Judicial Studies

Affiliated Staff

Prof David Law


Dr Alex Schwartz


The Language and Ideology of Constitutions: A Computational Linguistics Analysis
Principal Investigator: David Law
Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund


Courts and Democracies in Asia
Principal Investigator: Po Jen Yap
Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund


Constitutionalism in Context
Principal Investigator: David Law
Project Period: 15/03/2017 – 31/12/2018
Funding Source: Global Partnership Seed Fund


Constitutional Dialogue in Common Law Asia

Principal Investigator: Yap Po Jen

Project Period: 01/07/2014 – 30/06/2017

Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund


The First Decade of Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal

Principal Investigator: Simon NM Young

Co-Investigator: Yash Ghai

Research Assistant: Antonio Da Roza

Project Period: January 2007 – December 2009

Funding Source: Research Grants Council CERG 2006/2007

Before 1 July 1997, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (PC) in England served as Hong Kong’s highest court in all legal disputes. After the resumption of sovereignty by China, Hong Kong established a Court of Final Appeal (CFA) to replace the PC in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution. Since 1997, as provided for in the Basic Law, distinguished judges from England, Australia and New Zealand have routinely joined local judiciary in the CFA’s decision-making processes. The CFA is the most independent final appeal court in China and the only one mandated to maintain and develop the common law. From 1997 to 2005, the CFA delivered close to 300 separate decisions, compared with the 68 decisions handed down by the PC in the eight years prior to the handover. The CFA jurisprudence has been of great social, economic, and political importance to Hong Kong. The proposed research aims to review the first decade of the CFA in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Quantitative data on the operation of the CFA and its decided cases will be collected and compared with similar data in respect of the last decade of appeals to the PC. Comparative analysis will also be done with the Macao Court of Final Appeal since its creation in 1999 and supreme courts from other countries. From the quantitative data, comparative analysis, and a close examination of all the CFA judgments, the goal of the research is to gain original and substantial knowledge of how the CFA has developed the law in Hong Kong since 1997.


Occasional Papers

No 28/16: Eric Cheung, October 2016

The Dichotomy Between Foresight and Intention in Joint Enterprise Murder: Should Our Top Court Depart from Chan Wing Siu and Sze Kwan Lung?



No 22/13: Charles Banner, January 2013

Judicial Appointments in the Senior Courts – A Perspective from the United Kingdom



No 20/11: Aung Htoo, October 2011

Seeking Judicial Power: With a Special Focus on Burma’s Judiciary


Conference and Seminar Papers

Conference: The Chinese Judge and International and Comparative Law 2-3 Nov 2007 (Detail)

  • Presentation by Jean-Yves de Cara, Professor, Paris Descartes University, Head of the Department of Law and Political Sciences [PDF]
  • Presentation by Zhou Xiang, Judge, Supreme People’s Court of People’s Republic of China [PDF Chinese]
  • Presentation by Wu Zhaoxiang, Judge, Supreme People’s Court of People’s Republic of China [PDF Chinese]
  • Presentation by Xi Xiangyang, Judge, Supreme People’s Court of People’s Republic of China [PDF Chinese]
  • Presentation by Zhao Xiuwen, Professor, Renmin University School of Law, China
    [PDF Chinese] [PDF English]
  • Presentation by Nagangom Junior Luwang, Partner, Corporate Law Group New Delhi [PDF]