August 2020

Message from the Dean

Dear students, colleagues, alumni and friends,

After having successfully completed rather challenging 12 months we are about to start the new academic year 2020-21. We are looking forward to welcoming our new students and we are excited to work with those colleagues who have recently come on board. Heartfelt congratulations go to this year’s graduates. You are now CUHK LAW alumni and we sincerely hope to be able to stay in touch with all of you.

Although the COVID-19 situation will continue for some time, over the past year we have learnt that the ‘new normal’ also offers many opportunities and how to turn these opportunities into success. I wish to thank everybody for their tremendous support in this regard. The significant CUHK LAW achievements in 2019-20 would not have been possible without you!

This e-Newsletter reports on recent events, achievements of our students, faculty and alumni as well as other interesting developments at CUHK LAW. I hope you enjoy the reading.

Best wishes,


Dean of the Faculty of Law & Wei Lun Professor of Law


The Cross-Border Legal Issues Dialogue Seminar Series, one of the key initiatives of the CCTL Private International Law Group, provides a forum for practitioners, academics, the business community and the general public to engage in a dialogue on various issues arising from cross-border legal matters. The next online seminar “Interim Relief in International Disputes: The Hong Kong’s Perspective” will be delivered by Dr. Sara MIGLIORINI on 25 September 2020. Visit here for details and registration.

The 5th Year Greater China Legal History Seminar Series hosted eight highly successful seminars given by academics and legal practitioners with over 4,160 registrations. Revisit and watch the seminar videos on the CUHK LAW website or YouTube.

The 6th Year Greater China Legal History Seminar Series will be kick-started by Professor Norman HO’s presentation titled “Feeding the Emperor – Administrative Law in Tang Dynasty China” on 18 September 2020. Register for the first seminar and learn more about the upcoming seminars here.

The Legal Thinkers’ Seminar provides a venue for colleagues from CUHK and other universities to discuss legal thinkers who have been influential for their scholarship. The first seminar on “Sir Neil MacCormick” was delivered online by Professor Scott VEITCH, University of Hong Kong, on 29 July 2020. The seminar introduced some of the major ideas of the scholarly work of Professor Sir Neil MacCormick (1941-2009) and his legacy to the tradition of the “democratic intellect”.

The Property Law Seminar Series has been hosting property law related seminars since October 2017. Its success is evidenced by over 3,180 registrations so far.

The next online seminar “‘Toms v Ruberry: when can a CPO s. 58 notice be served?’ & ‘Gift, Sale, or Presumption of Resulting Trust?’” will be delivered by Professors Michael LOWER and Steven GALLAGHER on 23 September 2020. Visit here for  details and registration.

The Female Legal Leaders Seminar aims to enhance awareness regarding gender issues. Attracting over 150 participants, the second seminar was delivered online on 23 April 2020 by Her Honour Judge Sharon MELLOY, Family Court Judge, District Court of Hong Kong, Ms. Sylvia W.Y. SIU, Consultant of Sit, Fung, Kwong & Shum, and Ms. Winnie TAM, SC, JP, former Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association. The speakers presented their life stories, discussed professional highlights and advised on what they thought is important for young lawyers when pursuing a legal career.

The Third Biannual International Conference “Directions in Legal Education 2020” brought over 90 speakers and 420 registrants from around the globe to discuss the challenges of and best practices in legal education. Over the three days, presentations on issues related to “Students as Producers”, “Women in Law”, “Professionalism and Employability”, “Law, Technology and Going Online”, “Diversity in Legal Education”, “Pedagogy”, and “Innovative Subjects in Legal Education” were made. In addition to addressing the pressing topic “Teaching Law in Time of Crisis” as a recurring theme throughout the event, the conference also featured a panel of US law school deans addressing the state of legal education in the United States, its rapid transformation over the past few months, and the impact for the future at the Closing Discussion.

Watch the presentation videos on the conference website here

“The Role of the Law of Unjust Enrichment in Asia” online conference marked the inauguration of the Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law (CCTL) and its cluster groups, including the Comparative Constitutional Law Research Forum, the Corporate Law and Governance Cluster, the Environmental, Energy and Climate Law Cluster, the Obligations Lab Asia, the Private International Law Group, and the Transnational Legal History Group. The conference discussed a great variety of issues related to the role of the law of unjust enrichment in Asia including country reports on Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore. It also addressed general topics such as “The Indispensability of a Refined System of Unjust Enrichment Remedies” by keynote speaker Professor Michael MARTINEK, “The Measure of Liability in Unjustified Enrichment and Change of Position Defense: A Comparative Study” by Dr. Karmen LUTMAN, and “Law of Unjust Enrichment or Law of Unjustified De-enrichment?” by Professor Lutz-Christian WOLFF.

Watch the presentation videos on the conference website here

Visit the CCTL website here for details of activities held. 

The Symposium on Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Shareholder Engagement and Voting held online from 22-23 June 2020 gathered authors of 19 jurisdictions to collectively contribute to focus discussions on shareholder engagement and voting, with a view to making cutting-edge and evidence-based contributions to the comparative theoretical discourse in the field. The online symposium was co-hosted by the CUHK LAW Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law, Tilburg University Law School, and National Law University Delhi. It attracted more than 150 participants comprising students, alumni, academics and practitioners.


Mr. Rudi COHRSSEN joins as Professional Consultant with a diversity of experience gained in three common law jurisdictions. He was an arbitrator and practicing barrister and member of the Victorian Bar for 13 years where he had a commercial litigation and advisory practice.


Professor Jingyi WANG joins as Assistant Professor. She obtained her PhD and LLM from King’s College London and her LLB from the East China University of Political Science and Law. Her research and teaching interests focus on comparative tax law and fiscal policy.


Mr. Jeffrey HILL joins as Professional Consultant. He was called to the Bar 1997 and worked as an employed barrister/Legal Adviser at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, where he dealt with a range of criminal and family courts. He is the author of A Practical Guide to Mooting (second edition forthcoming in 2021) and is also editor of a range of criminal law and litigation materials for CILEx Law School.


Over 120 scholarships and prizes were presented to the following academically outstanding students and graduates from the LLB, JD, LLM and PCLL programmes at the first online Scholarships and Prizes Presentation Ceremony. The ceremony was attended by more than 180 participants including donor representatives, the CUHK LAW Dean, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Programme Directors, Faculty members, students, graduates, as well as families and friends of the recipients. At the ceremony, CUHK LAW also took the opportunity to thank the scholarship and prize donors for their continued support. View the ceremony video and commemorative booklet here

Recent Publications

All the best, Mr. Morris!

Mr. Richard MORRIS, former Associate Dean (Alumni and Professional Affairs), has retired in mid-August 2020 after working at CUHK LAW for 12 years. Mr. Morris has also made significant contributions to CUHK LAW as a teacher and former PCLL Programme Director. Many thanks and best wishes for your future, Richard! See you at the next alumni event.

In this issue, Frederic ROCAFORT (CBL LLM 2012) shares what he saw and experienced in the US when COVID-19 began to hit the country from March 2020, which is an illuminating contrast to the shocking scenes we have seen on TV.

“I found out that my law firm was switching to telework in the midst of a business trip to San Diego. As I drove to the airport for my flight back home to Seattle on March 8, I questioned the wisdom of returning to what was by then America’s first coronavirus hotspot. Having spent many years living in China, I was following events in Wuhan closely. I moved to Guangzhou only two years after the SARS outbreak, and lived through the H5N1 and H1NI scares. Mindful of the new virus’ potential to spread quickly, I was concerned that images in Wuhan were a prelude of what was to come in large American cities, with Seattle at the lead. At the airport, I made a game-time decision to hop on a plane to Tallahassee, Florida, where my mother lives, where I hoped the relative isolation would provide a bulwark of sorts against COVID-19.

Upon arrival in Florida, there were few signs that anyone in the state was concerned about the virus.  More than a week later, with Washington State already reporting 66 coronavirus deaths, now-infamous scenes of a spring-breaker in Miami Beach declaring “If I get corona, I get corona” were broadcast around the world. While there were no facemasks to be found in Tallahassee stores, no one seemed to be wearing them in public either. In fact, even as mask use became more common, I still got occasional looks of barely concealed disdain. When I heard my colleagues talk about the situation back in Seattle, where everyone was on edge, it felt like I had called a different planet.

Despite many Floridians’ apparent nonchalance regarding the health risks, the pandemic has undoubtedly imposed hardships on everyone. As a state, Florida’s economy relies largely on tourists that are not coming. Tallahassee is not a tourist spot, but it is a university town. Suspended classes mean that most of the approximately 40,000 students who attend the city’s two state universities are not pumping money into those businesses that continue to operate.

In many ways, though, life in the time of coronavirus has felt somewhat normal. On March 25, an 11 p.m. curfew was imposed in Leon County, where Tallahassee is located, but other than that there have been no restrictions on movement. In fact, there seem to be more people than ever taking walks around the neighborhood. And given Tallahassee’s low population density, staying “one alligator apart” (as Leon County officials put it) from others has not been a problem. While parks run by the state government closed for a while, city and county parks did not.

By the time Florida began phase one of its reopening plan on May 4, most eateries had established mechanisms to comply with the state’s prohibition on consumption within premises. Restaurants without drive-thru windows or delivery services offered curbside pickup. I was even able to buy printer toner without getting out of my car.

Social distancing, Florida style: 

(Image source: Leon County’s Facebook)

Gardeners and roofers never stopped working.  While there have been some flight suspensions, the airlines have continued to offer service across the country. In all honesty, Florida’s grand reopening seemed rather anticlimactic.

As I settled into my Florida home on the evening of March 8, I foresaw an opportunity to catch up on my reading and Netflix lists, but I have actually been very busy with work. As a member of my firm’s China practice, I have put in long hours advising clients sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other products related to the fight against COVID-19. In addition, there has been a surge in the number of webinars and similar events, as organizations discover the potential of conferencing platforms and other technology. Our own firm is a perfect example of this: we are now producing a weekly podcast on global law and business, which I cohost.

Last week my firm’s Seattle office had a virtual happy hour. On the one hand it was yet another illustration of our brave new Zoom-enabled world. Technology not only allows us to continue working almost seamlessly – even from the other side of the country – it also gives us a chance to have a few drinks in the virtual company of our colleagues. Yet the happy hour was also a reminder of why we miss normalcy. It is the time spent in real meetings, business trips and happy hours over the years that gives meaning to the pixels on the screen.”


Terence WONG (LLB 2016, PCLL 2017)

Terence spent 5 years with the Faculty for his LLB and PCLL. He was admitted as a solicitor by The Hon Madam Justice Mimmie Chan on 2 November 2019. The Solicitor-General, Mr. Wesley Wong, moved his admission. Having worked in the litigation department of the Department of Justice since his admission, he has recently been assigned to the Legal Advisory section. Congratulations to Terence and to his very proud and devoted parents!

Violet WONG (JD 2013, PCLL 2014)

“I have recently quit my job at Linklaters and joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. I now work on refugee issues full-time. I am also planning to move to Geneva this September to advance my studies in humanitarian law and human rights (an LLM programme offered by the Geneva Academy).”


On 26 August 2020, Ms. Heidi CHUI from Stevenson, Wong & Co. will deliver an alumni online seminar on “From Globalisation to Regionalisation: Challenges and Opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative to Legal Professionals”. The seminar will begin with some insights and lessons that legal professionals may gain and learn from the past success and failure stories relating to BRI, discuss the challenges and opportunities that the Hong Kong legal market may encounter in cross-border transactions and dispute resolution, and conclude with some reflections on how legal professionals can respond to the challenges ahead and equip themselves with the necessary skillsets and qualities to capture the opportunities presented by regionalization. Register for the seminar here

Let's stay together - We are CUHK LAW!

The CUHK LAW e-Newsletter features important news and events about the Faculty. It also contains a section for alumni to share their stories, marriages, births, achievements, etc. Colleagues, students, and alumni are encouraged to contribute to each edition of the e-Newsletter and are welcome to make any suggestions/comments via email at law@cuhk.edu.hk.

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