The University of Hong Kong

Posts by authors affiliated with The University of Hong Kong

17 February 2023

Incremental but Significant

On 6 February 2023, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal ruled in favor of two transgender applicants seeking to change the gender marker on their identification cards. The Court held that the Hong Kong government’s policy unconstitutionally infringed upon their right to privacy. This is doctrinally and strategically consistent with the Court’s LGBTQ jurisprudence, which proceeds incrementally and is highly attuned to the (ever-shrinking) political space in which Hong Kong courts operate.

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23 August 2022

From Intellectual Poker to Open Debate

Tarunabh Khaitan’s editorial in the International Journal of Constitutional Law presents insightful remarks about the risk that scholactivism may fail both as scholarship and as activism. I largely share Khaitan’s discomfort with scholactivism, which confuses two different goals: advancing human knowledge and advancing a political goal. However, I wonder whether the instrumentalist argument that Khaitan develops is really the decisive one. In this blog, I present some doubts about this instrumentalist argument before suggesting another line of argument, based on the intrinsic nature of academic research.

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04 April 2022

Hong Kong Surveillance Law

though 9/11 did not immediately result in a dramatic expansion of the surveillance state in Hong Kong as was often seen in the west, twenty years later a similar process is now well underway. Though Hong Kong’s surveillance and privacy laws have long been relatively deferential to the needs of law enforcement, the dramatic legal changes occasioned by the introduction of a new ‘national security law’ in 2020 suggest that the population will be under increasing forms of surveillance in the coming years.

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02 June 2021

The Making and Unmaking of a Constitutional Crisis in Samoa

Politics in the Pacific island state of Samoa rarely attract international attention. Last week, however, Samoa grabbed global headlines as two leaders each claimed the Prime Ministership after a closely contested election. The constitutional issues surrounding this crises are complex and growing in number by the day.

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