Friday, January 28, 2022

Symposium Introduction: Conversations with Justices Aharon Barak, Sabino Cassese, and Dieter Grimm (German LJ)

"Introduction: Conversations with Justices Aharon Barak, Sabino Cassese, and Dieter Grimm"
Alec Stone Sweet and Giacinto della Cananea
German Law Journal (2021), 22, pp. 1511-
In the symposium that follows, we present interviews with three of the most important jurists of our time: Aharon Barak (born in 1936), President of the Israel Supreme Court (1995-2006); Sabino Cassese (born in 1935), Justice of the Italian Constitutional Court (2005-2014); and Dieter Grimm (born in 1937), Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court (1987 to 1999). As a group, each is a contemporary, and they know each other well, not least, as long-time participants of the Global Constitutional Seminar that takes place annually at the Yale Law School. Readers of the German Law Journal will also know that each has been an influential law professor, and made important contributions to government and public commissions. The Justices have served academia in numerous capacities, as authors of books and articles of enormous importance, administrators of major research institutions, and as mentors of generations of law students and young professors. While the interviews make no attempt to cover all matters of importance, or to produce a set of congruent, “parallel” conversations, certain common themes emerge. These include reflections on changes in legal education and mentorship, the status of European and international law in domestic constitutional law, the significance of the constitution and general principles, and the role of dialogues with external courts. In addition, each has published highly personal books on judging, and on constitutional law and courts. Finally, today there are many prominent women who have served on national, European, and international courts, and we hope these interviews will spur further conversations on a wide range of careers and experiences.

Alec Stone Sweet & Giacinto della Cananea in Conversation with Aharon Barak, President of the Israel Supreme Court (1995-2006) (German LJ)

"A Conversation with Aharon Barak (born in 1936, President of the Israel Supreme Court (1995-2006))"
 Alec Stone Sweet and Giacinto della Cananea
German Law Journal (2021), 22, pp. 1512–1525
'A. Before Joining the Supreme Court
A. Barak: I am not sure why I studied law; I doubt there was a good reason for it...

F. Challenges, Past, and Future
A. Barak: ... Judges should not think about backlash. Our job is to take the right decision in law, not to make the other branches happy. There must be friction among the branches—it’s a healthy thing. When the court comes under attacked, it is prohibited to retreat into a bunker. The court must continuously renew its commitments and seek to render judgements that correspond to its usual practices, and with the usual legal tools at its disposal. At the center of this tool-box are human rights, proportionality, and the general principles.
The role of the court is not to defend itself, but to defend democracy. Its goal should be to construct a kind of legal “iron dome,” that protects the state from the missiles deployed to destroy democracy. A judge must act in accordance with constitutional principles, otherwise it will be complicit in the death of the constitutional democracy it has pledged to uphold. Only if the judge is not sure about the proper course of action—only if he has an internal dilemma with himself about the solution to the problem—may he allow himself to let the missile reach its target.'  Click here to read the full conversation.

Alec Stone Sweet & Giacinto della Cananea in Conversation with Sabino Cassese, Justice of the Italian Constitutional Court (2005-2014) (German LJ)

"A Conversation with Sabino Cassese (born in 1935, Justice of the Italian Constitutional Court (2005-2014))"
Alec Stone Sweet and Giacinto della Cananea
German Law Journal (2021), 22, pp. 1526–1540
'A. Training and Academia
S. Cassese: I knew the hard sciences were not for me. I preferred history or philosophy. But a degree in these fields would not open the road to a job. I chose law, then brought my interest in history and philosophy to my legal studies.
                                                        ...
E. Challenges, Past and Future
S. Cassese: ... I share the view that we had an important period in which great progress was made, and now we are experiencing a certain regression. On the other side, one sees the development of a global public sphere, of the kind that Habermas theorized. If an African-American is killed by policemen in an American city, people see it on TV all over the world and the reaction is global. There now exists an ongoing process of “education,” so to speak, in favor of human rights. People are also much more mobile. The world now has more than seven and a half billion people, and they travel, live, and work abroad, migrate. The politics of rights protection can’t be kept strictly national and it never truly was.'  Click here to read the full conversation.

Alec Stone Sweet & Giacinto della Cananea in Conversation with Dieter Grimm, Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court (1987 to 1999) (German LJ)

"A Conversation with Dieter Grimm (born in 1937, Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court (1987 to 1999))"
Alec Stone Sweet and Giacinto della Cananea
German Law Journal (2021), 22, pp. 1541–1554
'A. Training and Academia
D. Grimm: There were no academics in my family; I was the first to attend university. At age 18, I was determined to go into politics, and I thought law was the best preparation for a political career...

E. Challenges, Past and Future
Questions: The development of the European courts, too, pose challenges to constitutional law.
There is now a widespread sensitivity to what is sometimes called “national constitutional identity.” The notion is today a legal construct, that gives a structure to inter-court dialogue, both cooperative or conflictual. The BVerfG, of course, has been at the forefront of these developments, from the Solange cases,15 to Görgülü,16 to the recent decision on the European Central Bank. Earlier, you stated that the ultimate issue is whether and when the BVerfG actually uses its powers to declare an EU act ultra vires. The issue has now been engaged, in the BVerfG’s ruling on the ECB, of May 2020.
Dieter: I expected it to happen at some point. Whether the PSPP case17 on the Bank was the best occasion is a different question. The Danish Supreme Court and Czech Constitutional Court did it earlier, but only the German Court’s refusal to follow the CJEU drew wide attention. It is a mistake to judge the ultra vires jurisprudence only from the viewpoint of the efficacy and unity of EU law. By definition, every European ultra vires act withdraws a subject matter from the domestic political process without authorization, thus limiting the range of the national constitution. The CJEU does not understand itself as protector of national democracy. It is also obvious that the Commission and the Council, too, can be the source of ultra vires acts, not just the CJEU. But the CJEU is extremely reluctant to declare European legal acts as ultra vires. consequently, the only safeguards of national democracy are the constitutional or highest courts of the member states.
Question: Looking forward, in the EU, national constitutional courts are now using the preliminary reference procedure more often. And in the ECHR, Protocol no. 16 now permits advisory opinions. Might these procedures help to structure more constructive dialogue among courts.
D. Grimm: That is indeed my hope.'  Click here to read the full conversation.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

HKU Law Welcomes Dr Stefan Lo, new Principal Lecturer in the Department of Law

The Faculty welcomes Dr Stefan Lo who has joined the Department of Law as a Principal Lecturer. Stefan was educated in Australia and is a graduate of the University of Sydney. Prior to joining HKU Law, he was a Deputy Principal Government Counsel (Ag) at the Department of Justice, heading the team in the Civil Division responsible for advising the Government on company and insolvency law reform. Previously, he had practised law as a solicitor and barrister in Sydney and had also taught law as Assistant Professor at the School of Law of the City University of Hong Kong. Stefan has published widely in company law and other areas of law, including articles in local and international journals. His published works include Law of Companies in Hong Kong, currently in its third edition (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018), In Search of Corporate Accountability: Liabilities of Corporate Participants (Cambridge Scholars, 2015) and Privacy Law in Hong Kong (Sweet and Maxwell, 2020). He is General Editor of Company Law in Hong Kong – Practice and Procedure / Insolvency (Sweet and Maxwell) and Hong Kong Company Law – Legislation and Commentary (LexisNexis).

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Chris Szabla on Reimagining Global Migration Governance: From Insufficient Ideas to South-South Solutions (Berkeley J Int'l L)

"Reimagining Global Migration Governance: From Insufficient Ideas to South-South Solutions"
Chris Szabla (Global Academic Fellow)
Berkeley Journal of International Law ,
Volume 39, 
Issue 1, pp. 19-80
Published in 2021
Abstract: The disarray produced by the “global migration crisis” has resulted in a number of ongoing and proposed reforms of global migration governance, defined as the international law and institutions concerned with all migration. Yet these reforms or proposals appear insufficient or ineffectual—especially to the extent that they often ignore political realities. Fulfilling the promise of global migration governance requires an architecture that instead materially addresses political difficulties. This Article reviews problems with the current and proposed models of global migration governance and proposes to ground reform in consideration of those realities, using a successful model that promoted and protected European emigration in the Twentieth Century. Today, a similar system could help achieve ambitions within the Global South to promote South-South migration among disadvantaged States. Such a model could shift the material incentives (and hence, politics) holding back openness toward migrants, help fulfill migrants’ rights or needs, and promote the fair distribution of migrants toward existing migrant destinations. It could also redress the historical injustices of earlier migration governance systems that advantaged Europeans.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

AIIFL Newsletter (Jan 2022)

UPCOMING EVENTS

Thursday, 3 March 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 PM, Hong Kong Time via ZOOM
Peter Willoughby Memorial Lecture
China’s Rising (and the United States’ Declining) Influence on Global Tax Governance? Some Observations
Professor Jinyan Li, Professor of Tax Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada
Read More

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time via ZOOM
Book Talk: Regulating the Crypto Economy - Business Transformations and Financialisation
Author: Professor Iris Chiu, Professor of Company Law and Financial Regulation, Faculty of Laws, University College London
Discussant: Professor Kelvin Low, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Read More

Thursday, 17 February 2022, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, Hong Kong Time via ZOOM
Creating Equitable Tax Systems: Challenges Posed by Financial Markets
James Fok, Author, Financial Cold War
Read More
Click here to read the full text. 

New Issue: HKU Law's SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series (Jan 2022)

            

Vol. 12, No. 1: Jan 10, 2022

A Principles-based Approach tothe Governance of BigFintechs

Douglas W. Arner, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong
Ross P. Buckley, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
Kuzi Charamba, University of Hong Kong
Dirk A. Zetzsche, Universite du Luxembourg - Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Center for Business & Corporate Law (CBC), European Banking Institute
Artem Sergeev, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law


Land-related Restrictive Covenants in Restraint of Trade

Kelvin Hiu Fai Kwok, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law


National Security Law in Hong Kong: One Year On

Johannes M M Chan, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law


From Datafication to Data State: Making Sense of China’s Social Credit System and Its Implications

Anne S. Y. Cheung, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law
Yongxi Chen, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Friday, January 21, 2022

Law Tech Symposium: Redesigning Intellectual Property Protection in the Era of Artificial Intelligence (26 Jan 2022 Zoom)

Law Tech symposium: 
Redesigning Intellectual Property Protection in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

January 26, 2022 | 10am – 1:10pm (Hong Kong Time)
January 25, 2022 | 9pm – 12:10am (US Eastern Standard Time)
This symposium will be conducted via Zoom.

Panel 1: AI and Patent Protection (10am – 11:30am, HKT / 9pm – 10:30pm, EST)

Moderator & Commentator: Ruth Okediji, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Speakers:

Artificial Inventors
Ryan Abbott, Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of Surrey School of Law

AI and IP: Putting the Doctrinal Cart before the Empirical Horse
Daniel Gervais, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University Law School

Algorithmic Bias in the Coming Patent System
Dan Burk, Distinguished and Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Artificial Intelligence Inventions
Haochen Sun, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law

Panel 2: AI and Copyright Protection (11:40am – 1:10pm, HKT / 10:40pm – 12:10am, EST)

Moderator & Commentator: Mark McKenna, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Speakers:

AI Copyrights: No Longer a Toy Problem
Pamela Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information, UC Berkeley School of Law

Fair Learning
Mark Lemley, William H. Neukom Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

A New Sui Generis Right
Haochen Sun, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law

The AI-Copyright Challenge: Tech-Neutrality, Authorship, and the Public Interest
Carys Craig, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

Please register as soon as possible at https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_regform.aspx?guest=Y&UEID=79809.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Grace Chan at mcgrace@hku.hk / (+852) 3917 4727

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

CCPL Newsletter Spring 2022

CCPL Newsletter Spring 2022

Greetings from the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at The University of Hong Kong!

This past fall has been an enriching and productive season for us at CCPL.

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 Spring 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

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Calvin Ho & Karel Caals on The International Pandemic Preparedness Treaty and An Emerging Digital Divide (Asia Global Online)

The International Pandemic Preparedness Treaty and An Emerging Digital Divide
Dr Calvin Ho & Karel Caals
Asia Global Online
5 January 2022 
Introduction: The persistent Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered various inequities, from access to crucial supplies and income inequality to the digital divide. As the World Health Organization begins work on a new international treaty on pandemic preparedness and response, Calvin Ho Wai Loon of The University of Hong Kong and Karel Caals of the National University of Singapore examine digital inequalities that have arisen from different health systems, arguing that pandemic preparedness should include a range of digital health capabilities with a view to minimizing the digital divide. ... Click here to read the full text. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

New Book by Thomas Cheng & Kelvin Kwok: Hong Kong Competition Law: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press)

Hong Kong Competition Law: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives
Published in October 2021
Book Description: This is the first academic monograph on the new competition law in Hong Kong. It provides an overview of the historical background of the Competition Ordinance, highlighting the debate and the process that led to the adoption of the Ordinance. It offers detailed comparative and theoretical analysis of the key provisions of the Ordinance, focusing on the First Conduct Rule, the Second Conduct Rule, the exclusions and exemptions, and the procedural provisions. It draws on overseas legislation and jurisprudence that inspired the provisions in the Ordinance and incorporates a detailed examination of the latest cases decided by the Competition Tribunal. It engages in relevant academic debates and theoretical analysis of how competition law in Hong Kong should develop in light of its unique economic and political contexts. It concludes by setting forth of a set of recommendations for further reform.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

CMEL Newsletter (Nov - Dec 2021)

EDITORIAL


WELCOME TO OUR NEW BI-MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Photo of LLM(MEL) Class of 2021 with Dr Eric C Ip and Dr Calvin W L Ho

We congratulate the 21 students in our Master of Laws in Medical Ethics and Law ("LLM(MEL)") course who graduated in 2021, and our first MBBS student who successfully completed the course as an intercalated degree. We also take this opportunity to remember the late Ms Lau Ching Kar Karen, who was one of our LLM(MEL) students, and we are grateful to her brother, Mr Aaron Lau, for the eulogy that is published in this issue. 

As in our previous newsletters, we highlight new publications, interviews, and online resources, such as updates on non-locally trained medical practitioners, "alternative smoking products", medical manslaughter and the Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance. 

Looking ahead into the new year, we invite readers to participate in our events as well as those of our collaborators, the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine ("CHM") (Faculty of Arts and LKS Faculty of Medicine) and the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit ("MEHU") (LKS Faculty of Medicine). Among these are CMEL’s "Informed Consent" webinar and "Annual Review of Hong Kong Health Law" webinar in January and February 2022 respectively as well as the "Medical Research and Drug Policy" virtual book talk of CHM and MEHU in January 2022.

Finally, we take this opportunity to wish everyone restful holidays and a fruitful new year to come. 

Photo of LLM(MEL) Class of 2021 with Former Chief Justice The Honourable Mr Geoffrey Ma and Dean Professor Hualing Fu
Above: LLM(MEL) Class of 2021 with Dr Eric C. Ip and Dr Calvin W. L. HoAbove: LLM(MEL) Class of 2021 with Former Chief Justice The Honourable Mr Geoffrey Ma and Dean Professor Hualing Fu

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JOURNAL ARTICLES


BOOK CHAPTER

"The patient-centric turn in medical liability in Singapore" (Open Access)
 
In Medical Liability in Asia and Australasia (Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series), Springer Nature, 2022
 
By Calvin W. L. Ho

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-4855-7_15
 


POLICY PAPER

 "COVID-19 vaccine trial designs in the context of authorized COVID-19 vaccines and expanding global access: ethical considerations" (Open Access)

Policy Brief of the World Health Organization, 29 November 2021

Our Calvin W. L. Ho is a contributor

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/349693/WHO-2019-nCoV-Policy-brief-Vaccine-trial-design-2021.1-eng.pdf
 


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APPLY TO THE MEDICAL ETHICS AND LAW MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME
 

We are calling for applications to the Master of Laws in Medical Ethics and Law ("LLM(MEL)") programme for the 2022 intake.

Please refer to the "Events" section below for details of the information sessions.
 


IN MEMORIAM: LAU CHING KAR KAREN

Photo of the late Ms Lau Ching Kar Karen
The late Ms Lau Ching Kar Karen

One of the students in the LLM(MEL) class of 2021, Ms LAU Ching Kar Karen, passed away earlier this year. Karen had done well and will always be a member of the HKU Law School. The following is a memoriam written by Ms Karen Lau’s brother in loving remembrance of her.

My family and I would like to thank Karen’s teachers and classmates, as well as the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law and the Department of Law of the University of Hong Kong for the unwavering support during her studies this past year. While Karen has yet to complete her Masters due to this sudden illness, my family and I remain hopeful that a posthumous award of the degree is possible, as Karen’s wish was to complete this course. I am confident that Karen’s commitment, perseverance and resilience shall continue to inspire generations of students to come. 
In Memoriam: Lau Ching Kar Karen
 
Congratulations to all 2021 Master of Laws (Medical Ethics and Law) graduates. My late sister, Lau Ching Kar Karen, would have been among you as a graduand at the 205th Congregation, but she succumbed to terminal cancer in May 2021 at the age of 40.  

As a practising Barrister-at-Law and formerly a teacher at a local secondary school, Karen has inspired many to become legal professionals as well as educators. Karen was a smart, loving, caring, and gentle person. She was always cheerful and when her friends encountered difficulties, her kindness would radiate like the sun, providing warmth and shelter in the darkest of times. When given an insurmountable task at work, she would openly accept it with open arms and complete it with sheer perfection. Even when she had Sarcoma, she did not run away in fear. Instead, she stood up and fought valiantly until the end.

Today, we are here to remember a great friend, a great ally, a great colleague, a great sister, a great human being. Though she is not bodily with us, her life has touched many and her spirit shall imbue every one of us. Her legacy shall continue as she has reminded us not to give up hope as waking up to a new day is a gift. 

Lau Ching Kong Aaron, MEd (HKU)


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VIRTUAL INFORMATION SESSIONS FOR MEDICAL ETHICS AND LAW PROGRAMME

LLM(MEL) Banner
 

Identical Information Sessions on Zoom

19 January 2022 (Wed) | 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm (HKT)
Register here.

16 February 2022 (Wed) | 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm (HKT)
Register here.

Learn more about the programme here.
 


HKU CENTRE FOR MEDICAL ETHICS AND LAW (CMEL)

CMEL’S WEBINAR ON INFORMED CONSENT IN HEALTHCARE  


Title: Relational Autonomy: Rethinking Informed Consent in Healthcare from Cross-Cultural and Religious Perspectives (Webinar)

Date: 26 January 2022 (Wed), 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (HKT)

Abstract: The requirement of informed consent in healthcare and biomedical research tends to be construed and implemented in ways that are overtly individualistic and without adequate recognition of the attending social, cultural and religious conditions. Drawing from contributions in the edited monographs "Cross-Cultural and Religious Critiques of Informed Consent" and "Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Young Children", contributing authors and commentators discuss key arguments and implications of this contribution to the bioethical literature on informed consent.

Details and registration: click here

CMEL Informed Consent Webinar Poster


CMEL’S WEBINAR ON HONG KONG HEALTH LAW 2021

Title: Annual Review of Hong Kong Health Law in 2021 (Webinar) (CPD/CME to be applied for)
 
Date: 23 February 2022 (Wed), 6:30 pm – 8 pm (HKT)

Abstract: Year 2021 saw a number of significant and noteworthy statutory and case law developments affecting medical and health law in Hong Kong. This webinar will take a look at some of these developments.

This webinar will be jointly organised with Messrs Howse Williams.

Details and registration link will be made available on CMEL’s website soon.
 


VIDEO: VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, COVID-19, AND THE NEXT PANDEMIC 


CMEL’s Co-Director Dr Calvin W. L. Ho and Research Fellow Dr Eric C. Ip participated in a virtual conference entitled "Intellectual Property, Covid-19, and the Next Pandemic: Diagnosing Problems, Developing Cures" as a speaker on 5 November 2021 and as a moderator on 6 November 2021 respectively.

The title of Dr Ho’s presentation was "Governing the ACT-Accelerator: Current Challenges to Access and Innovation, and Opportunities for Change". The conference was co-organised by the Law and Technology Centre of the University of Hong Kong and the Georgetown University Law Center. 

The video recording is available here.


VIDEO: WEBINAR ON REPRODUCTIVE GENETIC SCREENING

CMEL’s Dr Calvin W. L. Ho was one of the speakers at a virtual seminar entitled "Seminar on Genomics — Ethical and Governance Considerations for Reproductive Genetic Screening" held on 23 November 2021.

His topic was the responsible implementation of expanded prenatal genetic testing in Hong Kong and Singapore. The seminar was organised by the CUHK Centre for Bioethics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The video recording is available here.

Screenshot of CUHK Webinar on Reproductive Genetic Screenings
 


HKU CENTRE FOR THE HUMANITIES AND MEDICINE (CHM)

GLOBAL HEALTH AND HUMANITIES BOOK SERIES
This virtual book series features recently published authors in conversation with established scholars working at the nexus of global health and the humanities, ethics, and law. Started by CMEL board members Dr Priscilla Song (Associate Professor in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine) ("CHM") and Dr Harry Wu (former Director of the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing restrictions in Hong Kong, the book series has played an important role in facilitating virtual engagement among faculty and students at the University of Hong Kong with scholars around the world.

Authors featured in the book series to date include:


Screenshot of CHM Book Talk on Anxious China

The next upcoming book talk in the series will feature Dr Ido Hartogsohn (American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the 20th Century, MIT Press 2020):

  • Talk Title: Beyond the substance: psychedelics and the challenge of medical research and drug policy

    Speaker: Dr Ido Hartogsohn, PhD (Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society, Bar Ilan University, Israel)

    Discussants: Professor Gordon Mathews (Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong) & Dr Alex Gearin (Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, University of Hong Kong)

    Book Information: American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the 20th Century (MIT Press 2020)

    Date/Time: 10 January 2022 (Mon), 5:00 pm HKT (Other Time Zones: 9:00 am London / 11:00 am Tel Aviv / 8:00 pm Sydney)

    Delivery: via Zoom

    Registration: click here

    Talk abstract: Medical science and drug policy approaches have often been based on essentialist definitions of drug action and dichotomous distinctions between licit drugs and drugs of abuse. In recent years, though, a growing awareness of the context-dependency and socio-cultural situatedness of drug effects has opened up the prospect of rethinking medical drug research and drug policy in light of social constructivist insights into drug effects, which place the emphasis on the cruciality of set and setting (context) rather than chemical essentialism. Based on Ido Hartogsohn’s American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the 20th Century (MIT Press, 2020), the talk will use the story of mid-twentieth-century American psychedelic research and culture as a backdrop for an examination of social-constructivist insights into the context-dependency of drug effects and their implications for medical research and drug policy.

Additional book talks in the spring 2022 lineup will feature the following authors:

 For more details about upcoming book talks, please check out the Events page of the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine.


HKU MEDICAL ETHICS AND HUMANITIES UNIT (MEHU)

MEHU’S FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION EVENT: "ALIVE IN THE MORTUARY"

The Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit (MEHU) is a teaching and research unit of the LKS Faculty of Medicine inaugurated in 2012.  MEHU seeks to inspire interest and scholarly work in medical ethics and humanities through the corresponding curricula in the undergraduate MBBS programme, as well as events and collaborations with academic and community-based colleagues.  MEHU welcomes colleagues to get involved with its "Conversations and Connections" event series, which brings together diverse voices to stimulate discussion and thought around the issues that matter to those who practice and use healthcare. Speakers have ranged from healthcare professionals to creative artists, philosophers, Olympic athletes, advocates for transgender rights, humanitarian workers, and medico-legal experts. The first event of this year’s series kicked off with a screening and lively panel discussion of the film "Alive in the Mortuary" based on an award-winning script by local playwright Ms Chong Mui Ngam and produced by Hong Kong’s own Chung Ying Theatre company. Students and staff joined to watch the film which follows a medical graduate from Hong Kong University who becomes a surgeon working in a challenging war environment in Africa. The character encounters a series of ethical and existential dilemmas while stuck in a mortuary and confronted by an apparition of his younger self. After the film, the vibrant panel discussion was led by HKUMed neurosurgeon Dr Anderson Tsang in conversation with the artistic director of the film, Mr Dominic Cheung, and nurse and midwife Ms Tobey Lee who worked with Medicins sans Frontieres in a refugee field hospital in Africa. The speakers highlighted the power of theatre in communicating the ambiguous experiences and ethical challenges of medicine to the broader public. Reflecting on the main character in the film, Director Cheung reminded the audience of the importance of grasping our initial motivations, passions, and dreams during times of ethical crisis and challenge. For more information about the MH "Conversations and Connections" series or to be included on the mailing list please contact coordinator, Dr Alex Gearin (akgearin@hku.hk).

Photo of MEHU film screening event
 


 

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PERSPECTIVE FROM A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST AND AN ADVOCATE FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

 Our Dr Philip Beh recently had the honour of being interviewed in the SCOM Talk Show hosted by the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. In the interview, Dr Beh talked about his experiences as a forensic pathologist and his views on the concept of "death". As an advocate for victims of sexual violence, he shared his views on the governmental policies and law. Click here for the video (in Cantonese only). 

 


PROPOSAL OF A VACCINE PASS SYSTEM FOR HONG KONG

 In two radio programmes on Radio Television Hong Kong, "Talkabout" and "Open Line Open View", our Dr Calvin W. L. Ho shared his views on the proposal to introduce a local vaccine pass system for entering designated premises, such as workplaces, schools and public places, in Hong Kong. Click the links below to learn more: 

 


CALL TO ENGAGE IN CONSENSUS BUILDING
In the journal Cell Genomics, our Dr Calvin W. L. Ho explains how the Regulatory & Ethics Toolkit of Global Alliance for Genomics & Health can support consensus building in genomics research from the bottom up. Learn more here:

https://www.cell.com/cell-genomics/fulltext/S2666-979X(21)00043-4
 


GOVERNANCE OF ONE HEALTH
HKU Bulletin features the research and policy work of our Dr Calvin W. L. Ho on One Health and its challenges from legal and ethics perspectives. Learn more here:

https://bulletin.hku.hk/cover-story-theme/disunity-of-purpose/ 
 


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NEW PATHWAY FOR NON-LOCALLY TRAINED DOCTORS TO PRACTISE IN HONG KONG

The Legislative Council of Hong Kong recently passed the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 to create a new pathway for non-locally trained medical practitioners to practise in Hong Kong. Click here for a news article on this.


BAN ON ALTERNATIVE SMOKING PRODUCTS IN HONG KONG

The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 was recently passed by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. The amendments brought about by the bill will, among other things, prohibit the import, manufacture and sale of "alternative smoking products". Read more here.


APPEAL IN THE DR BEAUTY GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER CASE: HKSAR v CHOW HEUNG WING, STEPHEN AND CHAN KWUN CHUNG [2021] HKCA 1655

In the infamous "DR Beauty" case, the deceased underwent at a clinic of the DR Group a cellular therapy treatment known as "CIK" treatment whereby blood extracted from her was taken to a laboratory to undergo a process of culturing, after which it was infused back into her. The blood was contaminated before it was infused back into her, who died from "multi-organ failure" afterwards.

The first defendant ("D1") and the second defendant ("D2"), who were in charge of the DR Group and processed the blood respectively, sought leave to appeal against both their convictions and sentences. The Court of Appeal refused leave to appeal against their conviction and dismissed their appeals against conviction but allowed their appeals against sentence. Upon consideration, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences, in the case of D1, to 10 years’ imprisonment and, in the case of D2, to 8 years’ imprisonment.

Click here for a summary of the Judgment. 


DOCTOR JAILED FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER OVER DEATH OF A LIPOSUCTION PATIENT: HKSAR v KWAN HAU CHI, VANESSA [2021] HKCFI 2978

A medical doctor was sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment in Hong Kong for gross negligence manslaughter in respect of the death of her patient, who died in 2014 following a liposuction procedure performed by the doctor.
 
Click here for a summary of the Reasons for Sentence.


NEW REGULATORY REGIME FOR PRIVATE HEALTHCARE FACILITIES

In the postscript to the Reasons for Sentence in HKSAR v Kwan Hau Chi, Vanessa, the case above, the judge observed that the incident was "a classic example of the need not only of the regulation of private healthcare facilities in Hong Kong but of the ease at which medical practitioners can conduct high-risk medical procedures in these facilities" and noted that the Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance (Cap. 633) ("PHFO") was gazetted subsequent to the incident.

PHFO introduces a new regulatory regime for private healthcare facilities (PHFs). Four types of PHFs (hospitals, day procedure centres, clinics and health services establishments) are subject to regulation. This new regime is being implemented in phases. Click here for a simple guide to the PHFO.


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CENTRE FOR MEDICAL ETHICS AND LAW HKU


ABOUT
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The Centre for Medical Ethics and Law (CMEL) develops new ideas and solutions in response to the big ethical, legal and policy questions of medicine and health.

CMEL is the first cross-faculty interdisciplinary institution of its kind in the region. It was founded in 2012 by the LKS Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law at The University of Hong Kong as a joint inheritor of their vibrant intellectual traditions dating back to 1887 and 1969 respectively.

Today, CMEL brings together bioethicists, academic lawyers, medical scientists, and other scholars to conduct cutting edge bioethical and legal research and contribute to policy development in flagship areas like population and global health, mental health and capacity, and digital health and emergent technologies.
 
Research, teaching and knowledge exchange—CMEL’s core initiatives—aim to ensure that developments in biomedicine and public health will be underpinned by ethical and legal considerations.


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CONTACT
Centre for Medical Ethics and Law

Office 9.21, 9
TH Floor,
Cheng Yu Tung Tower,
The University of Hong Kong,
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR


T +852 3917 1845
F +852 2549 8495
cmel@hku.hk       
www.cmel.hku.hk