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Criminal justice represents more than just a collection of laws and departments, but the delivery of justice to those who have committed crimes.  The exact nature of justice is subject to considerable debate; while some view crime control, which stresses on the efficient processing of the accused, as the rightful goal of justice, some regard due process to be the ultimate aim of criminal justice, which focuses more on the protection of the rights of the individual and the limitation of state power.


The criminal justice system in Hong Kong is based on several fundamental assumptions about the role of law in society to safeguard the rights of the accused and respects the notion of the rule of law (Traver & Gaylord, 1994).



The criminal justice system is a complex social institution which involves a series of government agencies and departments to regulate potential, alleged and actual criminal activity within limits designed to protect people from wrongful treatment and wrongful conviction (Sanders, Young, & Burton, 2010).  The criminal justice system in Hong Kong entails, for instance, the Police Force who enforces the law, the Department of Justice, which is responsible for prosecution, local courts who try the accused, and the Correctional Services Department which hold and create rehabilitation opportunities for convicts.



Journal Articles/Other Papers

The Swindle of Fragmented Criminalisation: Continuing Piecemeal Responses to International Terrorism and Al Qaeda - by James Fry

(2009) 43 New England Law Review 377-436 

Hong Kong's Anti-Terrorism Measures Under Fire - by Simon Young

(January 2003)

Terrorism as a Crime Against Humanity and Genocide: The Backdoor to Universal Jurisdiction - by James Fry
(2002) 7 UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 169-200

Fair Trial’ As A Precondition To Rendition: An International Legal Perspective - by Roda Mushkat (July 2002)

Book Chapters

Responses to terrorism in China  - by Hualing Fu 

Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy (January 2012)

Security laws for Hong Kong - by Simon Young

Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy (January 2012)

Government Submissions

Submissions on the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) (Amendment) Bill 2003  - by Simon Young

First Submission (October 2003)

Administration's Response to First Submission (November 2003)

Second Submission (January 2004)

(Submissions by other parties can be found on the Bill Committee's page on the LegCo website.)

Upcoming/Past Events

Legal Framework for Combating Maritime Cyberterrorism (1 November 2018)

Conversation: Fu Hualing: Should the U.S. Cooperate with China on Terrorism? (26 September 2014)

Terrorism and the Global Rule of Law - by Valsamis Mitsilegas (12 February 2013)

The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism Law - by Professor Kent Roach (24 February 2010)

Fair Trial


Journal Articles/Other Papers

A lack of access to lawyers in Hong Kong is endangering suspects' rights to a fair trial  - by Simon Young

Fair Trials International (9 April 2015)

Open Access to Case Information: Recent Measure to Strengthen Prosecutors' Ethics in China - by Hualing Fu

Legal Ethics 17(3), 454-457

Human Rights in Hong Kong Criminal Trial - by Simon Young

in Criminal Evidence and Human Rights (2012)

Chapter 18: Right to a Fair Trial and the Criminal Process - by Simon Young & Sarah Cheng

in Law of the Hong Kong Constitution (2011)

Sentencing (2008) - by Simon Young

Upcoming/Past Events

The Right to a Fair Trial: Safeguarding Equality of Access to Justice for Victims of Sexual Assault through Enhancing Protective Measures to Address Common Barriers in Court (7 June 2016)


Confronting Strasbourg: From Common Law Criminal Procedure and European Fair Trial Rights to Cosmopolitan Criminal Jurisprudence - by Paul Roberts (7 May 2014)

Bo Xilai Case and Future China Governance (23 November 2013)

A Prosecutor in a Modern Society: Upholding the Rule of Law and Respecting Rights and Freedoms - by Kevin Zervos (20 March 2013)

Conference: The Trial of Liu Xiaobo and Beyond (30 January 2010)

Public Lecture on Interdisciplinarity and Law: The Politics of Judicial Review (22 May 2009)

Seminar: Apprehended Bias and the Reasonable Observer - How do Courts Decide Claims of Bias? - by Matthew Groves (15 January 2009)



Journal Articles/Other Papers

Early Security Council Efforts at Nuclear Non-Proliferation Law and Policy: Cooperation Forgotten  - by James Fry

(2012) 21 Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems 337-358

Of Pinpricks and Cannon Shots: UN Arms Embargoes and Peacekeeping as Coercive Disarmament Measures - by James Fry

(2011) 17 U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 213-232

Gas Smells Awful: UN Forces, Rito-Control Agents and the Chemical Weapons Convention - by James Fry

(2010) 31 Michigan Journal of International Law 475-559

Sovereign Equality under the Chemical Weapons Convention: Doughnuts over Holes - by James Fry

(2010) 15 Journal of Conflict & Security Law 45-63 (Oxford University Press)

Dionysian Disarmament: Security Council WMD Disarmament and Arms Control Measures and their Legal Implications - by James Fry
(2008) 29 Michigan Journal of International Law 197-292

Arbitrating Arms Control Disputes - by James Fry

(2008) 44 Standford Journal of International Law

Coercion, Causation and the Fictional Elements of Indirect State Responsibility - by James Fry

(2007) 40 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 611-642

Contextualised Legal Reviews for the Methods and Means of Warfare: Cave Combat and International Humanitarian Law - by James Fry

(2006) 44 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 453-519

The UN Security Council and the Law of Armed Conflict: Amity or Enmity? - by James Fry

(2006) 38 George Washington International Law Review 327-348

[Book Review] Introduction to the International Criminal Court by William Schabas - by Simon Young

(2003) 33 Hong Kong Law Journal 508-511

Terrorism as a Crime Against Humanity and Genocide: The Backdoor to Universal Jurisdiction - by James Fry

(2002) 7 UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 169-200

Obligations to Surrender Accused to the International Criminal Court: The case of the Hong Kong SAR as a Non-State Party 
- by Simon Young

Surrendering the Accused to the International Criminal Court - by Simon Young

(2000) 71 British Yearbook of International Law 317-356

Upcoming/Past Events

Failure to Prevent Offences – Reassessing the Boundaries of the Criminal Law - by Karl Laird (18 April 2018)

The Age of Uninnocence: Technology, Sexual Violence and Criminal Law - by Carissima Mathen (14 March 2017)

Civil and Criminal Justice Reform in the Philippines - by Poncevic M. Ceballos (5 March 2015)

Summary. | Video

Accountability and Responsibility – Reinforcing the Criminal Law - by Barry A.K. Rider (1 April 2009)

Criminal Justice in Singapore – Winds of Change? - by Michael Hor (7 November 2008)

The Ao Man Long Case and Criminal Justice in Macauby Jorge Godinho & P. Y. Lo (9 April 2008)

Rights Talk Series

International Criminal Law in Practice: The Challenges of Prosecuting and Defending Mass Atrocities - by Andrew Cayley QC (12 October 2012)

Police Powers


Journal Articles/Other Papers

Was it Lawful for the Police to Use Tear Gas on Protesters in Hong Kong?
- by Simon Young (29 September 2014)

Newspaper Articles

[Video] Hong Kong Sex Workers fight Long Arm of the Law - by Simon Young (August 2012)

Hong Kong Police Adopt Controversial Body Cameras (15 August 2012) - by Trinna Leong

Government Submissions

Submission to the Legislative Council's Security Panel on Police Undercover Operations for Vice Activities for Zi Teng, an organisation working to protect the rights of sex workers by Simon Young

First Submission (April 2006)

Administration's Response (September 2006)

Second Submission (September 2006)

Upcoming/Past Events

Getting it right on Commissions of Inquiry into Police Behavior - by Brian Dooley (6 November 2019)

Cutting Edge Issues in US Criminal Procedure: Constitutional Protections Against Unlawful Searches - by Robert Klonoff (14 September 2016)

Police Complaints in Hong Kong: Where are We Heading? (27 May 2014)

Rights Talk Series

Sex Offender Registries: The U.S., Europe & Interpol - by James B. Jacobs (20 January 2012)

The Challenges of Modern Policing - by Jocelyn Cheung (24 April 2009)



Newspaper Articles

Hong Kong Police Adopt Controversial Body Cameras - by Trinna Leong

 (15 August 2012) The Wall Street Journal

Upcoming/Past Events

Privacy Rights in the Digital Age: The Strange Case of Data Retention - by Fernando Rodriguez (23 March 2012) 

[Joint Seminar] Privacy: The Changing Landscape - by Venkat Iyer (8 April 2009)



Covert Surveillance in an Age of Privacy

This project examined covert surveillance regulatory systems in overseas jurisdictions from theoretical and practical perspectives with a view to assessing the existing regulatory model adopted in HK in 2006 following the enactment of the Interception and Covert Surveillance Ordinance (Cap. 589)




Simon Young
Associate Dean (Research),


James D. Fry
Associate Professor of Law 


Michael Jackson
Associate Professor

Faculty Expertise
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