Thursday, October 22, 2020

Inaugural HKULDC Annual Conference 2020 Gathers Global Doctoral Candidates

The inaugural Annual Conference of HKU Law Doctoral Colloquium (HKULDC) took place on 31 August 31 2020. After distributing a call for papers  and inviting international PhD students, HKULDC assembled a diverse group consisting of 16 speakers from HKU, CUHK, CityUHK, Beijing, NYU, Indiana, Glasgow.

Conference Details 
With opening speeches by Professor Hualing FU, Dean of Law and Warren Chan Professor in Human Rights and Responsibilities, and Professor Xin HE, Chairman of the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee and Professor of Law & Society, the Annual Conference warmly welcomed the 16 speakers, as well as distinguished guests and commentators from HKU, UNSW, CityU, Fudan University and China University of Political Science and Law. The audience of 210 teachers and students, who registered for the event, were affiliated with Hong Kong’s three law schools, Mainland’s top law schools as well as the academic institutions in the US, UK, EU and Australia. Following the student representative and PhD candidate Wayne Wei Wang’s introduction to HKULDC, the Conference moved to the Roundtable Sharing on How to Excel in the Academic Job Hunting Marketplace. 

Roundtable Sharing on How to Excel in the Academic Job-Hunting Marketplace 
The Roundtable was attended by Professor Yun Zhao (Head & Henry Cheng Professor in International Law, HKU), Professor Shahla Ali (Professor & Associate Dean (International Law), HKU), Professor Jedidiah Kroncke (Director of Early Career Research & Associate Professor, HKU), Professor Yan Xu (Law PhD Alumnae & Associate Professor, UNSW), Professor Hao Xiong (Law PhD Alumnus & Associate Professor, Fudan University), Dr. Anna Dziedzic (Global Academic Fellow, HKU), and Dr. Xu Qian (Post-Doctoral Fellow, HKU) as speakers. They shared insights and perspectives on preparing for the academic job market and gave advice on how to attend related interviews. 

Panel Session One - The State Apparatuses 
Jane Richards, a PhD candidate at HKU, moderated the first panel on the State Apparatuses, with Professor Scott Veitch (HKU) and Dr. Benjamin Chen (HKU) as lead discussants. Shuyu Chu, a PhD candidate at HKU spoke on Between Right and Punishment: Party Rules as Political Normalization. She gave fascinating insights into how, as a method of political social control, political rules operate in mainland China. She raised key issues in relation to how authoritarian rule in China is maintained, and political expectations are internalized by citizens as a form of CCP governance. The second speaker Teng Li, from the NYU school of law spoke on Justifying the State; with some overlap in the theme of his topic with Shuyu, his concern was with how the state justifies coercion of its subjects. He noted that there are limits to the legitimate exercise of state power, which may trigger citizens rights to use coercion.  The third speaker, Jiajun Luo, also from HKU gave another Chinese themed presentation, this time on The Autonomy of Chinese Courts in Commercial Disputes: Evidence from Intellectual Property Cases. His is an empirical study draws on an analysis of case law to make an argument about the relative independence and autonomy of Chinese courts and the judiciary. Finally, Sumit Sonkar, a PhD Candidate at CUHK presented his talk on Reimagining Equality: An Anatomy of Indian Young Lawyers Association vs. The State of Kerala. The case analysis tested the limits of equality from India’s Constitution in relation to women’s rights and also the caste system. 

Panel Session Two - Commercial, Trade and Investment Tensions 
Sau-Wai Law (Samuel), a third-year part-time PhD candidate at HKU, moderated the second panel on Commercial, Trade and Investment Tension, with Prof Jiangyu Wang (CityU) and Dr Angel Zhang (HKU) as discussants. Ziyu Liu, a third-year PhD candidate at HKU, observed that the drafting of the Foreign Investment Law of China (FIL) had been seriously affected by Sino-U.S. relations. It leads to the fact that FIL is only a compromise made. She argues that the Sino-US relation will continue to affect the formation and implementation of foreign investment policy in China. Abdulkadir Yilmazcan, a fourth-year PhD candidate at HKU, shared his empirical findings of the procedural rules of US and EU against China in its anti-dumping measures. He argued that the main purpose of the Anti-dumping Agreement may be defeated given a lack of procedural justice. Dr. Chao Wang from CUHK, shared his empirical studies of the Chinese shareholding disclosure rules of the Chinese shareholding disclosure rules and public enforcement by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and proposes that China to adopt a relatively tolerant regime for shareholding disclosure so as to avoid the stifling effect on market developments. Shanyu Xiao, 3rd year PhD candidate at City University of Hong Kong, shared her empirical findings that the Mixed Ownership Reform has achieved initial success in promoting the internal corporate governances of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in China; although more shall be done as most SOEs only limited the introduction on non-state capital, giving limited control rights to new strategic investors 

Panel Session Three - Rights, Safety and Geography 
Abdulkadir YILMAZCAN, a fourth-year PhD candidate at HKU, moderated the third panel on rights, safety and geography, with Prof Zhiyuan GUO (CUPL) and Dr. Jedidiah KRONCKE (HKU) as lead discussants. PhD candidate Jane RICHARDS presented “Abolition of the insanity defence: a new model of criminal responsibility inclusive of all mental capacities”. Richards argues that the proposed model would ensure that the criminal justice system functions to bring more substantial justice for all. MPhil candidate Elaine Lok-Lam YIM delivered her presentation titled “Why the Right to Collective Self-determination of a People Cannot Support Extensive Immigration Control”. Yim argues that the scope of legitimate authority of a state vis-à-vis non-citizens is limited to what is sufficient for attaining the collective autonomy of the citizens, whereas the scope of legitimate authority of a state vis-à-vis citizens is not limited to a sufficientarian standard. Yi Seul KIM presented her study “The Formalistic Ebb and Flow in China’s Food Safety Regulatory Governance: Periods of Under-Regulation and Over-Regulation”. Kim, in her study, examines how accurate it is to say that law reforms de facto mean improvement in food safety based on empirical findings. PhD candidate Dhiraj NAINANI presented his work “Gold & Darkness: The Legal Geography of Hong Kong’s ‘Last Ghetto’. His paper attempts to paint a portrait of the complex assemblage that is Chungking Mansions. 

Panel Session Four - Regulating Digital and Robotic Platforms 
Pattamon Anansaringkarn, a second-year PhD candidate at HKU, moderated the fourth panel on regulating digital and robotic platforms, with Dr. Yahong Li (HKU) and Dr. Marcelo Thompson (HKU) as lead discussants. Miss Tian Zeng, a PhD candidate at Peking University, considered the issue of exclusive behaviour in the online platform market from a competition law perspective in her presentation “Access to Premium Content in Online Content Platform Market: Research on Exclusive Behavior under Competition Law”. Miss Xingsi Di, a PhD candidate from the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, shared her insight on the development of a regulatory mechanism for Robo-advisors in China in her presentation, “From Prosperity to Deadlock: China's Path on Financial Supervisions on The Robo-advisors”. Mr. Zihao Li, a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow, discussed personalised pricing in the context of EU data protection laws in his presentation “A critical review of Automatic Price-making Algorithm and EU Data Protection Law: Is GDPR Enough to Achieve the Goal of Transparency and Fairness in the Era of E-commerce?”. Mr. Yifan Huang, a lecturer at the School of AI & Law, Shanghai University of Political & Law, shared his research on the possibility of introducing a judicial AI assistive case-handling system across different legal regimes in China in his presentation “Legal Challenges for Establishing a Unified Artificial Intelligence Assistive Platform in Judicial Practice”. 

Keynote Speech
Dr Shitong Qiao, Associate Professor of the University of Hong Kong, gave a wonderful keynote speech on "Publishing Your Doctoral Thesis during and/or after Your PhD Studies." In his speech, Dr Qiao gave lots of helpful advice on selecting journals/law reviews; publishing books based on PhD thesis with multiple interesting examples; and many other things. The keynote speech was moderated by Elaine Yim.

The inaugural HKULDC Annual Conference was concluded by the closing remarks and further suggestions from Professor Scott VEITCH, Paul K C Chung Professor in Jurisprudence and Dr. Alex SCHWARTZ, Deputy Director of RPG Student Affairs. 

What is #HKULDC? 
HKULDC is HKU’s student-driven online platform for intellectual exchange among global early-stage legal researchers. It has framed six sub-fields such as, Comparative Chinese Law (CCL), Public Law (PL), Legal Theory/Law and Humanities/Law and Society (LTHS), Financial, Competition and Commercial Law (FCCL), Technology and Intellectual Property Law (TIPL), Arbitration, Dispute Resolution and International Law (ADRIL), and Food, Medical and Health Law (FMHL).

Why is #HKULDC? 
The COVID-19 Pandemic has made MPhil/PhD life digital, remote and somewhat disrupted. However, it has also been observed that online doctoral seminars and colloquiums are being organised to create a formal and serious environment for intellectual exchange globally. MPhil/PhD life is not only reading and writing all the time. It is also about practising scholars’ life. MPhil/PhD candidates have to transfer themselves from students to early-stage researchers (ESRs) in the degree-seeking process. 
How will #HKULDC proceed? 

Annual HKULDC Conference 
Initiated by the FHDC committee members and convened by HKU’s Law PhD Candidates - Wayne Wei Wang, Yi Seul Kim, Jane Richards, Sau-Wai Law (Samuel), Abdulkadir Yilmazcan, Pattamon Anansaringkarn, and Elaine Lok-Lam Yim, University of Hong Kong Law Doctoral Colloquium (HKULDC) Annual Conference is viewed as an experimental event aimed at ”learning by practice” for HKU Law RPg (MPhil and PhD) students. Presenting at and hosting a panel within one's research area will be an essential skill for her/his potential academic future while attending and contributing to conference discussions is an underestimated but important aspect of training in MPhil/PhD studies. 

Global Doctoral Webinars 
Through HKULDC’s Support Services, RPg students at HKU Law have the potential to make a real and positive change in the community. HKULDC will try to invite the established scholars within global PhD fellows’ research fields to be the panel members, providing them with mentors’ experience and expertise. 

Interdisciplinary Talks 
HKULDC will be organising interdisciplinary sharing events on campus and beyond. They expect to invite those external PhD fellows outside Law Faculty and HKU's Law RPg students, who share similar research interests for a series of interdisciplinary talks. It aims at breaking the traditional lines between subjects and increasing the originality and visibility of RPg students' research. 

Methodology Bootcamps 
HKULDC will also be initiating a regular platform for introducing emerging research methodologies. Our RPg students have observed that empirical studies are emerging in the academic job market. Dozens of law schools are introducing data science courses. Research students have to recognize that new data and methods can help our RPg fellows communicate their research into the general public and policymakers. 

中國法律全球化 (Chinese Law Goes Global) 
Most of HKULDC’s efforts pertaining to this program involve studying new approaches and developing innovative ways to implement them. They evaluate their geographical advantages in this field and remove the language obstacles for the global understanding of the Chinese legal system. 

To know more about HKULDC, please follow the twitter account @hkuldc and subscribe to HKULDC Global Mailing List at!forum/hkuldc.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Benjamin Chen et al on Partisan Voting on the California Supreme Court (Southern Cal L Rev)

"Partisan Voting on the California Supreme Court"
Mark P. Gergen, David A. Carrillo, Benjamin Minhao Chen & Kevin M. Quinn
Southern California Law Review, Vol. 93, No. 4
Published in September 2020
Abstract: When did ideology become the major fault line of the California Supreme Court? To answer this question, we use a two-parameter item response theory (IRT) model to identify voting patterns in non-unanimous decisions by California Supreme Court justices from 1910 to 2011. The model shows that voting on the court became polarized on recognizably partisan lines beginning in the mid-1900s. Justices usually did not vote in a pattern that matched their political reputations and party affiliation during the first half of the century. This began to change in the 1950s. After 1959 the dominant voting pattern is partisan and closely aligns with each justice’s political reputation. Our findings after 1959 largely confirm the conventional wisdom that voting on the modern court is on political lines. But our findings call into question the usual characterization of the Lucas court (1987–1996) as a moderately conservative court. Our model shows that the conservatives dominated the Lucas court to the same degree the liberals dominated the Traynor court (1964–1970).
     More broadly, this Article confirms that an important development occurred in American law at the turn of the half-century. A previous study used the same model to identify voting patterns on the New York Court of Appeals from 1900 to 1941 and to investigate whether those voting patterns were best explained by the justices’ political reputations. That study found consistently patterned voting for most of the 40 years. But the dominant dimension of disagreement on the court for much of the period was not political in the usual sense of that term. Our finding that the dominant voting pattern on the California Supreme Court was non-political in the first half of the 1900s parallels the New York study’s findings for the period before 1941. Carrying the voting pattern analysis forward in time, this Article finds that in the mid-1900s the dominant voting pattern became aligned with the justices’ political reputations due to a change in the voting pattern in criminal law and tort cases that dominated the court’s docket. Together, these two studies provide empirical evidence that judicial decision-making changed in the United States in the mid-1900s as judges divided into ideological camps on a broad swath of issues.  Click here to download the full article.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

New Book by Po Jen Yap: Proportionality in Asia (CUP)

Proportionality in Asia
Edited by Po Jen Yap
Published in August 2020, 300 pp.
Description: This is the first book that focusses on how proportionality analysis – a legal transplant from the West – is applied by courts around Asia, and it explores how a country's commitment to democracy and the rule of law is fundamental to the success of the doctrine's judicial enforcement. This book will appeal to lawyers, political scientists, and students of law and political science who seek to understand how proportionality analysis is blossoming and, in some cases, flourishing in Asia.
'This exciting new collection brings together scholars from across Asia to reflect on the use, and non-use, of doctrines of proportionality in the process of constitutional adjudication in nine Asian jurisdictions. It is insightful and compelling.'
Rosalind Dixon - Professor, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law

'An authoritative account of the growth and limits of proportionality analysis in Asia. This important volume combines masterful country-studies with insightful introductory and concluding chapter overviews to identify and address key issues about the various modes of constitutional influence, the impact of political context on courts, and the contrast between proportionality and its alternatives.'
Stephen Gardbaum - MacArthur Foundation Professor of International Justice and Human Rights, UCLA School of Law

'This volume is an invaluable contribution to the global literature on proportionality analysis. Its chapters offer grounded, empirically informed and sometimes skeptical views of the role of proportionality analysis in the jurisprudence of Asian courts.'
Hoi Kong - The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., UBC Professor in Constitutional Law, The University of British Columbia

'Proportionality in Asia is a major contribution to the field of comparative constitutional law. Admirably, contributors address cross-national differences in how Asian judges use proportionality, with what impact on the evolution of their respective legal systems. Required reading for anyone doing comparative research on rights protection, proportionality, or Asian law and politics.'
Alec Stone Sweet - Saw Swee Hock Centennial Professor in Law, National University of Singapore

Thursday, October 15, 2020

New Book by Eric Ip: Judging Regulators: The Political Economy of Anglo-American Administrative Law (Edward Elgar)

Edward Elgar Publishing 
Published in October 2020, 192 pp.
Description: Drawing insights from economics and political science, Judging Regulators explains why the administrative law of the US and the UK has radically diverged from each other on questions of law, fact, and discretion.
    This book proposes an original interdisciplinary theory that integrates the concept of veto-gates into a strategic model of judicial review of administrative action. It argues that long-term changes in the number of effective veto-gates in the US and the UK are the key to understanding the antithesis that emerged between their administrative jurisprudence. It then forecasts the future of Anglo-American administrative law in light of recent destabilizing political developments, such as attempts by the US Congress to abolish Chevron deference and the UK Supreme Court’s interventionist decision in R (on the application of Miller) v. The Prime Minister.
    A crucial overview of the history and future of administrative law, this book is critical reading for scholars and students of public law and comparative law, particularly those focusing on comparative administrative law in common law contexts. Its theoretical insights will also be useful for political scientists and economists interested in judicial politics and regulation.
A wonderful example of interdisciplinary comparative scholarship and an extremely insightful analysis of the different trajectories of administrative law in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is a must-read for public law scholars of all kinds.
   – Mila Versteeg, University of Virginia, School of Law, US
Contents: 1. Antithesis in Anglo-American Administrative Common Law 2. A Veto-gate Theory of Administrative Common Law 3. Law and the Regulatory State 4. Judicial Review of Administrative Statutory Interpretation 5. Judicial Review of Administrative Factfinding and Discretion 6. Closing Remarks

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

CMEL Newsletter August 2020

CMEL is established jointly by the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. Its primary vision is:
  • to become a focal point for international research excellence in the area of medical ethics and law;
  • to co-ordinate and provide teaching and training to university students and professionals;
  • and to promote and disseminate its expertise to the benefit of the public.
The Centre’s objectives are to promote excellence in the fields of research, teaching, knowledge exchange and professional training. The Centre will collaborate, as appropriate, with institutions, professional bodies and scholars in Hong Kong and internationally in order to pursue these objectives. CMEL has recently issued the latest newsletter. To view click: CMEL August 2020 Newsletter.

CCPL Newsletter Fall 2020

CCPL was established in 1995 as a non-profit virtual research centre in the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong. Its goals are to (1) advance knowledge on public law and human rights issues primarily from the perspectives of international and comparative law and practice; (2) encourage and facilitate collaborative work within the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong, and the broader community in the fields of comparative and public law; and (3) make the law more accessible to the community and more effective as an agent of social change.
What a year 2020 has been! In these difficult times, the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at The University of Hong Kong will continue to curate and showcase our events via Zoom... View the latest CCPL Newsletter, in which CCPL is pleased to share with you highlights from the events CCPL held last semester as well as information on upcoming events for Fall 2020. CCPL looks forward to seeing you soon at CCPL events!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Roda Mushkat on China's Territorial Disputes: The Ongoing Quest for a Viable Explanatory Framework (Willamette J Int'l L & Dis Resl'n)

Roda Mushkat 
27 Willamette J Int'l L & Dispute Resolution 103-168
Published in 2020 
Abstract: Chinese post-revolutionary history, including the four decade-long reform era, has entailed an array of twists and turns with far-reaching implications for the Asia-Pacific region and world order. Numerous and intense border conflicts have been an integral part of this intricate dynamic. They have attracted a fair amount of, albeit arguably insufficient, attention on the part of international legal scholars and social scientists. The former have exhibited notable breadth and the latter commendable depth in addressing the subject. The analytical shortcomings manifesting themselves, however, have not been rectified. Moreover, the quality of output on the international law side of the divide has deteriorated alter 2010 and social scientists have failed to maintain impetus beyond that point in the cycle. Consequently, the marked discontinuities, a conceptually intriguing pattern, between the pre-2010 phase and the past decade have not been adequately delineated and theoretically exploited. The experience suggests that the challenges which manifold boundary conflicts pose, in this area and elsewhere, call for closer interdisciplinary collaboration and greater paradigmatic versatility.

Friday, October 9, 2020

HKU Law's National Security Law Webinar Series 2020

5.  Book Talk: China's National Security Endangering Hong Kong's Rule of Law? (28 Sept 2020)
This event marks the publication of Chan and de Londras (eds), China’s National Security: Endangering Hong Kong’s Rule of Law? and places the book—written in 2019—into the context of events since its publication, including notably the passage of the Hong Kong National Security Law. In this collection, contributing authors explored the potential and limits of Hong Kong’s laws, institutions and civil society in maintaining the rule of law in light of China’s national security imperatives. The collection was published shortly before the Chinese government introduced the Hong Kong National Security Law. In this event, some of the authors in the collection will reflect on to what extent are the safeguards identified in the book displaced or rendered ineffectual by recent events, and whether China’s national security law endangers Hong Kong’s rule of law. 
Ms Cora Chan, The University of Hong Kong 
Prof Fiona de Londras, University of Birmingham; Hon Prof, Australian National University
Prof Victor V. Ramraj, University of Victoria 
Speakers/ Authors 
Dr Paulo Cardinal, University of Macau 
Prof Lin Feng, City University of Hong Kong 
Dr Pui Yin Lo, Barrister-at-law 
Prof Carole Petersen, University of Hawaii at Manoa 
Prof Simon Young, The University of Hong Kong 

4. Academic Freedom in Hong Kong: the Potential Impact of the New National Security Law (15 Aug 2020)
Date/Time: 15/08/2020 09:00-11:00
Welcoming Remarks by Professor Fu Hualing, Dean, Warren Chan Professor of Human Rights and Responsibilities, HKU Faculty of Law
Proposing a 'Bottom-Up' Approach to Protecting Academic Freedom in the Shadow of the NSL
Carole Petersen (University of Hawaii at Manoa):
This presentation begins by briefly introducing the significant written protections for academic freedom in the Joint Declaration and HK's Basic Law and explaining how this framework was undermined in the past two decades by changes to university governance structures. The enactment of the NSL presents a further challenge due to the broad and vague language of the new criminal offenses. HK academics should not wait for policies to be announced from above. Rather, academics should take a 'bottom up' approach and adopt robust policies at the faculty and departmental levels. Such policies should emphasize the importance of scholarly research (including 'knowledge exchange' as one of the criteria in research assessment exercises) and the demand for courses that include experiential teaching.
International Standards Supporting Academic Freedom
Kelley Loper (Faculty of Law, HKU)
This presentation will draw primarily on the ICCPR, which has a special place in HK's constitutional framework due to Article 39of the HK Basic Law and is also preserved in Article 4 of the NSL. HK courts will likely use the ICCPR as a guide when interpreting vague language in the NSL and thus the views of the UN Human Rights Committee (the treaty-monitoring body for the ICCPR) are particularly relevant. However, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is also referred to in Article 39 of the Basic Law and Article 4 of the NSL. Thus, the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights can offer guidance, particularly in the context of the right to education.
Comparative Perspectives: Lessons from Abroad
Robert Quinn (Scholars at Risk Network, New York University )
Threats to academic freedom are a global phenomena and this presentation will draw on lessons from jurisdictions outside Hong Kong. When faced with laws and government policies adopted in the name of "national security" university administrators may feel a need to take proactive steps to comply with the law. They have an understandable desire to protect their students and faculty from arrest and possible criminal prosecution. However, universities also need to be careful not to design policies that "protect" the university by chilling academic freedom and encouraging self-censorship.

3. Security Laws in Singapore and Hong Kong: A Comparison新加坡與香港國安法的比較研究 (25 July 2020)
Date: July 25, 2020 (Saturday)
Time: 15:00 — 17:00
Language: English
Fu Hualing
Professor of Human Rights and Responsibilities, HKU Faculty of Law
Michael Hor
Professor, HKU Faculty of Law (香港大學法律學院教授)
Kevin Tan
Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore (新加坡大學法學院客座教授)

2. Hong Kong National Security Law and Extraterritoriality港區國安法与域外管辖(18 July 2020)
Time: 15:00 - 17:00, July 18 Saturday 2020
Language: English (英文)
Venue: Zoom
This seminar explores the possible extraterritorial application of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) based on both the personality principle and protective principle. Speakers in the panel will identity the reach and potential overreach of this long-arm legislation and examine legal and diplomatic challenges that the NSL may face in implementation.
• Albert Chen 陳弘毅
Cheng Chan Lan Yue Professor in Constitutional Law, HKU Faculty of Law
Member, the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee
• China’s Long Arm Legislation(中國的長臂管轄立法)
Fu Hualing 傅華伶
Dean, Warren Chan Professor of Human Rights and Responsibilities, HKU Faculty of Law
• Protective Jurisdiction and Hong Kong’s National Security Law(保護管轄和港區國安法)
Bing Ling 淩兵
Professor of Chinese Law, The University of Sydney Law School (悉尼大学法学院教授)
• Extraterritorial Effect of the Hong Kong National Security Law(港區國安法的域外效力)
Zhaojie(James) Li李兆傑
Professor of International Law at Tsinghua University School of Law (清華大學法學院国际法教授)
• Extraterritorial Effect of the Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Some Comparisons
(港區國安法的域外效力: 一些比較)
Peter Chau周兆雋
Assistant Professor, HKU Faculty of Law (香港大學法律學院助理教授)

1. Balancing Freedom and Security: the Hong Kong National Security Law港區國安法:平衡自由與安全 (4 July 2020)
Time: 15:00 - 17:30, July 4 Saturday 2020
(7月4日 15:00-17:30)
Language: English/Putonghua/Cantonese (廣東話/普通話/英文)
While the Hong Kong National Security Law will operate within the One Country Two Systems framework, it is set to have a significant and long lasting impact on Hong Kong’s legal system. This and several forthcoming seminars organized by the Faculty of Law and its research Centres will review the new legislation and its implications. Participating experts from different backgrounds will shed light on the challenges arising from, and rule of law responses to, the new national security regime in Hong Kong. This opening seminar aims to offer an introduction to the overall structure of the legislation, to highlight issues of concern and to suggest ways forward.
• Fu Hualing 傅華伶 (Moderator主持)
Dean, Warren Chan Professor of Human Rights and Responsibilities, HKU Faculty of Law
• Richard Wong 王于漸
Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy, HKU
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, HKU (香港大學首席副校長)
• Albert Chen 陳弘毅
Cheng Chan Lan Yue Professor in Constitutional Law, HKU Faculty of Law
Member, the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee
• Han Dayuan韓大元 (via Zoom)
Professor of Law, Renmin University School of Law (中國人民大學法學院教授)
Member, the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the National People’s Congress
Standing Committee (全國人大常委會香港基本法委員會委員)
• Cora Chan陳秀慧
Associate Professor, HKU Faculty of Law (香港大學法律學院副教授)
• Simon Young楊艾文
Professor and Associate Dean, HKU Faculty of Law (香港大學法律學院教授、副院長)
• Wang Zhenmin王振民 (via Zoom)
Professor, Tsinghua University School of Law (清華大學法學院教授)
Director, Center for Hong Kong and Macao Studies of the Tsinghua University

Amanda Whitfort to Speak at Round Table 'Countering the Wildlife Trade Crisis in Hong Kong' on 13 October 2020 (American Chamber of Commerce)

Amanda Whitfort's research has identified Hong Kong as a hub for the illegal trade in endangered species. Between 2013 and 2020, customs officers in Hong Kong seized over HK$767 million in trafficked wildlife. These included over 22 metric tonnes of ivory, 70 metric tonnes of pangolin (scales and carcasses), 1,946 metric tonnes of illegal wood and 66 metric tonnes of other endangered species (mainly reptiles). Those quantities are conservatively estimated to equate to the deaths of over 3,000 elephants, 67 rhinos and 188,000 pangolins. Trafficked animals have been found to be laundered through Hong Kong’s traditional Chinese medicine industry, used as decorative arts, consumed as food and sold as pets.
     The trafficking and laundering of endangered species are serious crimes with dire global consequences. Their commission requires the full weight of legislative response from the Hong Kong government. To better deter offenders, Ms Whitfort has advocated the re-classification of wildlife crimes as organised and serious crimes under HK's Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance. She will discuss her research on wildlife offending and recommendations for law reform at a roundtable event organised by the American Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday Oct 13th 2020.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

New Issues: HKU Law's SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series (July and August 2020)

Vol. 10, No. 10: August 20, 2020


Table of Contents

Yulei Luo, University of Hong Kong 
Penghui Yin, Goethe University Frankfurt

Haochen Sun, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 

Haochen Sun, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 

Yiangos Papanastasiou, University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business 
S. Alex Yang, London Business School 
Angela Huyue Zhang, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Douglas W. Arner, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 
Emilios Avgouleas, University of Edinburgh - School of Law 
Evan Gibson, University of Hong Kong

Vol. 10, No. 9: July 28, 2020


Table of Contents

Xin He, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 

Xin He, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 

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

Ross P. Buckley, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law 
Emilios Avgouleas, University of Edinburgh - School of Law 
Douglas W. Arner, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Nobumichi Teramura, University of Sydney Law School, Adelaide Law School 
Shahla F. Ali, The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law 
Anselmo Reyes, Court of First Instance (Hong Kong)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Stephen Thomson & Eric Ip on COVID-19 Emergency Measures and the Impending Authoritarian Pandemic (J of L & Biosciences)

Stephen Thomson & Eric Ip 
Journal of Law and the Biosciences 
Published 29 September 2020
Abstract: COVID-19 has brought the world grinding to a halt. As of early August 2020, the greatest public health emergency of the century thus far has registered almost 20 million infected people and claimed over 730,000 lives across all inhabited continents, bringing public health systems to their knees, and causing shutdowns of borders and lockdowns of cities, regions, and even nations unprecedented in the modern era. Yet, as this Article demonstrates—with diverse examples drawn from across the world—there are unmistakable regressions into authoritarianism in governmental efforts to contain the virus. Despite the unprecedented nature of this challenge, there is no sound justification for systemic erosion of rights-protective democratic ideals and institutions beyond that which is strictly demanded by the exigencies of the pandemic. A Wuhan-inspired all-or-nothing approach to viral containment sets a dangerous precedent for future pandemics and disasters, with the global copycat response indicating an impending ‘pandemic’ of a different sort, that of authoritarianization. With a gratuitous toll being inflicted on democracy, civil liberties, fundamental freedoms, healthcare ethics, and human dignity, this has the potential to unleash humanitarian crises no less devastating than COVID-19 in the long run.  Click here to read the full article.

Daisy Cheung & Eric Ip on COVID-19 Lockdowns: a Public Mental Health Ethics Perspective (Asian Bioethics Review)

Asian Bioethics Review
Published in August 2020
Abstract: States all over the world have reacted to COVID-19 with quarantines of entire cities, provinces, and even nations. Previous studies and preliminary evidence from current lockdowns suggest that emergency measures protecting the public’s physical health by dislocating individuals, families, and social networks could well be causing a devastating public health crisis of mental ill-health in the months and years to come. This article is the first to take a public mental health ethics perspective in examining these lockdowns, the lodestar of which is the right to mental health, rooted in the concept of human dignity. Even the strictest lockdowns are not necessarily unethical but are prone to damage mental health disproportionately, with vulnerable and disadvantaged populations being at particular risk.  Click here to read the full article.

Stephen Thomson & Eric Ip on COVID-19 Emergency Measures Hurting Democracy Globally (American J of Public Health)

Stephen Thomson & Eric Ip
Issue 110, Volume 9, p 1356
Published online in August 2020
Abstract: As necessary as effective COVID-19 emergency measures are, governments around the world must never lose sight of the need that a proportionate balance ought to be struck between population health goals on the one hand, and “the fundamental rights and freedoms that are the lifeblood of transparent, accountable, and democratic government”, on the other.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

New Book: Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Michael Davis)

Michael C. Davis (Visiting Professor)
Columbia University Press
Published in October 2020
166 pp.
Description: How can one of the world’s most free-wheeling cities transition from a vibrant global center of culture and finance into a subject of authoritarian control? As Beijing's anxious interference has grown, the “one country, two systems” model China promised Hong Kong has slowly drained away in the years since the 1997 handover. As “one country” seemed set to gobble up “two systems," the people of Hong Kong riveted the world’s attention in 2019 by defiantly demanding the autonomy, rule of law and basic freedoms they were promised. In 2020, the new National Security Law imposed by Beijing aimed to snuff out such resistance. Will the Hong Kong so deeply held in the people’s identity and the world’s imagination be lost? Professor Michael Davis, who has taught human rights and constitutional law in this city for over three decades, and has been one of its closest observers, takes us on this constitutional journey.  To view Democracy Digest's review of this book, click here.

Holning Lau & Kelley Loper on The European Union as Promoter of Equality in Asia: Beyond Economic Tools of Influence (new book chapter)

Holning Lau & Kelley Loper
in Thomas Giegerich (ed), The European Union as Protector and Promoter of Equality (Springer 2020) pp 487-502
Published online in July 2020
Abstract: The European Union’s (EU’s) foreign policy objectives include promoting equality rights around the world. Commentary on such efforts in Asia has focused on the EU’s application of economic pressure to influence Asian states. This chapter seeks to shift the focus to a range of non-economic tools that the EU uses to promote equality rights in Asia. These “soft power” options include, but are not limited to, conducting official “human rights dialogues” with Asian leaders, providing technical assistance to government and civil society actors, developing social media campaigns, and setting positive examples through progressive law reforms in the EU. This chapter first explains why it is important for the EU to support equality rights through the exercise of soft power. It then specifically considers the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), as a source of soft power. Some Asian courts cite the ECJ as persuasive authority. The ECJ thus indirectly promotes equality rights in Asia by setting examples. It is problematic, however, that Asian courts learn from the ECJ while the ECJ and other EU institutions fail to reciprocate by learning from rights-protective Asian courts. This unidirectional flow of information reflects and reinforces neocolonial dynamics. The EU could allay concerns about neocolonialism, and perhaps increase its influence in Asia, by engaging Asian courts in a two-way dialogue on equality rights.

Monday, October 5, 2020

HKU Law Welcomes Two New Assistant Professors

HKU Law warmly welcomes two new socio-legal scholars who will explore questions concerning the Chinese judiciary, Chinese environmental policies, and Chinese investments in Africa and other places in the coming years.
Dr Benjamin Chen is an interdisciplinary legal researcher interested in regulatory and judicial institutions. He joins us from the National University of Singapore. His current research examines the scope for consequentialist reasoning in law, the diffusion of policy through the courts, and the impact of artificial intelligence on justice and its administration. Benjamin graduated with a JD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 where he also received his PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. In addition to his legal qualifications in the State of California, Benjamin holds a MA in Philosophy from University College London, a MSc in Applied Mathematics from the Ecole Polytechnique, and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. He was previously a postdoctoral research scholar and lecturer-in-law at Columbia University and served as a judicial law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has several interesting new articles on regulatory trade-offs, judicial legitimation in China, and partisan voting on the California Supreme Court pending publication in US law journals.  Benjamin will be teaching LLB Contract Law in his first year.
     Dr Ying Xia is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she completed her LLM and SJD studies. Her research seeks to weave everyday life experience into broader theories about the law, governance, and society, with a particular focus on environmental reform in China and the role of China in globalization. During her doctoral studies under the supervision of Professor William Alford, Ying conducted fieldwork in several East African countries, exploring the impact and regulatory challenge of Chinese investment in the region. Ying also holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Economics from Peking University.  Ying's research areas include environmental law, international law, and law and public policy, with a focus on experience from developing countries.  Ying will be teaching LLB Introduction to Chinese Law and other specialist Chinese law courses.

HKU Law Welcomes First Global Academic Fellow of 2020/21

Welcome to Dr Chris Szabla, the first of three Global Academic Fellows in the second round. The fellows were selected following a global competition of accomplished postdoctoral law applicants. 
     Dr Szabla researches in the areas of international, comparative, and transnational law and legal history, with a focus on borders and migration. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MA and PhD from Cornell University, where he taught history and international law and completed a dissertation examining the international law and global governance of migration from the nineteenth century to the present. At HKU he plans to extend his research on contemporary borders, including investigating the legal entanglements of immigration preclearance facilities and the use of surveillance technologies at borders. He also plans to begin a new historical research project focused on the development of transnational norms of border governance in colonial Asia, investigating the influence of local innovations and common commercial pressures. 
      Dr Szabla's research has attracted sponsorship from organisations including the Social Science Research Council, the Council for European Studies, and the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and has been recognised by the American Association of Law Libraries. His scholarship includes work focused on, inter alia, the reform of global migration governance, the place of migration in the international law of development, decolonisation in the history of global migration governance, the intellectual history of free movement, and the international law of armed conflict. He has also organised international scholarly collaborations focused on law and migration. Prior to his academic career he worked as an attorney in New York, and has studied and/or lived in Berlin, Geneva, Paris, London, and in Cairo, where he also provided legal assistance to refugees.

Friday, October 2, 2020

HKU Law Begins 2020/21 with $12 Million in New Competitive Research Funding

Congratulations to our 8 colleagues who were successful in their research funding applications this year in competitive exercises conducted by external funding bodies.

RGC Senior Research Fellowship 2020/21
Professor Douglas Arner was awarded an inaugural RGC Senior Research Fellowship by the Research Grants Council.  This fellowship in the amount of $7,798,380 enables Professor Arner to deepen his research on "Digital Finance, Financial Inclusion and Sustainability: Building Better Financial Systems" over the next five years.  This fellowship builds on the RGC Research Impact Fund award Professor Arner obtained in the 2018/19 exercise.

Public Policy Research Funding Scheme 2020/21
Ms Amanda Whitfort was awarded a Public Policy Research (PPR) grant from the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office in the amount of $462,019.  She will conduct "An Empirical Study of the Nature of Animal Abuse Cases in Hong Kong from 2013-2019" over the next 12 months.  Ms Whitfort's 2008 PPR project, "Review of animal welfare legislation in Hong Kong", produced an influential policy report that improved the welfare of pets and animals in Hong Kong by triggering impactful legislative and policy reforms.

RGC General Research Fund 2020/21
Six colleagues were awarded General Research Fund (GRF) grants by the Research Grants Council in the 2020/21 round. The GRF success rate was 40%, compared to last year's 31%. The projects cover a range of legal topics of importance to Hong Kong, China and beyond. The details of the new funded projects are as follows:
Dr Clement Chen, Accountability in Algorithm-assisted Sanctions: Public Law Scrutiny of China’s Social Credit System, $705,920

Prof Frank He Xin, The Personal Safety Protection Order against Domestic Violence in China, $924,000

Prof Lusina Ho, A Comprehensive Examination of Judicial Practice on the Chinese Trust Law, $650,064

Ms Rebecca Lee, Rebuilding Trust and Legitimacy for Charities in Hong Kong, $375,000

Dr Michael Ng, Liberating Hong Kong: The awakening of freedom of expression and the rule of law in British Hong Kong (1978-1997), $591,400

Dr Marco Wan, The Construction of Sexual Minority Identities in Legal and Political Discourse in Hong Kong, $585,080

Cast your Vote for the Online People’s Choice Award of the U21 3MT Competition 2020 by 5 Oct 2020

First developed by the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience within three minutes. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) held its internal 3MT Competition successfully in June 2020 and is now participating in the Universitas 21 (U21) Virtual 3MT Competition, where video entries rather than live presentations will be judged. 
    Below are the details of the HKU representative in the U21 3MT Competition 2020: 
Name: Ms Jane Richards 
Degree Registered: PhD 
Faculty: Faculty of Law 
Presentation Title: Inclusion of Mental Disability in the Criminal Justice System 
Primary Supervisor: Professor Simon Young 
Colleagues and students are invited to view all the 18 video entries and vote for the People’s Choice Award at <> by Monday, 5 October 2020 (UK time). For enquiries, please contact the Graduate School Office (Tel: 2857 3470; Email:

Simon Young on Teaching Evidence Law in Hong Kong after 1997 (new book chapter)

"Teaching Evidence Law in Hong Kong after 1997"
Simon N. M. Young
in Yvonne Daly, Jeremy Gans & PJ Schwikkard (eds), Teaching Evidence Law: Contemporary Trends and Innovations (Routledge, 2021), Chapter 10, pp. 122-132
Introduction: Hong Kong was a British colony for one hundred and fifty-five years before it was returned to China in 1997 under a constitutional arrangement known as "one country, two systems".  A new apex court, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), was established in Hong Kong after the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council in London.  The previous common law legal system was preserved but not frozen.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights remained implemented, almost verbatim, by local legislation as a matter of constitutional imperative.  The constitutional instrument, known as the Basic Law, guaranteed that courts could continue to "refer to precedents of other common law jurisdictions" (Article 84), judges could "be recruited from other common law jurisdictions" (Article 92), and "judges from other common law jurisdictions" could be invited to sit on the CFA (Article 82).   Indeed, many distinguished senior judges from the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, New Zealand and recently Canada have been appointed non-permanent members of the CFA, sitting in more than 90 per cent of the cases (Young, and Da Roza, 2014, p. 259). Rules for "lawyers from outside Hong Kong to work and practise" in Hong Kong (Article 94( were maintained and extended.  Many prominent English silks have been admitted ad hoc as leading counsel on important cases requiring their expertise. 
    It was to this unique legal environment I migrated from Canada in 2001 to teach Criminal Law and Evidence Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).  At first, I co-taught Evidence at the undergraduate level, but in 2010, I became the sole teacher of a course in the two year Juris Doctor (JD) programme, eventually leaving undergraduate teaching.  In teaching these courses, Hong Kong was like a patch of newly fallen snow.  No student textbooks or casebooks on Hong Kong Evidence Law had been published.  My Hong Kong Evidence Casebook, published in 2004, was a first.  Previous teaching materials were based almost entirely on English evidence cases and little attention was paid to the impact of human rights law (even though our Hong Kong Bill of Rights (HKBOR) had already been in force for a decade). Four years after the handover, the CFA had already shown its preparedness to depart from English authorities.
    In 2001, I knew little of Evidence Law teaching other than what I had absorbed from my LLB course at the University of Toronto, which I very much enjoyed.  I knew more about fact-finding, having articled with appellate criminal lawyers at the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario, before becoming one after a stint as a trial prosecutor in Hamilton, Ontario.  With this background, my footprint on HKU teaching was sure to reflect the two aspects of comparative law and legal practice.  My knowledge of Hong Kong legal practice grew steadily, from serving as a member of law reform sub-committees on reforming criminal hearsay and the rule against double jeopardy, practicing as a barrister from 2008 and running a continuing legal education programme for Hong Kong prosecutors from 2011 to 2017 (Young 2012 b; Young 2017).  Even in these realms comparative law was critical. 
    In this chapter, I discuss my experience of using comparative law materials and incorporating experiences from legal practice to enrich Evidence Law teaching.  As most people now know, the implementation of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong has not been without its challenges.  In the conclusion, I reflect upon whether the civil unrest of 2019, sparked by a proposed bill enabling ad hoc extradition of Hong Kong residents to Mainland China and other places, has implications for the teaching of Evidence in Hong Kong...