Chinese Customary Law

Chinese Customary Law as Cultural Heritage?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Warren Chan Moot Court, CUHK Graduate Law Centre
2/F, Bank of America Tower, Central, Hong Kong (map)


Professor Steven Gallagher
Associate Professor of Practice in Law

Faculty of Law
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Conducted in English


The concept of law as culture has been the subject of much academic study and debate. However, no consideration has been given to the concept of law as cultural heritage perhaps because the term “cultural heritage” is of relatively recent usage in the law and is still not clearly defined.  The inclusion of Chinese customary law into the law of Hong Kong has provided a snapshot of the customs and practices of the people of Hong Kong before its time as a British colony. These customs and practices preserved in the law of Hong Kong are part of the cultural heritage of China, many of these have not survived in the People’s Republic of China.  Although many of these customs and practices have now been excluded from the law of Hong Kong, the study of Chinese customary law in Hong Kong provides an insight into the cultural heritage of the people of Hong Kong.  This seminar considered the evidence of the cultural heritage of the people of Hong Kong that may be found in the Chinese customary law that was included in the common law of Hong Kong.

Steven Gallagher is a Professional Consultant, Associate Professor in Practice of Law and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he teaches equity and the law of trusts to undergraduates and postgraduates, and cultural heritage law at postgraduate level. Steven publishes texts on equity and the law of trusts in Hong Kong and the UK. He is a frequent speaker at professional development courses in Hong Kong. His research interests include the origins of the common law of trusts, special trusts, cultural heritage law and the law and the dead.




The Hong Kong Law Society has awarded this seminar 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.