Passing of Bernard Downey, founding teacher of the Faculty of Law

Bernard Downey, one of the three founding members of the Faculty of Law at The University of Hong Kong, passed away peacefully in Britain at the age of 82. 

Downey taught law at the London School of Economics from 1958 until 1966.  He joined HKU together with the founding dean, Professor Dafydd Evans, and Professor John Rear in 1969 to become the first members of what was to become the Faculty of Law. At an interview with local press, Downey described the beginnings of the Law Schools as “an opportunity to start fresh - nothing was holding us back”. 

Downey left the Law School in 1980 to become a District Judge, a position from which he retired in 1994.  In the year he left, he made a donation to fund the award of two prizes. With an additional funding from alumni from the Class of 1972, the prizes were transformed into scholarships which have been awarded till today.

Generations of former students from his years at the Law School, who regarded him with great respect, were very saddened to hear of his passing.  He will always be fondly remembered.

Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong