Dean's Message

Dean of the Faculty
Professor Michael Hor

What is the true measure of a Law School? In a world obsessed with lists and ratings, one could take a look at the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings for 2014 and notice that HKU Law took an outstanding 1st position for Asia  and a very creditable 18th spot worldwide. But at HKU Law we are our sternest critic. Why, because we care much more about the substance of what we do. That is why we spare no effort to provide the best learning environment that our resources can afford. From choosing teachers, to outfitting classrooms, to designing the curriculum, we are continually looking for ways to fashion the kind of educational experience all of our students deserve. That is why we are always finding ways and means to support and inspire our inspired and inspiring academic Faculty to research and publish on questions and problems which are gripping Hong Kong, China, Asia and the world. That is why we carefully pick a team of highly motivated administrators who drive our academic mission. Can we improve? Of course, and we do not rest until we have found a way to upgrade ourselves.

In our fast-moving, shrinking world of email, facebook, twitter and internet, connectedness is everything. Established in 1969, HKU Law has, for the past 45 years, been sending out a steady stream of alumni to the legal profession, government legal offices, the judiciary and to an entire spectrum of extra-legal careers, where they have flourished professionally to great distinction. At the same time we have forged strong faculty links and cooperation with the leading institutions in China and Asia, in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and the common law world. Can we do better? Of course, and we are committed to both deepening existing collaboration and exploring new ties around the world. No jurisdiction is beyond our vision.

In HKU Law, we passionately believe in our academic mission of education and research which is both useful to society, and nurturing of the finest attributes of the human spirit. Sapienta et Virtus, the University Motto, succinctly expresses what we are about – the advancement of knowledge and understanding, and the cultivation of such virtues as selflessness, integrity and the belief in the inherent dignity of all humankind everywhere.

We consider it our ultimate mission to nurture and impart the best in Hong Kong society, with its unwavering commitment to human rights and to the welfare of its phenomenal economy, and its legal system, underpinned by the rule of law and the independence and impartiality of its legal institutions. We consider it our responsibility to provide and maintain a liberal forum for the study and discussion of conflicting views on matters of public importance, and to deepen our engagement with China by being a different yet constructive presence in Chinese  society.

So what is the true measure of a law school? In our view it is an institution with a focus on substance, a realistic assessment of itself and the daring to dream to be better than what it is now. How do we score? As all law teachers worth their salt will tell their students, that is the kind of question which invites you to decide for yourself. Whether you are a prospective student, teacher or donor, a student, an alumnus, a researcher, a member of the legal or academic fraternity, or just someone with an interest in HKU Law, we invite you to find out more about us, from this website or otherwise. We treasure your interest and hope that if you are not already associated with us, you will sometime in the future be.