Friday, September 22, 2023

HKU Law Welcomes Dr Massimo Lando, Assistant Professor

Welcome to Dr Massimo Lando, who joins the Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor. Dr Lando is a general international lawyer. Before joining HKU, he was Assistant Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong (2020-2023). Previously, he was an Associate Legal Officer at the International Court of Justice, working with Judge Dalveer Bhandari and Judge ad hoc Charles N. Brower (2017-2020). Dr Lando completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He obtained an LLM also from the University of Cambridge and an LLB from the University of Milan. He is a member the Bar of England and Wales (Gray’s Inn). Dr Lando is a Global Fellow at the Centre for International Law of the National University of Singapore. He will be Director of Studies at the 2027 Winter Session of The Hague Academy of International Law.
     His Research areas include:
  • Sources of International Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • International Dispute Settlement
  • International Law & National Law
  • Immunity
  • International Economic Law
     Dr Lando's Editorial Positions and Professional Affiliations include:
  • Member of the Bar of England and Wales (Gray’s Inn)
  • Global Fellow, Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore
  • Editorial Board, Ocean Development & International Law
  • Academic Review Board, Cambridge International Law Journal
  • Co-chair, International Courts and Tribunals Interest Group, American Society of International Law
  • Member, American Society of International Law
  • Member, Italian Society of International Law

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Douglas Arner et al on Sustainability, Financial Inclusion and Efficiency: A Trilemma or a Trifecta for the Regulation of Digital Finance? (Banking & Finance Law Review)

Zetzsche, Dirk A; Arner, Douglas W; Buckley, Ross P.
Vol. 39, Iss. 3
Published online: August 2023
Abstract: This article argues that the digital transformation of finance is being driven by the quests for (i) efficiency, (ii) financial inclusion, and (iii) sustainability. These in turn are central to regulatory approaches to digital finance. We argue that - rather than a trilemma - the three factors in fact form a mutually reinforcing trifecta which can be supported and reinforced via appropriate policy, regulation and infrastructure. These three factors are necessarily intertwined: financial inclusion underpins long-term oriented economies, and unsustainable outcomes generate numerous risks for finance.

Monday, September 18, 2023

New Book by Albert Chen and Po Jen Yap: The Constitutional System of the Hong Kong SAR: A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing)

Published on 17 August 2023
264 pp.
Description: This book provides an account of the evolving constitutional arrangement known as “One Country, Two Systems”, as practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
The British colony of Hong Kong, one of the “Four Little Dragons” of East Asia, reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. Since then, Hong Kong has continued to be an international financial centre, a free market, and a cosmopolitan city. At the same time, the tensions and contradictions inherent in “One Country, Two Systems” have given rise to constitutional controversies and social movements, culminating in the Umbrella movement of 2014, the anti-extradition law movement of 2019, the enactment of a National Security Law in 2020, and the electoral overhaul of 2021. This book discusses the structure and operations of Hong Kong's legal, judicial and political systems and their interactions with the national authorities of the PRC.
     The book provides a useful case study in comparative constitutional law, especially on autonomy and devolution issues within sovereign States. This comparative study is particularly interesting because Hong Kong is a common law jurisdiction within the PRC's socialist legal system. It will therefore be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese law, Hong Kong law and comparative politics, as well as lawyers whose practice involves Hong Kong.

Friday, September 15, 2023

HKU Law Welcomes Mr Edward Lui, Assistant Professor

Welcome to Mr Edward Lui who joined the Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor. Edward’s research examines administrative law and public law-related themes in healthcare law. He completed the LLB and PCLL programmes at the University of Hong Kong and the BCL programme at the University of Oxford, where he is currently completing his DPhil. His existing research has been published in a number of academic journals – including the Law Quarterly Review, Medical Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and Public Law.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

David Kwok on ASEAN Dispute Settlement and the Temple of Preah Vihear (Journal of Dispute Resolution)

"ASEAN Dispute Settlement and the Temple of Preah Vihear"
David Y.K. Kwok
Journal of Dispute Resolution
Published online: 8 August 2023
Abstract: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) was established in 1967. The founding members of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Five other countries have since joined ASEAN, including Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Today, ASEAN represents a strong economic organization which has Gross Domestic Product ranking top ten in the world. As to why the founding members decided to establish such an organization, Piris and Woon take the view that it was for the purpose of combating communism during the 1960s. In 2007, a milestone event for ASEAN was the adoption of the ASEAN Charter (“the Charter”). The Charter is ASEAN’s Constitution. According to the Charter, some of the purposes of this organization are “to maintain and enhance peace, security and … to promote ASEAN identity … to create a single market and production base …” There are a number of underlying principles including “respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all ASEAN Member States …” The Charter also sets up a number of bureaucratic structures within ASEAN such as the ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the ASEAN Community Councils...

Monday, September 11, 2023

Amanda Whitfort et al on Population Estimates and the Effect of Trap-Neuter Return Program on the Free-Roaming Dog Population in Hong Kong SAR (Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science)

Hannah B Tilley, Shu Ping Ho, Fiona Woodhouse & Amanda Whitfort
Published online: 05 Aug 2023
Abstract: Free-roaming dog populations ensue from irresponsible dog ownership and abandonment. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Hong Kong SAR offers practical solutions to control dog population growth by providing a range of different birth control programs. We present the first results of a trial Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program in Hong Kong SAR; with a free-roaming dog population on Cheung Chau Island (southwest). During the 3-year study, the SPCA undertook surveys to assess population size and trapped, desexed, and, where possible, rehomed free-roaming dogs. We report that a total of 182 dogs were encountered during the period. We estimate that an average of 75% of the population was desexed, reaching the threshold for successful TNR studies. The results of our study show that TNR can assist with free-roaming dog population control and provide guidance for future programs, in Asia and Hong Kong SAR.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Welcome the new Global Academic Fellow Dr Jiahui Duan!

Welcome to Dr Jiahui Duan who joined the Faculty of Law as a Global Academic Fellow. Dr Jiahui Duan is an interdisciplinary legal researcher with an interest in feminist jurisprudence, legal consciousness, labor rights, power, and resistance. She has previously researched the land rights of rural Chinese married-out women. The current research she conducts focuses on workplace sexual harassment issues in China, with the aim of understanding the development of workplace sexual harassment issues in Chinese society, as well as exploring potential anti-sexual harassment strategies within an emerging economic and political context such as China’s. A common intellectual thread of her work is: examining how individuals’ legal consciousness is formed, reshaped, or even disintegrated in their interactions with other socio-legal actors, and investigating the dynamics of legal rules, social norms, and human agency, as well as the Internet and other technologies.
    Dr Duan received her J.S.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She was also a Lloyd M. Robbins Fellow and a BELS Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at Berkeley. Prior to joining Berkeley, she was a certified lawyer in mainland China.    
      Research Areas:
  • Law and society
  • Gender and Law
  • Employment Law

Sida Liu on Navigating The Career Mobility Landscape Of Law Firm Partners In Hong Kong (Hong Kong Lawyer)

"Navigating The Career Mobility Landscape Of Law Firm Partners In Hong Kong"
Hong Kong Lawyer
Published online: July 2023
Achieving partnership in a law firm is a coveted milestone for lawyers looking to advance their careers. In the past, lateral mobility between firms was uncommon for most partners in large law firms, due to the widely-adopted ‘Cravath System’ of law firm management. This system operated under the assumption that the most talented associates would be promoted to partners, and that most partners would remain with the firm until retirement. However, this assumption is no longer valid in the 21st century. Today, lateral moves of partners between law firms are increasingly common, and some partners also pursue in-house positions or leave the legal profession altogether for other job opportunities.
     Hong Kong Lawyer, the official journal of The Law Society of Hong Kong, provides a valuable resource for understanding how Hong Kong lawyers develop and evolve their professional careers over time. Since 1994, it has published more than 300 monthly updates on partner mobility in Hong Kong law firms. From 1994 to 2021, the journal had reported on over 11,000 partner moves, including internal promotions, lateral moves between firms, and information on those partners who relocated from Hong Kong to other jurisdictions or left law firms to pursue other career options.
     The lateral mobility of law firm partners has undergone notable changes from the 1990s to the 2010s. In the 1990s, partner moves between local firms accounted for the vast majority of lateral mobility. However, from the 2000s onward, particularly after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, there was a significant increase in the flow of partners among UK and US firms. Between 1994 and 2008, UK firms received five partners from US firms and sent ten partners to US firms. In contrast, between 2009 and 2018, UK firms received 29 partners from US firms and sent 43 partners to US firms. Additionally, there were 39 lateral moves between two UK firms and 50 lateral moves between two US firms during this period. In total, 161 partners changed jobs among UK and US firms in 2009-2018, whereas only 12 partners in 1994-2000 and 60 partners in 2001-2008 made similar moves.
      The increased lateral hiring between UK and US firms in the 2010s can be attributed, in part, to the rapid rise of China-related capital market and other deals in the 2000s. This led several Wall Street firms to establish new offices or expand their existing offices in Hong Kong to build stronger Hong Kong law capacity. This, in turn, generated a wave of partner moves from the Magic Circle and other UK or US firms to these elite US firms. In order to replace the lost partners, the Magic Circle firms promoted some senior associates internally, but they also made lateral hires from other UK, US, or Hong Kong firms. These hiring activities formed a cycle of partner moves among elite Anglo-American firms.
     Over the past two decades, lateral mobility between local firms in Hong Kong has declined. In the period between 1994 and 2000, there were 371 partner moves between Hong Kong law firms. This number decreased to 282 in 2001-2008 and then to 212 in 2009-2018. This trend may indicate a divergence of career prospects between lawyers in the ‘two hemispheres’ of the legal profession. While partners in elite corporate law firm enjoyed increased career mobility in the early 21st century, partners in medium-sized and small local firms became less mobile.
     PRC firms have only recently entered the scene of partner mobility in Hong Kong. While hiring associates and forming associations with local firms was common practice for PRC law firms in Hong Kong, they had only recruited a handful of partners from local or foreign firms until the mid-2010s. However, in the late 2010s, the number of PRC law offices in Hong Kong increased substantially, which generated a second wave of lateral mobility in the legal profession. In addition to offering partnership to senior associates in elite UK or US firms, PRC firms also recruited a number of high-profile partners from these firms. This ongoing wave of partner moves from Anglo-American firms to PRC firms is a strong indicator of the shifting landscape of Hong Kong’s legal services market.
     In addition to lateral moves between law firms, some partners chose to pursue alternative careers in Hong Kong or elsewhere. From 1994 to 2021, more than 1,700 law firm partners relocated to other jurisdictions or shifted to other career paths, including over 400 women. While the majority of these partners made internal transfers to other offices overseas or took the familiar in-house path to business corporations and government agencies, some lawyers ventured into exotic careers as writers, chefs, musicians, or art collectors. Furthermore, several partners left the legal profession to pursue careers in politics, especially in the late 1990s when China restored the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. In the 2010s, by contrast, such political career paths were rarely observed.
      Overall, the career mobility of law firm partners in Hong Kong has undergone significant changes over the past few decades, reflecting the evolving landscape of the city’s legal profession. The competition for talent has intensified over time, as PRC firms compete with established UK, US, and local firms for the best lawyers in the city. To remain competitive, law firms in Hong Kong need to adapt to these changes, by fostering a strong sense of community and loyalty among lawyers and cultivating specialized expertise in emerging areas of practice. Furthermore, there is a need to help local law firms stay competitive with global law firms, given their important role in the city’s legal services market. As Hong Kong continues to navigate its unique position as a global financial centre and China’s gateway to the world, the career mobility of law firm partners will remain a dynamic and closely watched aspect of the city’s legal services market, with implications for the long-term growth and sustainability of law firms in the city.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wayne Wei Wang (PhD candidate) on China’s Digital Transformation: Data-empowered State Capitalism and Social Governmentality (The African Journal of Information and Communication)

Wayne Wei Wang (PhD candidate)
Published online: 30 June 2023
Abstract: The article scrutinises the trajectory of China’s establishment of a digital state, rooted in a “whole-of-nation” system—or aptly termed (party–)state capitalism. The author illustrates the path of formulating and enforcing strategies to digitalise public services—including, importantly, the digital identity infrastructure—via institutional concentration that exemplifies both the positive and the exclusionary nature of social big data in streamlining administrative procedures. Two catalysts are spotlighted in China’s digital transformation: quasi-neoliberal market processes, and technology’s social change spillover effects. The author points to the fact that, since its inception, the contemporary Chinese state has created a cybernetic justification for “social governmentality”, as a means to redress potential informational imbalances in the process of ruling the state polity. For the Chinese administrative hierarchy, data provides the means to execute a top-down correctivist paradigm for steering societal conduct, a paradigm integrated into (but also to some extent in tension with) data- empowered state capitalism.

Michael Ng et al on Hearts and Minds in Hong Kong’s New Territories: Agriculture and Vegetable Marketing in a Cold War Borderland, circa 1946–1967 (Modern Asian Studies)

Michael Ng, Florence Mok, John Wong and Wallace Wu
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 June 2023
Abstract: Using declassified colonial and British records in Hong Kong and London, as well as memoirs of former leftists and newspapers, this article explores the strategies the Hong Kong colonial government employed in a propaganda campaign to garner political support of the rural population in the New Territories, a porous land frontier during the Cold War. It also analyses the varying political orientations of migrant farmers, who often had received economic benefits from both the colonial government and the leftist organizations. This article reveals that the colonial government established the Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO), a state-owned enterprise, to first nationalize the vegetable wholesale market in the immediate post-war period, and subsequently used it to combat increasing political influence and anti-government activities of the communist-controlled Society of Plantations. Despite the improvement of the livelihood of immigrant farmers, the VMO Scheme failed to out-compete the Society economically, which was ultimately eliminated by draconian measures. Through studying the agrarian politics and economic contestations in Hong Kong’s rural area, this article provides a lens on how the Cold War was played out at a village level in East Asia.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Alec Stone Sweet et al on Breaching the Taboo? Constitutional Dimensions of the New Chinese Civil Code (Asian Journal of Comparative Law)


"Breaching the Taboo? Constitutional Dimensions of the New Chinese Civil Code Asian Journal of Comparative Law"
Alec Stone Sweet, Chong Bu and Ding Zhuo
Asian Journal of Comparative Law
Published online: 25 May 2023
Abstract: Chinese elites have celebrated its new Civil Code (2021) as the most important statute in the nation's history, and the ‘cornerstone’ of its turn toward ‘rule of law’. The Code expressly binds all persons, as well as public officials, and is judicially enforceable. The statute enshrines rights to dignity, equality, personal liberty, property, and privacy, among others, and codifies duties to protect the environment and to evolve effective means to combat sexual harassment. Echoing the German Code, the statute also contains ‘general clauses’ that enable the courts to restrict enumerated rights and entitlements for reasons of ‘good morals’, ‘public order’, and the rights of others. While constituting an act of massive delegation to the courts, judges remain prohibited from directly enforcing the PRC's Constitution. The article explores the relationship between the Code and Constitution, through a comparative analysis of: (i) the process of ‘constitutionalising’ the private law around the globe; (ii) the scholarly discourse on the ‘horizontal effect’ of rights in China; (iii) the structure of the Code itself; and (iv) the development of ‘political’ control mechanisms, to be deployed by the Communist Party of China and organs of the state to constrain how judges use their interpretive powers.

CCPL Survey finds A Growing Share of Hong Kong People Support Same-Sex Couples’ Rights 60 Percent Support Same-Sex Marriage

Press Release: A new report shows that Hong Kong public opinion on same-sex couples’ rights has changed markedly over the past ten years. Earlier this year, 60% of Hong Kong people said they supported same-sex marriage, while only 17% said they were not supportive, and 23% were neutral. In comparison, 50.4% supported same-sex marriage in 2017, and 38% did so in 2013.
    The new report is jointly issued by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong; the Sexualities Research Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and the Human Rights Law Program at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The report is based on the longest running study to track public opinion in Hong Kong concerning same-sex marriage using representative samples. The research was led by Holning Lau from the University of North Carolina, Kelley Loper from the University of Hong Kong, and Yiu Tung Suen from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The team conducted a telephone survey of Hong Kong residents in 2013, repeated the survey in 2017, and repeated it again earlier this year.
    The survey asked about other issues in addition to same-sex marriage. It found growth in support for gay men and lesbians and their rights across various domains. For example, 71% of people in 2023 said that Hong Kong should have a law to protect against sexual orientation discrimination, compared with 69% in 2017 and 58% in 2013. A remarkably small percentage of people in 2023—only 6%—disagreed with having such legislation. The share of Hong Kong people who said they were unaccepting of gay men and lesbians dropped nearly 20 percentage points between 2013 and 2023 (from 32% to 13%).
    “Our study shows that support for the rights of same-sex couples has grown quite considerably in the last decade,” said Suen. “The increase in support for same-sex marriage and the decrease in opposition to sexual orientation discrimination legislation are particularly striking.”
    Lau noted the legal and social backdrop to the survey.  “A lot has changed over the past ten years. Hong Kong courts have made headlines with rulings that protect same-sex couples. The list of jurisdictions around the world that have legalised same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. Representation of lesbians and gay men in local and global media has also grown. These are some of the factors that formed the backdrop to the shifts in public opinion that we found in our research.”
    Still, Loper highlighted persisting discrepancies between public opinion and law: “Although 71% of Hong Kong people said they favor having a law to protect against sexual orientation discrimination, and only a small proportion of people disagree, the government of Hong Kong has yet to enact such legislation. Same-sex couples also continue to be excluded from marriage, despite majority support.”
    The release of the report coincides with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), which is observed annually on 17 May. For the full report see here.
   Professor Holning Lau ( and Associate Professor Kelley Loper ( are available for press inquiries in English by email. Associate Professor Yiu Tung Suen is available for press inquiries in Chinese and English by email ( .

Monday, August 28, 2023

Albert Chen on The Evolution of Modern Chinese Nationality Law: A Historical Perspective (China Review)

"The Evolution of Modern Chinese Nationality Law: A Historical Perspective"
Albert Chen
China Review
Published online: 19 May 2023
Abstract: The legal concept of nationality was a Western import into China in the 19th century. The modern notion of nationality was a product of modern public international law and the domestic constitutional laws of Western states. In 1909, China under the Qing Dynasty enacted its first nationality law. After the Republic of China was founded, it enacted in 1912 a nationality law which was largely the same as the 1909 law. This law was slightly amended in 1914. After the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) came into power, a new nationality law was enacted in 1929. This law is still largely in force in Taiwan today. The People's Republic of China only adopted its first nationality law in 1980. This law is still in force today. This article will trace the evolution of modern Chinese nationality law by examining the laws mentioned above. It will seek to understand the evolving Chinese nationality law in the light of its changing political and social contexts and the international environment in which China found itself.

HKU Law Welcomes Dr Shane Chalmers, Assistant Professor

Welcome to Dr Shane Chalmers who joined the Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor of Law! Dr Chalmers, PhD, Australian National University, 2016, LLM, McGill University, 2011, LLB (Hons), University of Adelaide, 2010, BIntSt, University of Adelaide, 2007, a scholar of law and the humanities, has a critical focus on the legacies of European colonialism for laws and societies today. His work has significantly contributed to the sub-fields of law and colonialism, law and development, and critical legal theory. He is also a long-standing member, and currently a Vice President, of the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia.

     Dr Chalmers is the author of Liberia and the Dialectic of Law: Critical Theory, Pluralism, and the Rule of Law (Routledge, 2018). The book, based on his doctoral thesis, examines the legal formation of Liberia, from its conception as an idea of liberty in the nineteenth century, through its establishment as a republic in the twentieth century, to its post-war reconstruction at the beginning of the twenty-first century with assistance of an international intervention to establish a state based on the rule of law. The book contributes a critical understanding of the role of law in the formation of Liberia, and the implications of the state’s historical formation for law and justice today, in Liberia and other international development contexts.
     Dr Chalmers is currently completing a second monograph, The Antipodes: A Carnivalesque Jurisprudence of a Settler Colonial Imaginary, which examines the legal imaginary that shaped and was shaped by the colonisation of Australia in the nineteenth century. The book shows how this imaginary worked to dispossess, dehumanise, and disempower First Nations through its forms of property, dignity, and sovereignty; and it aims to unsettle these legal forms, and open them up to reimagination. In doing so, it develops a new kind of jurisprudence – a carnivalesque jurisprudence – which uses the Bakhtinian figures of the clown, the fool, and the rogue to examine and represent the colonial legal imaginary, using an idiom of laughter that is critically potent as well as generative.
     Since joining the University of Hong Kong, Shane’s research has begun to focus on how an imperial imaginary sustained the authority of law in British colonies in East and Southeast Asia, and how disruptions within this imaginary by local artists worked to disrupt the legal authority of the British colonists.
     Dr Chalmers is also editor (with Sundhya Pahuja) of The Routledge Handbook of International Law and the Humanities (Routledge, 2021); and he is currently editing a collection of essays (with Desmond Manderson) on “Colonial Legal Imaginaries | Southern Literary Futures”.
     His Research areas include:

  •          Law and Humanities
  •          Law and Colonialism
  •          International Law and Development
  •          Critical Legal Theory

Friday, August 18, 2023

Stefan Lo on Corporate Governance in the Context of Insolvent Companies (Journal of International and Comparative Law)

Published: June 2023
Abstract: Corporate governance has been for many years an important aspect of company law attracting much academic interest. The extensive literature on corporate governance has not often dealt with insolvent companies. Yet governance remains critical for both financially distressed companies which have not yet entered into formal insolvency proceedings and insolvent companies which are subject to formal insolvency proceedings. This article looks at particular aspects of governance involving the board of directors in the former scenario and insolvency office-holders in the latter. It surveys the law and practice relating to distressed or insolvent companies, from the time before actual insolvency through to the time of insolvency proceedings. This is done through a review of Keay, Walton and Curl’s Corporate Governance and Insolvency: Accountability and Transparency.

HKU Law's LLM (ADR): Newsletter (Spring 2023)

HKU Law’s LLM(ADR) programme has recently distributed its Spring 2023 Newsletter. It can be accessed here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Ying Xia et al on An Unlikely Duet: Public-Private Interaction in China's Environmental Public Interest Litigation (Transnational Environmental Law)

"An Unlikely Duet: Public-Private Interaction in China's Environmental Public Interest Litigation"
Ying Xia and Yueduan Wang
Published online: 21 June 2023
Abstract: Increasing research has been devoted to examining collaborations between public and private actors in environmental regulation under neoliberal democracies. However, this public-private interaction in authoritarian regimes remains understudied. This article seeks to address this gap in the literature through an empirical examination of the interaction between environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and procuratorates in China's environmental public interest litigation. We find emerging complementarity: NGOs focus on new issues and target high-profile defendants to increase the socio-legal impact of their civil litigation, whereas procuratorates increasingly engage in administrative litigation against government agencies. This complementarity is shaped by the different legal opportunities for Chinese NGOs and procuratorates, as well as their respective institutional objectives and capacities. Their divergent regulatory preferences have also fostered synergy between these two actors, allowing them to collaborate on legal experimentation and innovation.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Daniel Bell on Legalist Confucianism: What's Living and What's Dead (new book chapter)

Daniel A. Bell in Zhengxu Wang (ed),  The Long East Asia: The Premodern State and Its Contemporary Impacts (Palgrave Macmillan 2023) Chapter 9
Abstract: Confucianism and Legalism are the two most influential political traditions in Chinese history. They are diverse and complex traditions with different interpretations in different times (especially in the case of Confucianism), but there are continuities and commonalities and ongoing themes in each tradition. Although the two traditions contrast with each other at the level of philosophy, they were combined in different ways in Chinese imperial history and some form of Legalist Confucianism continues to be influential in the twenty-first century. In this essay, I will identify the main traits of the Confucian and Legalist traditions and show how they were combined in Chinese history. I hope the reader will forgive the broad brushstrokes that simplify a complex history. My aim here is to set the stage for the normative question: Which aspects of Legalist Confucianism should be promoted in the future and which parts should be consigned to the dustbin of history? I will illustrate my response with examples from contemporary China to suggest it is both possible and desirable to promote a form of Legalist Confucianism today and in the foreseeable future.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Stefano Osella et al on Gender Recognition at the Crossroads: Four Models and the Compass of Comparative Law (International Journal of Constitutional Law)

Stefano Osella, Ruth Rubio-MarĂ­n
Published: 22 May 2023
Abstract: The article explores the different constitutional developments of the right to gender recognition and discusses their potential to protect trans and nonbinary people. Focusing on a few selected jurisdictions, each incarnating a specific kind of recognition system, it also proposes a conceptual map to understand and identify the different shapes of such a right. The article argues that four types of gender recognition can be identified, each with their own characteristics, advantages, peculiarities, and set of challenges for trans and nonbinary people and for the system of gender categorization itself. In clarifying this area of law, the article contends that the very process of creation and policing of gender identities and categories represents a critical aspect of contemporary gender constitutionalism.