Benny Tai 戴耀廷

The Department of Law

Associate Professor
LL.B. (HK), P.C.LL (HK), LL.M. (Lond)


Benny Y. T. TAI was born and educated in Hong Kong. He graduated at the University of Hong Kong and got his LL.B. in 1986 and P.C.LL in 1987. He then joined the Department of Law of the Citypolytechnic of Hong Kong as an assistant lecturer. In 1989, he went to London to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science and got his LL.M. (major in public law) in 1990. In 1991, he joined the Department of Law of the University of Hong Kong as a lecturer/assistant professor and is now an associate professor in Law at the University of Hong Kong. He specializes in constitutional law, administrative law, human rights law and law and religion. He was the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong from 2000 to 2008.
He is most known for initiating the Occupy Central with Love and Peace campaign, a movement to exert pressure on the Chinese authorities to honour the promise of allowing Hong Kong people to elect their Chief Executive in 2017 through universal and equal suffrage. The movement has led to nonviolent occupations, civil disobedience, and demonstrations to combat Beijing’s imposed policies towards the territory. The Occupy Central movement took large part in supporting the Umbrella Movement in late September to early December 2014 in Hong Kong. 

His major publications include: “The advent of substantive legitimate expectations in Hong Kong: two competing visions” [2002] Public Law 688-702; “Developing an Index of the Rule of Law: Sharing the Experience of Hong Kong” (2007) 2 Asian Journal of Comparative Law89-109; “Basic Law, Basic Politics: The Constitutional Game of Hong Kong” (2007) 37 HKLJ 503-578; Constitutionalism and China: From Modernization and Cultural Change to see the Development of Constitutionalism in China (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011) (in Chinese); “Rule of Law and Civil Disobedience” in Michael H.K. Ng and John D. Wong eds., Civil Unrest and Governance in Hong Kong: Law and Order from Historical and Cultural perspectives (NY, London: Routledge, 2017); “From past to future Hong Kong’s democratic movement,” in Luke Cooper and Wai-Man Lam (eds.) Citizenship, Identity and Social Movements in the New Hong Kong(Routledge, 2018); “The Ombudsman and the Rule of Law,” in M.L.M. Hertogh and Richard Kirkham (eds.) Research Handbook on the Ombudsman (Edward Elgar, 2018) (forthcoming); “Hong Kong No More: From Semi-democracy to Semi-Authoritarianism” (2018) Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations. (forthcoming).His current research projects include rule of law and legal culture, political legitimacy and constitutional development, governance and law, law and religion.

Research Areas

  • Law and Religion
  • Public Law