International Law

Implications of the Hong Kong Extradition Bill with Affiliated Scholar Alvin Cheung

Hong Kong has been in the news over the controversy and protests surrounding the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. Our very own Alvin Cheung has been analyzing the situation across a number of platforms. Check out the links below to help bring you up to speed on the situation in Hong Kong, protests, and the implications of the bill itself:


LAWFARE PODCAST

Description:
Early this week, about 200 protestors broke into and occupied the seat of Hong Kong's legislative assembly. The protests began with a controversial law about extradition to mainland China. That law was withdrawn, but the protestors remain. There are hundreds of thousands of them—a small number of them violent.  Today we ask: WTF, Hong Kong? To answer that question, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alvin Cheung, an expert on Hong Kong's legal system based at New York University, and Sophia Yan, the China correspondent for The Telegraph in London who has been covering the Hong Kong protests (Lawfare Podcast listeners also know her for her musical prowess). They talked about where Hong Kong is now, what's really behind the demonstrations, where the anger is coming from, and where it's all going.

Link to Podcast: https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-wtf-hong-kong

CHINAFILE

Description:
O
n June 16, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Hong Kong government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. This followed two massive demonstrations against the bill earlier in the month, including one where police used pepper spray and tear gas against protesters. The controversial bill would allow Hong Kong to extraditeto the mainland those accused of crimes under the People’s Republic of China’s Communist Party-led legal system. While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the bill, she has refused to withdraw it. What do the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong? And what do they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland?

Link to entire conversation: http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/hong-kong-protest



CNN OPINION (author Alvin Cheung)

Excerpt:
On June 9, 2019, organizers say that more than 1 million protesters in Hong Kong -- which would be nearly one in seven people in the city -- voiced their opposition to an extradition bill that would allow fugitives to be transferred to mainland China. Speaking to the Hong Kong Free Press, demonstrator and retired civil servant HK Lau said that the passage of the bill would mean the end of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle under which the city had been governed since the resumption of Chinese rule in 1997.

But speaking after the demonstration, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged to continue with the bill, asserting that it would improve the legal system. However, describing a bill that would permit renditions to China -- a country whose leader, Xi Jinping, has categorically rejected judicial independence -- as strengthening the rule of law is not merely cynical doublespeak. Rather, Lam's statement reflects her government's strategy of abusing the city's judiciary to do its dirty work.

Link to full CNN article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/opinions/hong-kong-protests-government-abuse-judiciary-cheung/index.html

THE INTERPRETER
Author: Alvin Cheung

Excerpt:
On Saturday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend consideration of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”). The Bill would have, among other things, allowed mainland Chinese authorities to make extradition requests against anyone who set foot in Hong Kong, and as a result, had drawn expressions of concern from the legal profession, numerous chambers of commerce, and foreign governments. It also prompted large-scale protests within the territory (Umbrella Movement 2.0 exposes flaws in “one country, two systems”), and on 12 June police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and engaged in violence against journalists.

Following Lam’s announcement on 15 June, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was quick to congratulate the Hong Kong government for a job “well done”. Hunt’s congratulatory message was premature and ill-advised. The Hong Kong government’s conduct throughout the abortive legislative process shows that – even without the Bill – the widespread concern about the continued viability of Hong Kong’s business environment remain valid.

Link to full article: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/deeper-malaise-hong-kongs-civil-service

Webcast recap: “Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law — Lessons for Today"

By Jerome A. Cohen

I gave a talk entitled “Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law — Lessons for Today" at the Woodrow Wilson Center today in Washington, DC.  It was in memory of the late distinguished historian of Sino-American relations Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and reviewed the case of my Yale college classmate Jack Downey, a CIA agent whose plane was shot down in China November 29, 1952.  

The Taiwan Relations Act: Charting a Stable Course for the U.S. & Asia

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) is a model of legal ingenuity spurred by political necessity. Jimmy Carter inherited Richard Nixon’s challenge, which was to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Nixon took the first step in February 1972 with his famous trip to Beijing, where he, Henry Kissinger, and China’s leaders concluded the Shanghai Communiqué. The Communiqué gave ambiguous assurance to China about Taiwan.

Gelatt Dialogue 2018 Video Highlights

In November 2018, the U.S.-Asia Law Institute hosted our 24th Annual Timothy A. Gelatt Memorial Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia. The theme to the forum was “East Asia, America & International Law'“ with noted speakers from Asia and the United States to discuss human rights, intergovernmental and territorial disputes, and international tribunals.

Discussing China's Belt & Road Initiative

Discussing China's Belt & Road Initiative

 On August 31, USALI affiliated scholar, Aaron Halegua, presented his research on worker exploitation in Saipan and labor abuses along China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The conference, held in Brussels, was hosted by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and co-organized by Dr. Maria Adele Carrai, a former visiting scholar (2014-2015) and Global Hauser Fellow (2016-2017) at NYU Law School.

Gelatt Dialogue 2017: Watch & Read

On November 6, 2017 the U.S.-Asia Law Institute held its 23rd Annual Timothy A. Gelatt Memorial Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia. This year’s theme - “China and International Law: Human Rights, Sovereignty, and Maritime Disputes” - focused on China's approach to international law during the Xi Jinping era as seen through the Communist Party's human rights record, Taiwan-Mainland cross-strait legal problems, China's maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas and the erosion of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong. This all-day event will feature speakers from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong as well as the United States.

NYU Law receives $5 million gift from the Government of Japan

NYU Law receives $5 million gift from the Government of Japan

NYU School of Law has announced a grant of $5 million from the Government of Japan for an endowment of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute (USALI) to ensure its long-term sustainability and to promote the use of international law to resolve conflicts and disputes in Asia.

Experts explore implications of Philippine arbitration award at 2016 Gelatt Memorial Dialogue

On November 10, Jerome Cohen, professor of law and co-director of the US-Asia Law Institute (USALI), convened a panel of international experts for the annual Timothy A. Gelatt Memorial Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia. The topic was “Implications of the Philippine Arbitration Award,” focusing on the outcome of a recent dispute between the Phillipines and China over sovereignty in the South China Sea.

The area has emerged as a major flashpoint in international relations, not only for countries in the region, but also for its potential to spark a showdown between the US and China. Cohen has written on the outcome of the Philippine arbitration and spoken on the situation in the South China sea more generally. Please click this link to access Professor Cohen's Wall Street Journal article "The Wisdom of the Hague's South China Sea decision" or click this link to listen to Professor Cohen's talk "Working Towards Peace in the South China Sea."

The first panel, “The Path to a Just and Lasting Peace in the South China Sea,” was introduced by Paul Reichler, counsel for the Philippines at the law firm Foley Hoag. He spoke about details of the arbitration and its implications. The second panel focused on exclusive economic zones, which confer the right to marine resources around a landmass. The discussion was introduced by Professor Bernard Oxman, director of the Graduate Program in Maritime Law at the University of Miami.

The Gelatt Dialogue was established in 1994 by the US-Asia Law Institute in memory of the former NYU law professor and avid Asian law scholar.

Please click this link to view Professor Cohen's biography or click this link to visit the U.S.-Asia Law Institute's website. 

Watch Video of the Panels

The Path to a Just and Lasting Peace in the South China Sea (2h, 26min)

When is an island entitled to an EEZ? (1h, 59min)

 

 

Published on December 6, 2016