As an English-speaking enclave on the doorstep of China firmly entrenched in the common law system, richly endowed with infrastructure for tertiary education, and blessed with the fine tradition of academic freedom, Hong Kong is the natural hub for free-flowing ideas and academic discourse within Asia and between China and the western world. Being the oldest law school in the territory and having an extensive network with leading law schools in Mainland China, Taiwan, the Asian region and the western world, the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong is strategically positioned to be an international centre of excellence in the study of the legal system and the development of the rule of law in China.
Chinese legal studies form a strategic area of research development at the University of Hong Kong. In line with that vision, the Faculty of Law has developed a strong academic and research programme in Chinese Law. With the constitutional principle of ‘one country, two systems’, the study and research of Chinese law in Hong Kong carry special significance. It also makes Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong the best place to research and develop comparative law with a focus on Chinese law.
Since the adoption of the economic reform programme by China in 1978, great changes have taken place. Profound changes in China require the construction of an entirely new legal system. During that process, transplantation of some foreign law is essential. The process is far from completed, and the Faculty of Law has a unique role and mission to contribute to that process.
For over a decade, the Faculty has been extremely active in research and teaching in the domain of Chinese law. It houses probably the largest number of Chinese law experts within a Faculty in the world except Mainland China and Taiwan. With about 15 active researchers and academics in this field, our expertise covers nearly every major aspect of Chinese law.
To realize the mission of engaging in innovative, high-impact and leading-edge research within and across disciplines; serving as a focal point of intellectual and academic endeavour in Hong Kong, China and Asia; acting as a gateway and forum for scholarship with the rest of the world; meeting the emerging needs and challenges in the area of Chinese legal studies, and continuing to contribute to the project of China’s economic and legal modernization, the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong established the Centre for Chinese Law in April 2009. The Centre is managed by the Director, Deputy Director and the Management Committee and is advised by the Advisory Board.
Constitution of the Centre for Chinese Law (CCL)
Objectives of the Centre
CCL’s objectives include the following:
(a) To undertake and promote research on Chinese Law.
(b) To undertake the teaching of Chinese law both at the undergraduate level and at postgraduate level within the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong and develop and promote innovative teaching methods and teaching materials.
(c) To host conferences to disseminate the results of research undertaken under the auspices of the Centre or in other programmes associated with the Centre.
(d) To develop and promote links with academics within the University of Hong Kong and in other universities in Hong Kong, mainland China and other countries who specialize in Chinese law.
(e) To establish and promote links with similar bodies, internationally and regionally, and provide a focal point in Hong Kong for scholars in Chinese law.
(f) To attract students of the highest calibre to the graduate programme and provide opportunities for their involvement in Chinese law research projects.
There shall be a Director of CCL. The Director shall be a teacher nominated from within the Faculty of Law and appointed by the Vice-Chancellor in accordance with Statute XXV.1, on the recommendation of the Senate and the nomination by the Dean for a term of two years, renewable only once unless there are exceptional circumstances that would justify a third term of two years or less. The Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Centre.
The Deputy Directors shall be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor in accordance with Statute XXV.1 on the recommendation of the Senate, on the nomination by the Dean and the recommendation of the Director. The number of Deputy Directors may vary for each term. Deputy Directors shall individually or collectively take on duties and responsibilities assigned to them by the Director. Each Deputy Director’s term of office shall run concurrently with that of the Director.
Powers and duties of members of the Committee
(a) To help the Director decide on the activities, programmes and priorities of the Centre.
(b) To advise the Faculty on any matter relating to the Centre which the Faculty Board refers to it or on which the Committee considers it appropriate to advise the Faculty Board.
(c) To promote, individually and collectively, the holding of seminars, conferences, the obtaining of outside funding, the conduct of research and teaching and the establishment of programmes within the Centre’s areas of activity.
(d) To advise the Director on the appointment of members of the Advisory Board, Fellows, Visiting Professors, Visiting Scholars, Postgraduate Student Fellows, Undergraduate Student Fellows, Research Fellows, Research Assistants, Secretaries, and other positions.
(e) To co-opt such additional members as the Committee considers appropriate.
(f) To delegate to the Director any of these powers and the performance of any of these duties.
(a) The Director (Chairman)
(b) Ex-officio members:
i. Dean of the Faculty of Law
ii. Associate Dean for China Affairs
iii. Associate Dean for Research
iv. Chairperson of the Advisory Board
(c) Additional member appointed by the Dean on the Recommendation of the Director.
(d) Additional members co-opted by the Committee.
Members of the Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Director taking into account the advice of the Management Committee. The Advisory Board is to advise and to provide consultation to the Director with respect to the direction of the Centre’s activities, its projects and programmes and to enhance the status of the Centre externally and internationally. An internationally recognised academic shall be appointed as Chairman of the Advisory Board.
Membership is open to all Faculty members and academic members of the University who are interested in Chinese law. Academic members are the key players of the Centre in terms of research and teaching on Chinese law. At present, there are around 12 academic members with specialized interest in Chinese law within the Faculty.
Fellow shall be appointed by the Director taking into account the advice of the Management Committee. Fellows will work closely with the academic members of the Centre on research projects and will promote the Centre externally.