COMPARATIVE LAW: Research and Teaching at CUHK LAW

Comparative law is an important discipline in the globalizing world. CUHK LAW has developed strong expertise in comparative law. Our professors are dedicated to this area to advance legal knowledge, to facilitate the practical use of comparative law in judicial work and legal reform at both domestic and international level, and to produce globally minded law graduates.


Comparative law research at CUHK LAW is led by the Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law (CCTL) under the executive directorship of Professor Anatole Boute. The Centre supports cutting-edge and innovative research in any areas of comparative and transnational law. Amongst other things, CUHK LAW’s comparative law research includes:

The Comparative Constitutional Law Research Forum aims to engage with global scholarship in this area and host scholars around the world. In January 2019, CUHK LAW organized with great success the Towering Judges Conference in the CUHK Graduate Law Centre. The conference brought together a diverse group of scholars to discuss the phenomenon of towering judges across jurisdictions from a comparative perspective. In March 2019, CUHK LAW hosted the Symposium on Global Constitutionalism: Asia-Pacific Perspectives. Scholars discussed how polities in the Asia-Pacific region respond to the global spread of ideas and institutions of constitutionalism. The Symposium proceeds will be published in the journal Global Constitutionalism by Cambridge University Press.

CUHK LAW professors have extensively published in this area with leading law journals and presses. CUHK LAW Professor Mara Malagodi has recently co-edited the proceeds of a symposium on New Dominion Constitutionalism for the International Journal of Constitutional Law (2019). In this collection, she authored the article on Pakistan, and co-wrote with her co-editors Professors McDonagh and Poole the introduction to the symposium, and a framework article. CUHK LAW Professor Rehan Abeyratne has contributed the article on Uncertain sovereignty: Ceylon as a Dominion 1948-1972 to the collection. In addition, Professor Michael Ramsden and Professor Stuart Hargreaves published Hong Kong Basic Law Handbook (2019). Recent important articles related to this area published by CUHK LAW Professors also include Surabhi Chopra, Judging the Troops: Exceptional Security Measures and Judicial Impact in India in Law and Social Inquiry (2019); Ryan Mitchell, Hegemony in a Multipolar World Order: Global Constitutionalism and the Großraum in Jus Cogens (2019); Rehan Abeyratne, Ordinary Wrongs as Constitutional Rights: The Public Law Model of Torts in South Asia in the Texas International Law Journal (2018).  CUHK LAW Professor Bui Ngoc Son has authored the monograph Constitutional Change in the Contemporary Socialist World (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2020). He also co-edited respectively with NUS Professors Kevin Tan and Jaclyn Neo two volumes Constitutional Foundings in Southeast Asia (Hart, 2019) and Pluralist Constitutions in Southeast Asia (Hart, 2019), and with SMU Professor Maartje de Visser the special issue on Contemporary Constitution-Making in Asia-Pacific for the Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (OUP, 2019).

CUHK LAW Professors have engaged with fundamental theoretical issues on comparative legal systems and global legal development. Professor Lutz-Christian Wolff has respectively addressed the issues of the choice of legal systems in comparative law work and AI’s comparative abilities in two recent articles Comparing Chinese law … but, with which legal systems?, and Artificial Intelligence ante portas: The End of Comparative Law? in the Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (OUP 2018 and 2019). CUHK LAW Professor David C. Donald, who serves as the book review editor for the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (CUP), is exploring the legal system network effects on global legal development. CUHK LAW Professor Samuli Seppänen is conducting the project Chinese Legal Thought and the World: Reversing the Global Flow of Knowledge funded by the Hong Kong SAR Research Grant Council, and has authored, among others, the article After Difference: A Meta-comparative Study of Chinese Encounters with Foreign Comparative Law forthcoming in the American Journal of Comparative Law.

CUHK LAW Professors have explored a range of substantive issues in comparative contract law, comparative air law, comparative corporate law, comparative competition law, comparative environmental law, comparative criminal law, among others. CUHK LAW successfully organized the Conference on Aviation Law and Policy in Asia in November 2019. Under the leadership of CUHK LAW Professor Jae Woon Lee, one of the few international aviation law experts in Asia, the Conference brought together leading experts in the field to address aviation law and policy issues in 15 different Asian jurisdictions. Papers in the conference will be published in an edited book in Brill’s Asian Law Series. CUHK LAW is proud to organize the Conference on The Role of the Law of Unjust Enrichment in Asia in June 2020.

CUHK LAW Professor Chao Xi is the principal investigator of several projects funded by the Hong Kong SAR Research Grant Council, which have explored, from a comparative perspective, corporate boards, corporate law reform, and shareholder voting in China, among others. CUHK LAW Professor Robin Hui Huang has focused on Chinese and comparative legal issues in the field of corporate law, securities regulation, financial law, commercial dispute resolution, and foreign investment. His recent work includes, among others, the monograph Fintech Regulation in China: Principles, Policies and Practices (CUP, forthcoming) and the article Enforcement of Chinese Insider Trading Law: An Empirical and Comparative Perspective forthcoming in the American Journal of Comparative Law. Prof. Marco Colino authored the leading textbook Competition Law of the EU and UK (8th edn. , OUP, 2019). CUHK LAW Professors Anatole Boute and Hao Zhang have explored issues in comparative environmental and energy law. Professor Boute authored the book Energy Security along the New Silk Road: Energy Law and Geopolitics in Central Asia (CUP, 2019). They also co-authored the article Fixing the Emissions Trading Scheme: Carbon Price Stability in the EU and China published in the European Law Journal (2019). CUHK LAW Professor Michelle Miao’s recent scholarship focuses on the administration of criminal law and policies in China and the United States. Her research on life without parole in the United States was selected by the Harvard-Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum, and her article Defining Death-eligible Murder in China has been published in the American Journal of Comparative Law (2019).

CUHK LAW Professors have extensively studied a range of comparative aspects in public international law, international criminal law, private international law, international environmental law, and international economic law. CUHK LAW’s recent work in these areas include, among others, Professor Gregory S. Gordon’s monograph Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition (OUP, 2017); Professor Ryan Mitchell‘s article Sovereignty and Normative Conflict: Reframing International Legal Realism as a Theory of Uncertainty in the Harvard International Law Journal (2018); Professor Samuli Seppänen‘s article From Substance to Absence: Argumentative Strategies in the Implementation of the Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development in the NYU Journal of International & Politics (2017); Professors King Fung Tsang and Jyh-An Lee’s co-authored article Unfriendly Choice of Law in FRAND in the Virginia Journal of International Law (2019) which was cited by the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals; Professor Benoit Mayer’s article Climate Assessment as an Emerging Obligation under Customary International Law which won the International & Comparative Law Quarterly’s 2019 Young Scholar Prize; Professor Bryan Mercurio’s co-edited book ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: Global Trends and Shifting Paradigms (CUP, 2019); Professor Chin Leng Lim’s article The Function of the Transnational Chinese Contract in the Journal of World Investment & Trade (2019); and Professor Fernando Dias Simões’ contribution The Appellate Body of the WTO: An International Court by Another Name in the European Yearbook of International Economic Law (2019).


CUHK LAW aims to ensure that our law graduates understand not only local legal issues but also acquire global, transnational, and comparative knowledge and vision. Comparative law is, therefore, reflected in curriculum design and teaching delivery in three aspects: mandatory, selective, integrative. The course Comparative Legal Studies is a mandatory course of the JD program. The course Comparative Law is taught as a selective course of the LLB and LLM programmes. The course Comparative Constitutional Law is offered as a selective course for JD, LLB, and LLM students. In addition, the comparative approach is integrated in other mandatory courses on domestic law, and in a wide range of other selective courses, such as the courses Transnational Legal Problems and Transnational Law & Business.