Prof. Raymond Wacks

Emeritus Professor


Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong where he was Head of the Department of Law from 1986 to 1993. Educated at the University of the Witwatersrand, the London School of Economics, and University College, Oxford, his major areas of interest are legal theory, and human rights, in particular the protection of privacy (the subject of his doctoral thesis) on which he is a leading international authority. In March 1997 he was awarded a Higher Doctorate in Law (LLD) by the University of London for his publications in law and legal theory.

In addition to publishing articles and books on these subjects, he has edited a number of collections of essays on various aspects of Hong Kong law, including Civil Liberties in Hong Kong , The Future of the Law in Hong Kong , The Law in Hong Kong 1969-1989, and Human Rights in Hong Kong (all published by Oxford University Press) and Hong Kong, China, and 1997: Essays in Legal Theory published by Hong Kong University Press.

Professor Wacks’ major works in the field of privacy are The Protection of Privacy (the first book on the subject in England) published in 1980 by Sweet & Maxwell,Personal Information: Privacy and the Law, published in 1989 by Clarendon Press, Oxford, Privacy, a two-volume collection of essays published in 1993 by Dartmouth, London and New York University Press, Privacy and Press Freedom published by Blackstone Press, London in 1995. Professor Wacks, is a former chairman of the subcommittee of the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong that examined several aspects of this subject, and a member of the Personal Data (Privacy) Advisory Committee.
His well-known book, Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory (3rd edn, OUP, 2012) is used by students throughout the common law world.

His most recent work is Privacy and Media Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Professor Wacks has also published three titles for the popular Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series: Philosophy of Law (2nd edn, 2014); Law (2008); and Privacy (2010). His books have been translated into numerous languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek, Thai, and Georgian.

He has published a number of articles on aspects of Hong Kong’s future legal system, including questions raised by the Basic Law, especially the judicial function and the problems of legal continuity after 1997. He was Editor of the Hong Kong Law Journal and presented the RTHK television and radio programme The Week in Politics.

He took early retirement in 2001, and now lives in Tuscany.