Academic Staff

Professor Johannes M M Chan SC (Hon) 陳文敏

Dean of the Faculty
Barrister-at-law

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PROFESSOR JOHANNES M M CHAN ( 陳文敏 ) is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Law of The University of Hong Kong since 2002. He specializes in human rights, constitutional and administrative law, and has published widely in these fields. His recent books include Law of the Hong Kong Constitution (with C L Lim, 2011), Reflections at the Academia (翰林隨筆: 在公義路上的反思),General Principles of Hong Kong Law (香港法概論)(with Albert Chen & Others, 2nd ed, 2009), Hong Kong Human Rights Bibliography (2006); Hong Kong’s Constitutional Debates (with Lison Harris, 2005); and Immigration Law and Policy in Hong Kong: An Inter-Disciplinary Study (with Bart Rwezaura, 2004), He is also one of the founding editors of Hong Kong Public Law Reports and an editor of Hong Kong Law Reports and Digest and Hong Kong Cases.

Professor Chan was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1982. He has appeared as counsel in many leading human rights, constitutional law cases, and was appointed the first Honorary Senior Counsel in Hong Kong in 2003. Professor Chan has served on many government/public and professional bodies, including the Bar Council, the Consumer Council, the Broadcasting Authority, the Press Council, the Administrative Appeals Board, the Municipal Services Appeals Board, Law Reform Sub-Committee on Privacy, Hong Kong Red Cross, and the Central Policy Unit (Governor’s Think Tank). Professor Chan has been the chair of the Bar Constitutional Law and Human Rights Sub-Committee and the chair of Consumer Legal Action Fund. He is also a regular commentator of current social issues, and has worked with many regional and international non-governmental organizstions on human rights matters.

In 1987, he was elected for the Best Teaching Award. In 1995, he was selected as one of the Ten Young Outstanding Persons in Hong Kong. In 1997, he received the Badge of Honour from the British Red Cross Society. In 1999, he was awarded the Human Rights Press Award.

Academic and Publication

He has published widely in both local and international journals and is a regular speaker in international or regional conferences. His books include: Law of the Hong Kong Constitution (2011); Reflections at the Academia (翰林隨筆) (2010); 3 Hong Kong Human Rights Bibliography (2006); Insights into Law and Politics (法政敏言) (2006); Hong Kong Constitutional Debates (with Lison Harris)(2005); Immigration Law in Hong Kong: An Interdiciplinary Study (with Bart Rwezaura) (2004); On the Road to Justice (走在公義路上)(2000); Hong Kong's Constitutional Debate : Conflict over Interpretation (with Yash Ghai and Fu Hualing, 2000); General Principles of Hong Kong Law (with Albert Chen & others, 1999, 2009), Media Law and Practice (with Kenneth Leung, 1995), The Hong Kong Bill of Rights: Two Years Before 1997 (with George Edwards, 1995), The Hong Kong Bill of Rights: A Comparative Approach (with Yash Ghai, 1993), Public Law and Human Rights: A Hong Kong Sourcebook (with Andrew Byrnes, 1993), Human Rights in Hong Kong (1990); Human Rights and the Rule of Law (with Albert Chen, 1987). He is also the founding editor of the Hong Kong Public Law Reports, an editor of Hong Kong Cases and Hong Kong Law Reports and Digests, and one of the founding editors of the Bill of Rights Bulletin. For a full list of his publications, see publications.

International Practice

Prof Chan worked at the secretariat of the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, in 1989, and was an assistant editor to the European Human Rights Reports (1990-1991). He has acted as a trial observer for international organizations in various countries to observe and report on whether such trials have complied with international standards of fair trial. He has appeared before various United Nations Treaty Bodies to brief on local human rights concern. In 1993, he was appointed to the Committee of Experts by the International Committee of Red Cross, Geneva, to draft and settle an authentic version of the ICRC Guides to the Geneva Convention and Protocol on the Law of War that was acceptable to both the PRC and Taiwan. He has also assisted various international human rights organizations in preparing their reports on Hong Kong to various United Nations' bodies. He was the President of the Board of Governors, Asian Law Institute (2007-08), an institution comprising 40 leading law schools in Asia Pacific, holds honorary academic positions in various institutions in Mainland China, and has been a visiting professor to many universities in Europe and Asia. 

Public Services and Awards

Professor Chan has served on many government/public and professional bodies, including the Bar Council, the Consumer Council, the Broadcasting Authority, the Press Council, the Administrative Appeals Board, the Municipal Services Appeals Board, Law Reform Sub-Committee on Privacy, Hong Kong Red Cross, and the Central Policy Unit (Governor's Think Tank).  He was the chair of the Bar Constitutional Law and Human Rights Sub-Committee and chair of Consumer Legal Action Fund of the Consumer Council.  He is also a regular commentator of current social issues and the author of a weekly column in Ming Pao, a leading Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong, since the year 2003.  He served on the Civic Commission on Democratic Reform established by the Hon Ms Anson Chan, former Chief Secretary, on democratization in Hong Kong. In 1995, he was elected one of the Ten Young Outstanding Persons in Hong Kong. In 1999, he received the Human Rights Press Award.  He has given numerous public talks and lectures on a wide varieties of topics.