Chinese Customary Law in Hong Kong

Chinese Customary Law in Hong Kong: Origins and Development

Friday, 17 October 2014
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Lecture Theatre 3, CUHK Graduate Law Centre
2/F, Bank of America Tower
Central, Hong Kong 

Conducted in English



Justice Kemal Bokhary

Non-Permanent Judge, Court of Final Appeal
Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region


Professor David Faure

Director, Centre for Comparative and Public History
Director, CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology
Director, Centre for China Studies
Wei Lun Research Professor of History, Department of History
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Light refreshments will be available following the seminar.

Traditional Chinese customary law is still applicable in Hong Kong in relation to land located in the New Territories as well as to family matters and succession leading to many interesting questions sometimes with rather wide ranging practical implications. This seminar introduced the development of Chinese customary law in Hong Kong from a historical perspective in the context of political and social developments in Southern China. It established the general framework for other seminars on more specific topics related to Chinese customary law in the following months.

Justice Syed Kemal Shah Bokhary, GBM is a Non-Permanent Judge of Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal and an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law the University of Hong Kong. Justice Bokhary was called to the English Bar in 1970 by the Middle Temple (of which he was made an Honorary Bencher in 2001), was admitted to the Hong Kong Bar in 1971 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1983. From 1971 to 1989 he practised in Hong Kong and before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, principally in commercial law and public law. He was appointed to the High Court in 1989, then to the Court of Appeal in 1993 and ultimately to the Court of Final Appeal in 1997. During the 15 years Justice Bokhary served as a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal, he participated in almost every constitutional case which came before the Court and is widely respected for the deep sense of commitment and responsibility he brought to his role. His memoirs Recollections were published in 2013.

Professor David Faure (B.A. HKU, PhD Princeton) is a Wei Lun Research Professor of History at the Department of History of CUHK. He has served CUHK in a variety of positions and is currently the Director of the Centre for Comparative and Public History of the CUHK Department of History, the Director of the CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology and the Director of CUHK’s Centre for China Studies. Professor Faure is a world-renowned expert in Chinese business history, the history of Hong Kong and local history of China. He has published widely on related topics, including The Structure of Chinese Rural Society: Lineage and Village in the Eastern New Territories, Hong Kong (1986) and Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China (2007).

Other Greater China Legal History Seminar Series