Social Science Seminar - Academic Freedom and the NSL: the Role of International Human Rights Law
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Online Via Zoom

Prof Carole J. Petersen     Professor of Law, the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Prof Kelley Loper              Associate Professor in Faculty of Law, the University of Hong Kong

Faculty Host 
Prof Kellee Tsai
Chair Professor, Dean of SHSS

Since the promulgation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong (NSL) on 30 June 2020, concerns have been raised about its impact on academic freedom and educational autonomy. The NSL obligates the local government to “promote national security education in schools and universities” and creates several new criminal offenses, which purport to apply extraterritorially. On the other hand, Article 4 provides that important constitutional rights shall continue to be protected, including the rights stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).  These treaties have a special place in Hong Kong’s legal framework and any policies adopted by educational institutions should comply with both. This talk will consider the potential effect of the NSL and the role of international human rights law in supporting academic and other freedoms in Hong Kong going forward.

Carole Petersen
is a Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she teaches International Law, International Human Rights, and Gender and the Law. She taught in Hong Kong from 1989-2006 and continues to research the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” as a model of regional autonomy. In 2006, she co-authored (with Currie and Mok) Academic Freedom in Hong Kong (Lexington Books). She recently published “The Disappearing Firewall: International Consequences of Beijing’s Decision to Impose a National Security Law and Operate National Security Institutions in Hong Kong”, 50 Hong Kong Law Journal 633 (2020).

Kelley Loper is an Associate Professor, Co-Director of the LLM in Human Rights Programme and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. She has published extensively on the rights of refugees, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Hong Kong, and the implementation of international human rights law in domestic contexts. She teaches courses on International and Regional Protection of Human Rights and Equality and Non-discrimination.

Register  for Seminar Here 



Online Via Zoom
Recommended For
Alumni, Faculty and staff, General public, HKUST Family, PG students, UG students
More Information

Register for Seminar Here  

Zoom meeting ID and passcode will be sent to successful registrants prior to the seminar. If you do not receive any Seminar details by 6 Dec, please contact for enquiry. 

Division of Social Science

Post an event
Campus organizations are invited to add their events to the calendar.