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Sunday, October 9, 2022
HKU CCPL Newsletter Fall 2022
Greetings from the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at The University of Hong Kong! 2022 has remained a challenging year so far, but CCPL continues to curate and showcase our events via Zoom. In this Newsletter, we are pleased to share with you highlights from the events we held last semester as well as information on upcoming events for Fall 2022. We look forward to seeing you soon at our events - in person or on zoom!
With best wishes, Prof Po Jen Yap Professor of Law Director, Centre for Comparative and Public Law Faculty of Law The University of Hong Kong
17 January 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: Legal Globalization and the Subversion of Liberal Democracy (OUP, 2021) with the author – Rosalind Dixon & David Landau
Authors Prof Rosalind Dixon Professor of Law Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales
Prof David Landau Mason Ladd Professor and Associate Dean for International Programs College of Law, Florida State University
Discussant Prof Stephen Gardbaum Stephen Yeazell Endowed Chair in Law UCLA School of Law
Chair Prof Po Jen Yap Professor and Director of CCPL Faculty of Law, HKU
Law is fast globalizing as a field, and many lawyers, judges and political leaders are engaged in a process of comparative "borrowing". But this new form of legal globalization has dark sides: it is not just a source of inspiration for those seeking to strengthen and improve democratic institutions and policies. It is increasingly an inspiration - and legitimation device - for those seeking to erode democracy by stealth, under the guise of a form of faux liberal democratic cover. Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: Legal Globalization and the Subversion of Liberal Democracy outlines this phenomenon, how it succeeds, and what we can do to prevent it. This book address current patterns of democratic retrenchment and explores its multiple variants and technologies, considering the role of legitimating ideologies that help support different modes of abusive constitutionalism.
25 January 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Democracies and International Law (CUP, 2021) with the author – Tom Ginsburg
Author Prof Tom Ginsburg Leo Spitz Professor of International Law Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar Professor of Political Science University of Chicago
Discussants Prof Simon Chesterman Dean and Provost’s Chair Professor Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Ms Kelley Loper Associate Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Chair Prof Po Jen Yap Professor and Director of CCPL Faculty of Law, HKU
Democracies and authoritarian regimes have different approaches to international law, grounded in their different forms of government. As the balance of power between democracies and non-democracies shifts, it will have consequences for international legal order. Human rights may face severe challenges in years ahead, but citizens of democratic countries may still benefit from international legal cooperation in other areas. Ranging across several continents, this volume surveys the state of democracy-enhancing international law, and provides ideas for a way forward in the face of rising authoritarianism.
28 March 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Understanding Administrative Law in the Common Law World (OUP, 2021) with the author – Paul Daly
Author Prof Paul Daly Chair in Administrative Law & Governance Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Discussants Ms Cora Chan Associate Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Prof Jason N E Varuhas Professor of Law Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne
Chair Mr Julius Yam Assistant Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Around the common law world, the law of judicial review of administrative action has changed dramatically in recent decades, accelerating a centuries-long process of incremental evolution. This book offers a fresh framework for understanding the core features of contemporary administrative law. Through comparative analysis of case law from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, and New Zealand, the author develops an interpretive approach by reference to four values: individual self-realisation, good administration, electoral legitimacy, and decisional autonomy. The interaction of this plurality of values explains the structure of the vast field of judicial review of administrative action: institutional structures, procedural fairness, substantive review, remedies, restrictions on remedies, and the scope of judicial review. Addressing this wide array of subjects in detail, the book demonstrates how a pluralist approach, with the values being employed in a complementary and balanced fashion, can enhance our understanding of administrative law. Furthermore, such an approach can guide the future development of the law of judicial review of administrative action, a point illustrated by a careful analysis of the unsettled doctrinal area of legitimate expectation. The book closes by arguing that the author's values-based, pluralist framework supports the legitimacy of contemporary administrative law which, although sometimes called into question, facilitates the flourishing of individuals, of public administration, and of the liberal democratic system.
8 April 2022
CCPL Roundtable on Overseas Non-Permanent Judges in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
Participants Mr Victor Dawes SC Chairman, Hong Kong Bar Association
Dr Anna Dziedzic Postdoctoral Fellow, Laureate Program In Comparative Constitutional Law, Melbourne Law School
Mr Alan Hoo SC Chairman, Basic Law Institute
Prof Po Jen Yap Professor and Director of CCPL Faculty of Law, HKU
Prof Simon NM Young Professor and Associate Dean (Research) Faculty of Law, HKU
Moderator Prof Fu Hualing Warren Chan Professor in Human Rights and Responsibilities Dean, Faculty of Law, HKU
With Lord Robert Reed and Lord Patrick Hodge's recent resignations as non-permanent judges of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, this roundtable will explore the implications of this development and offer insights on the future evolution of our overseas non-permanent judges system in Hong Kong.
28 April 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Principles and Laws in World Politics: Classical Chinese Perspectives on Global Conflict (World Scientific Publishing 2021) with the author – Walter Lee
Author Prof Walter Lee Assistant Professor School of Arts and Social Sciences, Hong Kong Metropolitan University
Discussant Prof Daniel A Bell Dean of the School of Political Science and Public Administration, Shandong University (Qingdao)
Chair Dr Zhu Han Research Assistant Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, global conflicts have been satisfactorily resolved neither by communism nor liberalism. Military intervention, however justified, has destabilised many societies, leaving justice undone. This book invites debates on the post-liberal imagination of “emancipated Leviathan”: an almighty political authority which exercises awe and force to restore order, as well as enshrines globally-negotiated values of common conscience and reinvented cosmopolitanism. Human well-being will truly become reality when we synergise pre-modern and pre-liberal ways of thinking, worldviews, ethics, and aesthetic styles by means of cross-civilisational, cross-disciplinary fundamental research, and let an emancipated Leviathan exercises principles and laws of virtue derived from the study. The starting point of such intellectual innovation is China. This book explores the application of classical Chinese resources to the innovation of thoughts in contemporary Chinese international relations (IR). It examines whether “Knowledge Archaeology of Chinese International Relations” (KACIR), coined by the author, responds sensibly to today’s issues of international ethics and global justice. The book contends that emancipative hermeneutics holds the key to the Chinese soft power puzzle. A bottom-up, non-nationalistic, and non-ethnocentric approach to the Chinese civilisation will reinvent intellectual pluralism and cosmopolitan elements in the Chinese tradition that interact constructively with and ultimately transcend the liberal Western model.
11 May 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Constitutionalism in Context (CUP, 2022) with the contributors
Contributors: Prof David S Law E. James Kelly, Jr., Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law University of Virginia
Prof Albert Chen Cheng Chan Lan Yue Professor and Chair of Constitutional Law Faculty of Law, HKU
Prof Mara Malagodi Assistant Professor Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Asia often receives short shrift in the field of comparative constitutional law, but Constitutionalism in Context takes the opposite approach: it sets out to demonstrate that there is no better way to cover emerging and cutting-edge debates in the field than to study Asia. Albert Chen’s chapter on China problematizes two concepts at the core of the field—namely, “constitution” and “constitutionalism.” China’s efforts to articulate a normatively appealing “constitutionalism with Chinese characteristics” raise the question of whether and how the field will expand and adapt to increasingly diverse real-world uses of constitutional law. David Law’s chapter uses the case of Taiwan to explore new extremes in judicial power and judicial review: in striking down and even authoring constitutional amendments, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court has redefined the limits of judicial power. Mara Malagodi’s chapter highlights the deep tension in constitutional law between enshrinement of national identity and community values, on the one hand, and respect for global norms and international law, on the other, as demonstrated by Nepal’s approach to questions of religious freedom and gender equality.
24 & 25 May 2022
Zoom Conference: COVID-19, Borders, and the Law
PANEL 1: Border Restrictions, Quarantine, and Human Rights Derogations
“A Human Rights-Based Approach to Stop a Pathogen at Borders”
- Martin Scheinin (European University Institute)
“Travel Restrictions and International Freedom of Movement”
- Fernando Dias Simões (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
“Lived Experience of Australia’s International and Domestic Covid-19 Border Closures”
- Kate Ogg (Australian National University) and Olivera Simic (Griffith University)
Chair: Po Jen Yap (HKU Law)
PANEL 2: Pandemic Treaties and Travel Restrictions: The Present and Future
“An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the International Health Regulations in the Response to Covid-19”
- Susan Breau (University of Victoria, Canada)
“Evolving Understandings of the Effectiveness of International Border Control Measures During the Covid-19 Pandemic”
- Karen Grépin (HKU School of Public Health)
“Digital Capacity and the Proposed International Pandemic Preparedness Treaty”
- Calvin Ho (HKU Law)
Chair: Eric Ip (HKU Law)
PANEL 3: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Pandemics and Border Control
“After Covid-19: States, Borders and the New Politics of Exclusion”
- Matthew Longo (Leiden University)rtin Scheinin (European University Institute)
“Border Governance, Shadow Exchanges, and Biosecurity During Covid-19”
- Tak-Wing Ngo (University of Macau)
“Inbound Quarantine Regulations in Colonial Hong Kong”
- Christopher Szabla (HKU Law)
Chair: Michael Ng (HKU Law)
PANEL 4: The Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants and Refugees
“Migration in the Mediterranean at the Time of the Pandemic”
- Sofia Galani (Panteion University, Greece)
“How Covid-19 Reinforced Existing Challenges to the Protection of Forced Migrants: Examples from South America”
- Liliana Jubilut (Universidade Católica de Santos, Brazil)
“Citizenship, the Exclusive State, and the Transboundary Pandemic: Covid-19 and Migrants in Southeast Asia”
Comparative Equality Law in a Post-Pandemic World: Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law 2022 Hong Kong Conference
The conference focused on what the pandemic has revealed about the causes and nature of inequalities around the world. Calls to tackle deep-seated structural and intersectional discrimination have increased in recent years, but so has the backlash. In some places we see attempts to dismantle hard-won, progressive legal and policy change. In others, ongoing efforts to achieve reform have stalled.
With these realities in mind, the conference considered possibilities for crafting effective responses as we move forward in a vastly unequal post-pandemic world.
The conference featured 3 keynote presentations, 4 other plenary discussions, and 23 parallel workshops with 150+ experts from over 25 countries.
“New Directions for Equality in a Post Covid World” Jayna Kothari Founder-Director Centre for Law and Policy Research Bangalore, India
“Microverse, Mezzoverse, Macroverse: Protection against Discrimination in an Artificialized World?” Vitit Muntarbhorn Professor Emeritus Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, Thailand
“From Disabled Justice to Disability Justice: the Practice of China” Zhang Wanhong Professor of Jurisprudence Wuhan University School of Law Wuhan, China
“Judicial Perspectives on Transforming Equality” Beverley McLachlin (Former Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court) Geoffrey Ma (Former Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal)
“Let’s Get Equality Out of the Box!” Puja Kapai and Naina Kapur Raihana Ataaee, Lilla Farkas Csilla, Paola Catricura Nancuvil, and Thenmozhi Soundararajan
“[Book Talk] Exponential Inequalities: Equality Law in Times of Crisis” Shreya Atrey and Sandra Fredman (eds) Kelley Loper, Colm O’Cinneide, Beth Gaze, Alysia Blackham, and Jule Mulder
“Global Data on Anti-discrimination Laws in all 193 UN Countries: How Far Have We Come and Where are the Greatest Gaps” Jody Heymann, Aleta Sprague, and Willetta Waisath
28 July 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Decoupling: Gender Injustice in China’s Divorce Courts (CUP, 2022) with the author – Ethan Michelson
Author Prof Ethan Michelson Professor of Sociology Indiana University Bloomington
Discussants Prof Sida Liu Associate Professor of Sociology University of Toronto
Dr Qian Liu Assistant Professor of Sociology University of Calgary
Chair Dr Ying Xia Assistant Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Ethan Michelson's book analyzes almost 150,000 divorce trials in China and reveals routine and egregious violations of China's own laws upholding the freedom of divorce, gender equality, and the protection of women's physical security. Using 'big data' computational techniques to scrutinize cases covering 2009–2016 from all 252 basic-level courts in two Chinese provinces, Henan and Zhejiang, Michelson reveals that women have borne the brunt of a dramatic intensification since the mid-2000s of a decades-long practice of denying divorce requests. This book takes the reader upstream to the institutional sources of China's clampdown on divorce and downstream to its devastating and highly gendered human toll, showing how judges in an overburdened court system clear their oppressive dockets at the expense of women's lawful rights and interests.
6 September 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Opposing Power: Building Opposition Alliances in Electoral Autocracies (Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies) (University of Michigan Press, 2022)
Author Prof Elvin Ong Assistant Professor of Political Science Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Opposing Power argues that perceptions of regime vulnerability and mutual dependency by opposition elites shape the building of opposition alliances. When electoral autocracies are consistently dominant, opposition parties eschew fully fledged alliances. At best, they allocate only one candidate to contest against the incumbent in each subnational electoral district to avoid splitting the opposition vote. However, when multiple regime-debilitating events strike within a short period of time, thus pushing an incumbent to the precipice of power, opposition elites expect victory, accepting costly compromises to build alliances and seize power. Opposing Power shows how oppositions build these alliances through case study comparisons in East and Southeast Asia—between the Philippines and South Korea in the late 1980s, and between Malaysia and Singapore from 1965 to 2020.
16 September 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Governing and Ruling: The Political Logic of Taxation in China (China Understandings Today) (University of Michigan Press, 2021)
Author Prof Zhang Changdong Professor of Political Science Peking University
Rapid social economic changes, the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, or even economic liberalization can lead to political instability and the collapse of authoritarian regimes. Despite experiencing all of these unprecedented changes in the past forty years, China under the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership has so far successfully transformed and improved both its governance capacity and its ruling capacity. Governing and Ruling addresses this regime resilience puzzle by examining the political logic of its taxation system, especially the ways in which taxation helps China handle three governance problems: maneuvering social control, improving agent discipline, and eliciting cooperation. Changdong Zhang argues that a taxation system plays an important role in sustaining authoritarian rule, in China and elsewhere, by combining co-optation and repression functions. The book collects valuable firsthand and secondhand data; studies China’s taxation system, intergovernmental fiscal relationships, composition of fiscal revenue sources, and tax administration; and discusses how each dimension influences the three governance problems.
27 October 2022
Zoom Webinar Book Talk: Political Censorship in British Hong Kong: Freedom of Expression and the Law (1842–1997) (CUP 2022)
Author Dr Michael Ng Associate Professor Faculty of Law, HKU
Drawing on archival materials, Michael Ng challenges the widely accepted narrative that freedom of expression in Hong Kong is a legacy of British rule of law. Demonstrating that the media and schools were pervasively censored for much of the colonial period and only liberated at a very late stage of British rule, this book complicates our understanding of how Hong Kong came to be a city that championed free speech by the late 1990s. With extensive use of primary sources, the free press, freedom of speech and judicial independence are all revealed to be products of Britain's China strategy. Ng shows that, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, Hong Kong's legal history was deeply affected by China's relations with world powers. Demonstrating that Hong Kong's freedoms drifted along waves of change in global politics, this book offers a new perspective on the British legal regime in Hong Kong.