Law at Spatial Scales: Local Effects of State Constitution and International Convention
Hong Kong stands at the intersection between a legal system with a “common law” tradition, overlain by a state power essentially executed in a “civil law” manner with “socialist law” cultures. This had led to debates in the relative merits of the systems, their applicability in the everyday functions in the society, and the idea of law in general.
Laws and the legal systems are never sacrosanct. They are merely instruments to resolve disputes among persons or between persons and the society. Comparing legal systems in different places, tracing legal traditions and the development of laws may therefore reveal qualities and identities pertinent to a society.
This talk will attempt to give a brief introduction to the systems, cultures and traditions of law, followed by discussions on the role of the state constitution in the context of differences in the common law and the civil law systems and internationalisation and localisation of law by taking a look at how international maritime agreements are made into law in different jurisdictions.
A PhD holder in Earth Science from the University of Hong Kong, Dr. Hon-Chim Chiu is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Hong Kong Baptist University, teaching physical geography, climate change, and urban environment. His expertise includes sedimentology and geomorphology, and he has undertaken research in Tibet, Guangdong, China, France and Spain. A former Assistant Secretary for Transport and Housing in the Hong Kong Government, Dr. Chiu was responsible for related legislation.