Dean Hualing Fu's Sharing
Professor Hualing Fu is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong, Professor of Law, and holder of the Warren Chan Professorship in Human Rights and Responsibilities. His research focuses on human rights law, comparative Chinese law and public law. He holds a bachelor's degree from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, a master's degree from the University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Osgoode Hall.
Professor Fu’s current research focuses on the rise of human rights lawyers in China and its impact on China’s political and legal reforms, the politics of anti-corruption law enforcement, popular justice (including China’s use of non-litigation procedures such as mediation), and critical reflections on the rule of law reform in China over the past few decades. He is also concerned with national security legislation and issues regarding Hong Kong's constitutional status, especially the relationship between local governments and the central government in the context of “One Country, Two Systems”.
Professor Fu has published a large number of works with several leading publishing houses and authoritative journals. As a strong proponent of collaborative research, Professor Fu and others have jointly engaged in a number of research projects including “Hong Kong’s Constitutional Debate: Conflict over Interpretation (2000)”, “National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong’s Article 23 Under Scrutiny (2005)”, “Mediation in Contemporary China (2017)”, “Transparency Challenges Facing China (2018)”, and “Socialist Law in Socialist East Asia (2018)”.
He is one of the China Law editors of the Hong Kong Law Journal, Co-editor of the SSRN Chinese Law eJournal, and Co-editor of The Routledge Rule of Law in China and Comparative Perspectives Series. He has been published widely in local and international journals, including The China Quarterly, The China Journal and the Journal of Contemporary China.
This article is based on Professor Fu’s interview at the end of October, in which he shared his personal experiences in academic research and administration. The interview has been summarized with supplementary information included. The filmed interview can be seen below.
Professor Fu's academic journey began with the study of criminology and criminal law. His arrival in 1990s Hong Kong happened to coincide with the emergence of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. Driven by his own interest and the contemporary context, he began to pay attention to areas of public law including international security and the right to free speech. During the interview, Professor Fu brought up a small yet unforgettable incident that came about during his decades long teaching career. A student who took his human rights course, contacted Professor Fu years after he had graduated to tell him how affected he was by his teaching. Professor Fu’s course had driven him to pay more attention to the needs of disadvantaged groups, inspiring him to adopt an orphan with his partner. Professor Fu felt an enormous sense of gratification and fulfillment upon hearing this. It is through embracing the concerns of people of all backgrounds and constantly studying the truth that Professor Fu has become a well renowned scholar in the field of public law.
When asked about his experience as the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Fu shared his view of the faculty as a place to train academic talent and cultivate research acumen. He added that because scholars at HKU do not engage in trivial office politics, they are better able to maintain their inspiration and drive, further stressing that life at HKU is relatively straightforward. Professor Fu further added that the university’s use of English as its working language enables scholars to seamlessly connect and increases opportunities for exchange within academic and professional circles around the world. At the same time, the Faculty of Law’s strength in the Chinese language also helps foster connections between mainland scholars and universities.
When asked about Faculty of Law’s strengths, Professor Fu pointed out that the faculty houses accomplished scholars from all over the world, including scholars from common law jurisdictions and mainland civil law experts. As a result, faculty members are able to provide students with diverse academic and legal perspectives. It also gives the faculty a unique advantage with regards to studying law from a comparative perspective. Hong Kong as a common law jurisdiction positioned within the mainland civil law system, makes it an excellent place to study Chinese and foreign law from a comparative perspective. In this way, HKU law students gain an understanding of both China and the world.
Professor Fu also mentioned that the Faculty of Law is committed to cultivating legal professionals who can solve problems in the real world. After their studies, students are expected to broaden their knowledge, master critical thinking skills and gain practical experience. This is reflected in the curriculum design and operation of the programmes offered as many practical courses are available to students. The course content is reviewed and updated every year to provide students with the highest quality teaching. The Faculty of Law has carried out several experiential learning projects, including programmes on refugee law, immigration law, disability rights, equal rights, legal education and other fields. These programs allow students to train their problem-solving skills, enhance their community service awareness, and develop their potential. In addition, the Faculty of Law also provides a large number of moot court competitions and internships aimed at fostering professional skills and practical experience.
Professor Fu highlighted that the quality of the faculty’s Master of Laws programmes sets HKU apart from other schools. The small-scale teaching style allows every student to receive the attention they need to effectively engage with legal issues. The content not only includes theoretical research, but also closely interfaces with the needs of the real world. The Faculty of Law’s high-quality teaching has been recognized by both students and practitioners alike. Graduates are very competitive as they are able to play to their abilities in various industries, realize their own value, and contribute to society. As the oldest law school in Hong Kong, the faculty boasts of abundant resources and a well-connected alumni network. Drawing on these strengths, the faculty is well positioned to offer students guidance with their careers upon graduation.
In a message to students, Professor Fu said that he hopes they will have the courage to step out of their comfort zone, explore the unknown, discover their own potential, and broaden their horizons through absorbing the legal experience of various jurisdictions. He also welcomes outstanding students from the mainland and all over the world to come to HKU for further study. Professor Fu added that prospects are bright at this moment in time as the government is vigorously developing the Greater Bay Area. He hopes students will seize the opportunity, take advantage of the situation, be proactive and apply everything they have learned. Professor Fu hopes students will conduct themselves professionally, accumulate any experience they can, and never forget to contribute to society and the development of the rule of law.
He hopes that students will continue to search for knowledge on the road, bravely step out of their comfort zones, go out into the world, and continue to be life-long learners.