate normatively desirable market dynamics. This updated and invaluable resource provides a new and insightful investigation into this fascinating area of law and religion in Greater China today.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Michael Davis on Strengthening Constitutionalism in Asia (J of Democracy)

"Strengthening Constitutionalism in Asia"
Michael Davis (CCPL)
Journal of Democracy
Oct 2017, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 147-161
Abstract: Much has been written about the retreat of liberal democracy. In Asia, a region where the notion of illiberal democracy has long been advocated, illiberalism and populism have spawned numerous constitutional crises. Drawing on experience from countries across Asia, this article stresses seven principles as a roadmap to establishing and maintaining a liberal constitutional democracy. These cover all stages of the process, from early mobilization and constitution-making to full implementation and consolidation, and they address issues of institutional autonomy, popular engagement, and ethnic and regional inclusion. Efforts at democratization in Asia have too often given insufficient attention to constitutional fundamentals and popular inclusion as critical ingredients on the path to establishing and maintaining stable democracies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Artem Sergeev on The Right to Internet Access in China (Int'l J L & IT)

Artem Sergeev (PhD candidate)
International Journal of Law and Information Technology
Oct 2017 (Advance Articles), 27 pp
Abstract: Considering the valuable effect of the Internet on the modern world, it was argued that the cyberspace is protected under international law. Following the argument, the article discusses to what extent the Internet is protected under international law and what is the possible qualitative impact of the general right to the Internet. Primarily relying on examples of Chinese internet policy, the article deals with three key issues. First, the article evaluates the legal grounds to claim the existence of the right to the Internet. Secondly, the article outlines the international protection given to the internet by studying whether online censorship in China violates international treaties. Third, the article argues the possible qualitative impact of the widespread internet access on other civil rights. The focus on China is explained by Chinese far-reaching censorship and a general amount of internet users. The article concludes that the internet per se despite being considered as a right has a limited impact on democratization and protection of civil freedoms. As to the broader academic implications, first, the article illustrates the ways of indirectly applying treaties through Article 18 of VCLT. Secondly, it exemplifies the practical means to assess compliance with Human Rights norms academically. Lastly, it illustrates that implementation of certain Human Rights can have a limited impact.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

HKU FinTech Day (30 October 2017, 2pm)

HKU FinTech Day

Hong Kong FinTech Education Week

30 October 2017 (Monday), 2:00 – 6:15 pm
Large Moot Court, 2/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong

Financial Technology (FinTech) is changing the world of finance at an incredible pace, impacting start-ups, financial institutions, regulators and more recently technology companies. Since 2008, the center of gravity of FinTech has shifted to establish itself in Asia with noticeable large-scale changes occurring in China, India and Australia.

In this context, the University of Hong Kong (HKU)’s pre-existing regional presence and financial expertise has been leveraged into FinTech academic leadership. This event will highlight the work of leading academics at HKU as well as a range of new educational initiatives to support human capital development in Hong Kong and around the world. 

In addition to presentations and panels, HKU FinTech Day will also include a student startup competition and information for students considering studying FinTech at HKU.

Please join us by registering HERE.

Confirmed Speakers

Professor Andy Hor, University of Hong Kong
Dr Toa Charm, Cyberport
Dr KP Chow, University of Hong Kong
Huy Nguyen Trieu, Centre for Financial Technology and Entrepreneurship
Professor Norman Tien, University of Hong Kong
Joelle Woo, Microsoft
Professor George Tham, University of Hong Kong
Janos Barberis, SuperCharger and University of Hong Kong
Professor Douglas Arner, University of Hong Kong
Terence Leung, Cyberport

A student startup and HKU teaching and research Showcase will be held on the
1/F Foyer of the Cheng Yu Tung Tower all day.

Further details are available at

Enquiries: Flora Leung at

Arner, Barberis, Buckley on The Emergence of Regtech 2.0 (J Financial Transformation)

Douglas Arner, Janos Barberis (PhD Candidate), Ross Buckley
Journal of Financial Transformation
Nov 2016, Vol 44, pp 79-86
Oct 2017, posted online
Abstract: The regulatory changes and technological developments following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis are fundamentally changing the nature of financial markets, services and institutions. At the juncture of these two phenomena lies regulatory technology or ‘RegTech’ – the use of technology, particularly information technology, in the context of regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliance.
     RegTech to date has focused on the digitization of manual reporting and compliance processes, for example in the context of know-your-customer requirements. This offers tremendous cost savings to the financial services industry and regulators. However, the potential of RegTech is far greater – it could enable a close to real-time and proportionate regulatory regime that identifies and addresses risk while also facilitating more efficient regulatory compliance.
     We argue that the transformative nature of technology will only be captured by a new approach that sits at the nexus between data, digital identity and regulation. The development of financial technology (‘FinTech’), rapid developments in emerging markets, and recent pro-active stance of regulators in developing regulatory sandboxes, represent a unique combination of events, which could facilitate the transition from one regulatory model to another.

Monday, October 16, 2017

New book by Yahong Li: Patents and Innovation in Mainland China and Hong Kong (CUP)

Editor: Yahong Li
Cambridge University Press
October 2017, 286 pp
Description: How do patents affect innovation in Mainland China and Hong Kong? How can two patent systems operate within one country and how is innovation affected by the 'one country two systems' model? For the first time, this book links these challenging issues together and provides a comprehensive overview for government officials, law-makers, academics, law practitioners and students to understand the patent systems of Mainland China and Hong Kong. Themes examined include the interaction between the two distinctive patent regimes, the impact of patents on innovation in China's specific industries such as green tech, traditional Chinese medicines and telecommunications, the role of utility models in inflating low-quality patents and the application of good faith principle in enforcing FRAND in Mainland China, patent system reforms in Hong Kong, and the impact of these changes on innovation in the two vastly distinctive yet closely connected jurisdictions.
  • The first detailed study of the links between Mainland China and Hong Kong in the area of patents and innovation
  • Describes the establishment of Hong Kong's indigenous patent system and how it was reformed after the handover to China
  • Analyzes in depth the role of patents in China's individual industries such as green tech, traditional Chinese medicines and telecommunications
Chapters were contributed by some of the students and graduates of the Faculty of Law's research postgraduate programme including Dr Chen Yifu, Dr Gao Li and Miss Yu Limeng.

Advance Praise
'In the international IP community a knowledge gap exists with regard to the fact that China employs two different, but complementary patent systems. The book giving deep comparative insight into both systems and furthermore promotes additional, valuable knowledge concerning other territories of 'Greater China'.' 
Heinz Goddar, European and German Patent and Trademark Attorney
'With uncertainties about the Unified Patent Court and system in Europe and the disruptions of long-standing expectations by the Supreme Court in the United States, China promises to emerge as the primary place where researchers and investors can vindicate their faith in the future of intellectual property. In that new emerging world of IP, knowledge of Chinese IP law and practice will be at a premium. Chinese IP has an additional point of attraction: it is actually two systems - one on the mainland and one in the traditional Asian economic powerhouse of Hong Kong. This book by Professor Li opens the door to both systems and increases insight into both by comparison. As China continues to emerge as the center pole holding up the tent of IP, Professor Li's book will teach ways to use that tent and its center pole to protect the world's IP assets.' 
Judge Randall Rader, Principal, The Rader Group; former Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Saturday, October 14, 2017

PhD in Law at HKU 2018-2019 (Main Round Deadline: 1 Dec 2017)

Research Postgraduate Programme 2018-19 

Our Faculty is Hong Kong’s first law school and one of the most prestigious law schools internationally. It celebrates 50 years in 2019. Today, the Faculty has over 70 full-time academic staff members and more than 1,500 students studying in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including the research postgraduate programmes leading to the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Legal Science (SJD).

Faculty of Law building
The Faculty of Law places great emphasis on the quality of postgraduate research education, and values innovative, high-impact and leading-edge research within and across disciplines. Our graduates include the current Attorney General of Sri Lanka, partners in law firms, and law professors in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Hong Kong, Macau, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. We provide an intellectually stimulating environment nurturing students' intellectual and creative abilities. Students study in our modern 11-storey Cheng Yu Tung Tower situated next to the entrance of the HKU MTR station. Visit our website for more details on our programmes and the Graduate School website for information on scholarship funding and application submission.

We have two departments and five research centres/institutes dedicated to the study of public law, financial law, Chinese law, law and technology, and medical legal ethics. 

✫ Ranking 18 of 100 top law schools in the 2018 THE World University Ranking for Law 
✫ Consistently Ranking Top 20 in QS World Ranking for Law, 2013 to 2017 
✫ Ranked 10 in Social Sciences Research Network’s Top 500 International Law Schools, Oct 2017 
✫ Editorship of Three Major International Law Journals: Hong Kong Law Journal, Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, Law and Literature  
✫ Held more than 180 public events in 2016 to 2017 featuring distinguished jurists, academics and practitioners from around the world
✫ Hosting major international conferences on public law (ICON-S), animal welfare law, and legal philosophy in 2018 and 2019 
✫ Two Fulbright Scholars (Hong Kong Awards) for 2018-2019 
✫ Two Outstanding Research Postgraduate Student Awards for 2015-2016
Major Research Areas for Supervision
✪ Chinese law and legal developments, including those related to the Belt and Road initiative 
✪ Corporate and financial law, including FinTech and RegTech 
✪ Comparative constitutional and public law, including human rights and empirical methods 
✪ Law and economics, particularly in competition law 
✪ Alternative dispute resolution 
✪ Innovation, technology, and intellectual property law 
✪ Legal ethics including medical legal ethics and the legal profession 
Published books by our research postgraduate students
For more details of our research areas and academic staff, please visit our website and the HKU Legal Scholarship Blog. If you have further questions, you may email them to

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Book by Po Jen Yap - Courts and Democracies in Asia (CUP)

Courts and Democracies in Asia
Po Jen Yap
Cambridge University Press, 224 pp
September 2017
Description: What is the relationship between the strength of a country's democracy and the ability of its courts to address deficiencies in the electoral process? Drawing a distinction between democracies that can be characterised as 'dominant-party' (for example Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong), 'dynamic' (for example India, South Korea, and Taiwan), and 'fragile' (for example Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), this book explores how democracy sustains and is sustained by the exercise of judicial power. In dominant-party systems, courts can only pursue 'dialogic' pathways to constrain the government's authoritarian tendencies. On the other hand, in dynamic democracies, courts can more successfully innovate and make systemic changes to the electoral system. Finally, in fragile democracies, where a country regularly oscillates between martial law and civilian rule, their courts tend to consistently overreach, and this often facilitates or precipitates a hostile take-over by the armed forces, and lead to the demise of the rule of law.

Advance praise:
‘Po Jen Yap's new book is a must-read in the growing literature on the role of constitutional courts in democratic stabilization. Its fine-grained analyses demonstrates that the political power and vulnerability of courts in protecting democratic processes as well as their own independence is not fixed or prescribable in the abstract, but varies with the state of democratization and party contestation in which they operate.'
Stephen Gardbaum - MacArthur Foundation Professor of International Justice and Human Rights, University of California, Los Angeles
‘A fascinating tour through the fraught relations between courts and political power. Professor Yap provides a nuanced account of how constitutional courts in Asia balance precariously between semi-authoritarian dominant regimes and the live wire of electoral politics. A magnificent, sophisticated contribution that enriches our understanding of judicial politics in an era of weak democratic institutions.'
Samuel Issacharoff - Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University
'Po Jen Yap's analysis of the role of Asian courts in three types of democracies illuminates how the possibilities for effective judicial action in connection with major political issues varies according to the type of democracy in which the courts are located. It is an important contribution to the project of integrating comparative constitutional law with comparative political studies.'
Mark Tushnet - William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard University

Sunday, October 8, 2017

James Fry and Agnes Chong on Reconciling the Right to Health and the Right to Tobacco in Times of Armed Conflict (Houston J Int'l L)

James Fry and Agnes Chong (PhD candidate)
Houston Journal of International Law
2017, Vol. 39, Issue 3
Introduction: Imagine a situation where one internee or prisoner of war demands his right to tobacco - presumably in the form of smoking a cigarette - under the 1949 Geneva Conventions while a neighbor simultaneously demands his right to health - here, in the form of the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco.  As individuals within these groups tend to live in close proximity to one another for the duration of the hostilities, this problem presumably is not merely hypothetical, even though an actual case that pits these two rights against one another has not yet grabbed the public spotlight.  Given the growing number of pirates, their apparent predilection for cigarettes, and the possibility of them enjoying prisoner-of-war status after their capture until a competent tribunal has determined their status, the stage might be set for just such a case.  Regardless, which neighbor's right prevails?  Putting aside the somewhat obvious solution of creating smoking and non smoking zones, similar to those that exist in some airports, this article explores how to resolve this apparent conflict between rights and whether they actually conflict in the first place. 
     At first glance, it would seem like these rights directly and irreconcilably conflict.  However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that there is no actual conflict between these two rights.  Although the traditional view is that as soon as armed conflict begins, international humanitarian law supersedes international human rights law as the lex specialis, in reality this is not necessarily true.  Indeed, several conditions must be satisfied for lex specialis to apply.   For this article's purposes, the key condition is that both rights must be applicable at the same time for them to conflict.  Despite the expansion of the scope of international human rights law into times of armed conflict through the 2003 Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory advisory opinion, the two rights in question actually do not apply at the same time.  Since international humanitarian law remains applicable only during times of armed conflicts, the two norms will be applicable at the same time only if the international human rights norm also applies during times of armed conflicts.  The Wall advisory opinion established that only non-derogable human rights norms - for example, those under Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - would apply during armed conflicts.  It is highly unlikely that the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco is a non-derogable right.  Therefore, the tobacco user's right will trump virtually every time, again, assuming arguendo that that use takes the form of smoking tobacco.
     This article is divided into six parts, including this introduction and an equally brief conclusion in Parts I and VI, respectively.  Part II lays out the history of tobacco use, focusing specifically on the perceived harms and benefits of tobacco on health, which is important in understanding why the right to tobacco and the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco have evolved as they have.  Part III explains the oft-overlooked rights to tobacco contained in such provisions of international humanitarian law as Article 11 of the 1929 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1929 Geneva Convention), Articles 26 and 28 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention).  Part IV explores the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco that comes from the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (Framework Convention), various human rights treaties, and customary international law.  Part V evaluates the secondary rules that exist for resolving this apparent conflict and concludes that there is no legal conflict between these primary rules, although they do still conflict from other perspectives.   Critics will complain that this article fails to fully address the clash-of-rights issues presented in the first paragraph of this introduction.  However, such criticism misses the entire point of this article - that clash-of-rights issues arise only when rights actually conflict, and there is no actual conflict between the right to tobacco and the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco.  While ample literature focuses on how international humanitarian law and international human rights law conflict of potentially conflict, this article appears to be the first to provide a detailed analysis of whether rights in these two areas of international law actually conflict, making the secondary rules for resolving conflicts relevant.  
     This article also is unique in providing the first academic analysis of the right to tobacco, although there are other academic articles on the right to be free from the harmful effects of tobacco.  It is somewhat surprising that previous academic studies have not focused on the right to tobacco, given that tobacco made up 2.18 percent of the overall weight of consignments to prisoners of war, civilian internees, and deportees from October 18, 1940 to December 1945, with tobacco apparently becoming the category of supply with the highest percentage on the International Committee of the Red Cross' budget in recent years.  This article also provides the first comparison of these two rights, which would have been an interesting case study fur the interaction of different branches of international law and the interpretive tools available for reconciling conflicts had these two branches actually conflicted with regard to tobacco-related rights.    

James Fry on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (African J Int'l & Comp L)

"Ethiopian Exceptionalism and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission"
African Journal of International and Comparative Law
2017, Vol. 25, Issue 2
Abstract: This article explores the reasons why Ethiopia relied on legal resolution with its territorial boundary dispute with Eritrea when it could have relied on its relative military power to dictate the terms and conditions of peace. It dismisses Ethiopia's familiarity with Western-style legal resolution and its relative lack of nationalism as potential explanations, instead focusing on Ethiopia's general sense of exceptionalism from its history as an African and global leader and as a respecter of international law, among other key factors. Ethiopia's example provides considerable hope that legal resolution can be used more frequently with politically sensitive disputes between states.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Scott Veitch's "The Sense of Obligation" (Jurisprudence)

"The Sense of Obligation"
Scott Veitch
September 2017, published online
Abstract: This article is based on the Inaugural Adam Smith Lecture in Jurisprudence given at the University of Glasgow in 2016. It asks this question: is it not an age of obligation that we live in as much as, if not more so than, an age of rights? To answer this it explores a number of different senses of obligation to be found across a range of social practices. After an overview of some of the main concerns of Smith’s work, it looks at two types of ‘obligation practices’ prominent in contemporary society: those that make rights effective, and those that operationalise debt. In paying attention to the often less visible work done by and through obligations, it also highlights certain vulnerabilities citizens are susceptible to when the distinction between obligation and obedience threatens to collapse.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

HKU Law Ranks 18 of 100 World's Top Law Schools (THE World University Rankings 2018)

In the latest release of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 by Subject in which Law is included for the first time, The Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong comes in 18th in the world and first in Asia. The Faculty is delighted that its unwavering commitment to excellence in all that it does in Hong Kong, Asia and globally is recognized internationally. The Faculty is encouraged and inspired to redouble its efforts to provide first rate legal education, produce cutting-edge research, engage in transformative knowledge exchange, and to champion the Rule of Law.
     The Faculty of Law has also consistently ranked within the top 20 of the QS World University Ranking of law schools from 2013 to 2017.  For details of the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings for Law, click here.  For related news coverage in the South China Morning Post, click here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New Issue: SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series (HKU)

Dirk A. Zetzsche, ADA Chair in Financial Law / Inclusive Finance, University of Luxembourg, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf - Faculty of Law - Center for Business & Corporate Law (CBC)
Ross P. Buckley, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
Douglas W. Arner, University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law
Janos Nathan Barberis, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Yun Zhao on Intellectual Property Protection in Outer Space (Queen Mary J of IP)

Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property
2017, v. 7, pp. 137-155
Abstract: The issue of intellectual property protection is receiving more and more attention from participants in space activities.  Outer space provides a special environment for scientific research and experiments. The increasing involvement of private entities provides another impetus calling for states to provide a favorable legal environment for intellectual property protection.  As such, it is important to examine whether the territorial nature of intellectual property can reconcile with non-territorial nature of outer space.  This article concludes that conflicting features of the two regimes are irreconcilable. Since the existing regime for intellectual property is relatively mature, a connected point can be created to link outer space with the current intellectual property regime.  As such, an optimum balance can be reached 'between the interests of the inventor, the State concerned, and those who improve space technology.'

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rebecca Lee on Disgorgement of Unauthorised Fiduciary Gains (J of Equity)

"Disgorgement of unauthorised fiduciary gains: An exercise in causation?"
Journal of Equity
2017, vol 11, pp. 29-47
Abstract: This article examines the relevance of causation in attributing and quantifying unauthorised fiduciary gains. Proceeding from some recent accounts of the fiduciary no-profit rule being merely a primary rule of attribution, it considers whether fiduciary accountability necessarily entails that liability to account for profits is an order that enforces the trustee’s primary duty directly, and thus excludes causal inquiries; as well as whether deterrence as a normative rationale for complete disgorgement applies to all breach of fiduciary duty cases. Based on the principles developed from the foregoing analysis, the article then illustrates its implications by reference to a recent Hong Kong case on disgorgement. It is suggested that the lower courts in that case mistakenly applied causation in deciding whether an account of profits should be available in a misapplication of trust fund situation, which mistake was corrected by Lord Millett NPJ [in Libertarian Investments Ltd v Thomas Alexej Hall (2013) 16 HKCFAR 681]  only when the case reached the Court of Final Appeal.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Marco Wan Examines Hong Kong Identity in Insanity, a Film by David Lee (Law, Culture & Humanities)

"Dissent, Cultural Schizophrenia and Hong Kong Identity in David Lee’s Insanity"
Marco Wan
Law, Culture and the Humanities
April 2017, published online
Abstract: How does film capture the zeitgeist of a time of cultural and political conflict? This article investigates the relationship between Hong Kong cinema, identity and dissent in David Lee’s Insanity (2015). Drawing on the notion of cultural schizophrenia as posited by Frederic Jameson and reworked by a number of Hong Kong scholars, it argues that Lee’s film about clinical schizophrenia can be interpreted as a representation of the cultural schizophrenia characteristic of Hong Kong identity at the current time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Best Legal Blog Contest (VOTE FOR THIS BLOG BEFORE NOV 3, 2017)

HKU Legal Scholarship Blog has been selected to compete in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Competition 2017. From a field of hundreds of potential nominees, HKU Legal Scholarship Blog received enough nominations to join one of the largest competitions for legal blog writing online today.
    Our blog is competing in the Education and Law School Blogs category.  The competition is fierce, and we are the only non-North American law blog competing in the category.  TO VOTE FOR HKU LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP BLOG, CLICK HERE.
     The competition will run from September 25th until the close of voting at 12:00 AM on November 3rd, at which point the votes will be tallied and the winners announced.
     About The Expert Institute: Founded in 2011, The Expert Institute is a technology-driven platform for connecting qualified experts in every field with lawyers, investment firms, and journalists looking for technical expertise and guidance. The Expert Institute combines a vast database of pre-screened experts with a talented case management team capable of custom recruiting experts to fit the specific needs of our clients. The Expert Institute also maintains one of the internet’s most visited blogs on expert witnesses, in addition to an extensive case study archive and expert witness resource center.

New Issues: SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series (HKU)

Vol. 7, No. 6: Sep 19, 2017 

Table of Contents

1. The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain
Dirk A. Zetzsche, ADA Chair in Financial Law / Inclusive Finance, University of Luxembourg, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf - Faculty of Law - Center for Business & Corporate Law (CBC)
Ross P. Buckley, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
Douglas W. Arner, University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

2.Financial Inclusion: A Challenge to the New Paradigm of Financial Technology, Regulatory Technology and Anti-Money Laundering Law
Emily Lee, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

3. Hong Kong's Judiciary Under ‘One Country, TwoSystems’
Albert H. Y. Chen, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law
P. Y. Lo, The University of Hong Kong

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Maria Adele Carrai on Republican China and the New Legal Framework for Managing Tibet (Leiden JIL)

Maria Adele Carrai (PhD 2016)
Leiden Journal of International Law
August 2017, published online
Abstract: At the end of the nineteenth century, China found itself torn between its imperial past and its nation-state future. By the time it became a Republic in 1911, China had to redefine its territory in new national sovereign terms. Until then its territory had been inscribed in more malleable frontiers and boundaries within the normative framework of the so-called ‘tribute system’. The article shows how, applying the new legal techniques of empire learned from the West, the Chinese central government, wherever possible, attempted to expand its new sovereign domain in territories like Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia, where, according to international law, all the prerequisites existed for national self-determination and independence. In the context of opposing British and Tibetan claims, the Chinese appropriation of international law in the Republican period (1911–1949) helped China not only to assert itself in the international domain as a sovereign state, defending itself against Western imperialism, but also to pursue its own fictional imperial claims over Tibet, without which the Communists’ ‘liberation’ of Tibet would have not been possible. The paper highlights the interplay of imperial techniques based on international law, the relativity of this legal language, and how the strategies of empire are not only a prerogative of the West, but can be quickly adopted by those who have been subjected to them, resulting in a vicious circle.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cottrell & Ghai Comment on the Kenyan Presidential Re-Election (The Star)

"A plague on both [all] your houses"
Jill Cottrell Ghai and Yash Pal Ghai
The Star
17 Sept 2017
Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet cursed the warring families (we might say tribes) of the Montagues and the Capulets and their meaningless feud that was killing him.
    We suspect many Kenyans feel like this as they read their news media, printed or social, and wonder if it has to be so.  Yash Ghai thinks not. The first part of this article is his.
When I was a graduate student at Oxford, the College regularly invited distinguished politicians, ministers and civil servants for discussions with staff and students on topical issues.
     I paid particular attention to politicians (as Kenya was about to become independent). I met politicians of all three major parties. I used to provoke Tories, because I had the notion that they were the imperialists, and had soft corner for the Labour members because they were on the side of freedom. They, naturally, had all different things to say and presented different points of view. They also expressed these views at election times and were judged accordingly. And if they were elected, you could see their policies resembled what they had promised the electorate. That was an important lesson in democracy.
     I was also very impressed at a personal level. They all seemed very earnest and were prepared to sit into the small hours defending their policies and listening to us. Since Ali Mazrui was a fellow student, you can imagine that we gave the Tories a hard time. Most parliamentarians invited us to meet them when we were in London for further discussions and to see the proceedings of Parliament, after lunch in the parliamentary restaurant. There was no pomposity.
     Some research showed me that they all had a distinguished career of one kind or another, which had given up to go into politics, where they earned much less. Most attended Parliament regularly and went to their constituencies over the weekend, where they were available to be consulted, or complained against, regardless of their party affiliation.
     Elections did not cause much expenditure. I knew of no example where elections bankrupted the government! Government did not have to launch a bond on domestic or foreign markets for 'necessary' funds.
     It was extremely, extremely rare for a politician to change political parties and then only for policy differences not for money. Voters had a real choice of policies, for each party offered a distinct set of priorities... Click here to read the full article.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

HKU Law Faculty Success in CPU's Public Policy Research Funding Scheme 2017-18 (Third Round)

Congratulations to Emily Lee who was awarded a Public Policy Research Grant in the 2017-18 (Third Round) by the Central Policy Unit. The project, titled "Financial Inclusion and Bank Account Opening: Deploying Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology for Improving Banking Services Accessibility Inside Hong Kong’s Anti-Money Laundering Law", was awarded $295,550 in funding over 18 months.  
     In addition, Puja Kapai is Co-Investigator in another successful Public Policy Research grant awarded to Professor Karen Laidler of the Department of Sociology. The project, titled "Opening Doors, Creating Pathways - A Qualitative Study of Social Harms and Service Access of Young People from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds in Hong Kong", was awarded $400,000 over 14 months.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

HKU Law Faculty Awarded Four KE Impact Project Awards 2017/18

The University of Hong Kong's Knowledge Exchange (KE) Funding Scheme for Impact Projects supports (A) projects that have the potential to create social, economic, environmental or cultural impacts for industry, business or the community by building on expertise or knowledge in the University; and (B) projects designed to collect evidence for corroboration and evaluation of impacts. Engagement projects that aim to benefit non-academic communities beyond Hong Kong are strongly encouraged.  
     The Faculty of Law was successful in obtaining four awards in the 2017/18 round of funding, each in the amount of HK$100,000.  Congratulations to Dora Chan, Katherine Lynch, Anne Cheung and Richard Wu.  The details of their projects are described below:

Ms Dora Chan 
E-package of DIY Residential Tenancy Agreement 
The proposed project aims to provide the public community with a template residential tenancy agreement and a set of useful guidelines (including stamping and registration procedures) on how to enter into a valid residential tenancy agreement. Members of the public can then use and adapt the template to independently enter into a tenancy agreement for their residential homes, an important document that has a significant impact on their daily lives, without the costs and trouble of engaging a lawyer. The main objective is to provide free legal support to the community and to encourage knowledge exchange on tenancy matters. 

Ms Katherine Lynch 
Evaluation of the Children’s Issues Forums & Legal Reform of Child and Family Law & Policy in Hong Kong 
This project aims to collect evidence for corroboration and evaluation of impacts arising from the research and knowledge exchange project, “Children’s Issues Forums & Legal Reform of Child and Family Law in Hong Kong”, which created a multidisciplinary forum enhancing policy and legal reform for children’s issues in Hong Kong. The project will evaluate through quantitative and qualitative measures the impact of the project on increasing public awareness of children’s issues, changing legal policy on and creating pressure for law reform in Hong Kong’s child and family justice system. 

Professor Anne Cheung 
Hong Kong SAR Treaties e-Library 
The proposed project aims to provide free access to legal information for the public in Hong Kong by building a one-stop comprehensive and electronically searchable database of treaties and international agreements applied to the Hong Kong SAR in Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII). The key objective is to support the community and engage in knowledge exchange.

Dr Richard Wu 
Engaging Local School Teachers with Common Law Concepts and Values Through Experiential Learning 
This project is a pioneering interdisciplinary collaboration in common law education for local school teachers between academics from HKU Law and Social Science Faculties as well as academics from two other local universities. On basis of the project team members’ previous teaching and research projects on common law education for ‘non-law’ students and experiential learning in law, as well as teacher education, this project will engage local school teachers with common law concepts and values through experiential learning like case discussion, personal sharing by senior lawyers, and visual media . The project attempts to impact local school teachers by promoting their understanding of the common law system in Hong Kong and enhance their awareness of general common law concepts and specific common law values like justice and equality. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

New Book: Tort Law in Hong Kong (4th edn) (Rick Glofcheski)

Tort Law in Hong Kong (Fourth Edition)
Rick Glofcheski 
Sweet & Maxwell
September 2017
Description: Tort Law in Hong Kong, now in its fourth edition, is both a learning tool for intending lawyers and the most up-to-date and comprehensive tort law resource for legal practitioners, academics and judges. The focus is on the Hong Kong law and context. The new edition provides critical analysis of more than 300 new court decisions from Hong Kong and relevant overseas jurisdictions.

New Book: Civil Procedure in Hong Kong: A Guide to the Main Principles (4th edn) (Dave Lau)

Civil Procedure in Hong Kong: A Guide to the Main Principles (Fourth Edition)
Dave Lau
Sweet & Maxwell
August 2017
Description: Civil Procedure in Hong Kong: A Guide to the Main Principles, Fourth Edition, a popular text with practitioners, has developed a reputation as being a user-friendly, simply written guide to the main principles of civil procedure.
     The new edition covers important changes in relevant areas, including the recent abolition of the “as of right” route of appeal to the CFA. A few years have passed since the coming into effect of the Civil Justice Reform (CJR). The text elaborates on various points where it would be helpful for practitioners to have more of an explanation and/or a flavour of the Court’s general approach now.

New Book: Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Hong Kong (2nd edn) (Alice Lee)

Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Hong Kong (Second Edition)
Kenny Wong and Alice Lee
Sweet & Maxwell
September 2017
Description: Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Hong Kong, Second Edition continues to be the standard text on intellectual property law in Hong Kong and the essential treatise for the modern day IP practitioner.
New topics covered: New cases in Hong Kong, UK, EU and other jurisdictions, New Patent Ordinance, Copyright Amendment Bills, Proposed amendments to the Copyright Tribunal Rules, Proposed amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance.

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