UCL Faculty of Laws


A Storm of Unprecedented Ferocity: Recent Constitutional Controversies in Hong Kong

21 February 2018, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Image of Hong Kong high rises

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


UCL Galton LT, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB

Speaker: Professor Johannes M M Chan (Professor of Law and former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong)
Chair: Professor John Lowry (UCL Laws)

About the lecture:

When Justice Bokhary retired from the Court of Final Appeal in 2012, he predicted that a storm of unprecedented ferocity was gathering.  In the last two years, Hong Kong has witnessed a series of major constitutional challenges.  Six legislators who were duly elected in a general election were disqualified from taking the office; the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress made a binding interpretation of the Basic Law in the course of a judicial hearing on issues that the court has to decide; the Government proposed to carve out a section of Hong Kong where Chinese law will apply to the exclusion of Hong Kong's laws and jurisdiction; young demonstrators were convicted and given a heavy jail sentence, only to be reversed recently by the Court of Final Appeal.  The court is attacked left, right and centre.  Was Justice Bokhary right in his prediction?  What is the prospect of the rule of law and One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong?  In this lecture, Professor Chan will share his views on these issues. 

About the speaker:

Professor Johannes M M Chan is Professor of Law and former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (2002-2014), being the longest serving Dean of the Faculty.  He was also a visiting professor to a number of universities in Europe and Asia, including being the BOK Visiting International Professor of Penn Law School, University of Pennsylvania, Herbert Smith Freehills Visiting Professor of Cambridge University, and a visiting fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University. In recognition of his distinguished contribution to legal development through both advocacy in courts and legal research and publications, he was honoured by the Chief Justice in 2003 by his appointment as the first (and so far the only) Honorary Senior Counsel in Hong Kong. 

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