Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
This talk will address matters relating to the rule of law and free speech in Hong Kong. It will briefly review the events, which occurred between late 2015 and the middle of 2016, concerning five booksellers connected to a bookstore in the city. These events raised concerns about the principle of “one country, two systems” in accordance with which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was established and under which it operates. The talk will examine some of the legal issues arising under that principle and brought into focus by the booksellers’ case such as: the extent to which Mainland law applies in Hong Kong; fundamental freedoms of residents and others in Hong Kong, including freedom of association and freedom of speech; cross-border law enforcement; dual nationality of Chinese nationals in Hong Kong; and the interface between the two legal systems. The talk will offer a reflection on the state of the rule of law in Hong Kong as things stand this year, which marks the 20th anniversary of the UK’s transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the PRC.