The Faculty of Law – Hong Kong’s oldest law school – consistently ranks amongst the best law faculties in the world (e.g. No. 25 in Law the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020). Housed in its new 11-storey tower building, the Faculty is highly regarded for providing quality legal education and life-long learning opportunities. Many of its postgraduates have gone on to become accomplished academics, partners in law firms, government officials and judges. The Faculty is organised into two departments, namely the Department of Law and the Department of Professional Legal Education.
Major Research Areas
Through careful planning in curriculum design and recruitment of distinguished scholars from all over the world, the Faculty has six research strengths, as follows:
- Public Law and Human Rights
- Comparative Chinese Law
- Commercial, Corporate and Financial Law
- Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law
- WTO and International Economic Law
- Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
(1) Public Law and Human Rights
This is one of the strongest areas of the Faculty. Staff members are actively engaged in contemporary debates on comparative constitutional law, human rights, rule of law and gender issues, and significant research on these areas has been produced. Since 1999, we have offered a pioneering regional Master of Laws (LLM) in Human Rights, which is the only human rights law programme in Asia with a uniquely Asian focus. Graduates of this programme include judges, lawyers and advocates, government lawyers and prosecutors, academics and human rights activists in over 17 countries in Asia and other parts of the world. Our public law research is directed within our Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL). Our scholars have won various research prizes and awards. Excellent scholarship on human rights is published in the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, a Scopus-indexed journal edited within CCPL and published by Brill.
(2) Comparative Chinese Law
The Faculty, especially within its Centre for Chinese Law, has the widest range of expertise in Chinese Law outside Mainland China. Our expertise ranges from criminal law, public law, securities regulation and finance, and intellectual property, to cross-border issues and legal theory and jurisprudence. Coupled with our strength in common law, we offer comparative law research and teaching on civil law and common law. Because of the unique position of Hong Kong and our Faculty, our research on comparative Chinese law has been frequently cited in international journals, and our LLM in Chinese Law programme has been able to attract students from all over the world who are interested in China’s legal development and its interface with the Western world. Our colleagues are involved in the debates over legal reform in Mainland China.
(3) Commercial, Corporate and Financial Law
The Faculty has a wealth of expertise in the commercial law area, including core common law subjects such as contract, tort, property, equity, tax, credit and security, mergers and acquisitions, listing, banking, finance, commercial drafting, as well as FinTech, RegTech, private international law and international trade and economic law. This is a very diversified area but a most important one for legal education. Our Asian Institute of International Financial Law has been a focal point of our research on corporate and financial law, and has brought to Hong Kong many distinguished scholars for many highly successful public lectures and academic conferences.
(4) Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law
This is an area of significance in the Faculty. In terms of information technology law, the Law and Technology Centre has generated considerable research output and, with major funding from the Hong Kong Government, developed the very successful Community Legal Information Centre project, which promulgates legal knowledge to the general public. The Centre also oversees the Hong Kong Legal Information Institute, which provides the public with free access to one of the best electronic databases on Hong Kong legal materials and thereby contributes to better access to the law. Our intellectual property scholars conduct cutting-edge research in the area of bio-medical development and pharmaceutical products, as well as domain name disputes and policy research.
(5) WTO and International Economic Law
Trade and international economic law is an established area in the Faculty. The East Asian International Economic Law (EAIEL) programme is the focal point of training and research in this area. Our colleagues are actively contributing to the current debates on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, China’s new free trade agreements, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and WTO trade disputes. The Visiting Fellow scheme of the EAIEL programme also brings in regional and international experts in the area.
(6) Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
The Faculty is also actively developing the interdisciplinary area of arbitration and dispute resolution, which incorporates law, business, government, psychology, economics, anthropology, and education. We have expertise from both the Anglo-American and Mainland China backgrounds in dispute resolution, and the aim is to create a productive dialogue between rigorous research and scholarship and the competitive edge of practice in this area of great potential. As negotiation and dispute resolution is also tied to culture and values, we are developing a major dispute resolution and negotiation programme in this part of the world where there is a distinct cultural approach to such issues.
The Faculty is also strengthening two new interdisciplinary areas: (1) Medical Legal Ethics, which is organised within our joint Centre for Medical Ethics and Law with the Faculty of Medicine, and (2) Law and the Humanities, an area of strategic importance in HKU.
For assistance in locating potential supervisors, please consult the HKU Legal Scholarship Blog (http://researchblog.law.hku.hk/).