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Geoffrey Robertson QC captivates HKU audience

Hong Kong, 28 January 2019: Geoffrey Robertson QC enthralled a large audience with a masterclass on international legal history when he delivered the third annual HKU-Boase Cohen & Collins Criminal Law Lecture.

Law students were joined by leading figures from the legal profession, including judges, counsel and academics, at the University of Hong Kong to hear the celebrated barrister, author and broadcaster speak on the topic of “International Criminal Law: Can it be Enforced?”

In a wide-ranging address, Mr Robertson chronicled attempts by the world’s leading nations to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes, genocide and other assorted acts of aggression, explaining how these efforts often met with limited success due to politics and self-interest. In doing so, he was able to draw on his personal experience as a United Nations appeal judge, having been President of the War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone.

“Those lucky enough to be present were treated to the sight of one of the true giants of international law delivering a brilliant talk on a subject on which he is a foremost authority. Geoffrey’s lecture was, in turns, illuminating, erudite, occasionally jocular and always fascinating,” said Boase Cohen & Collins Senior Partner Colin Cohen.

“In staging the HKU-Boase Cohen & Collins Criminal Law Lecture, we have been fortunate to have three world-class speakers in Clare Montgomery QC, Edward Fitzgerald QC and now Geoffrey. This event has quickly become established as a highlight of the academic and legal calendar and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the University of Hong Kong for many years to come.”

Mr Cohen addressed the audience with opening remarks to introduce the speaker while the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Michael Hor, delivered the vote of thanks. The Criminal Law Lecture was one of the cornerstone events marking the Faculty’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The talk was followed by a cocktail reception during which dozens of fans queued up for Mr Robertson to sign copies of his latest autobiography, Rather His Own Man, which was published last year to widespread acclaim.

Mr Robertson, Founder and Joint Head of Doughty Street Chambers in London, has been counsel in numerous high-profile cases in constitutional, criminal and media law in the courts of Britain and the Commonwealth and he makes frequent appearances in the Privy Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

As a jury advocate, he has appeared in many criminal trials at the Old Bailey and libel trials in the High Court. He has appeared in several hundred reported cases in the Court of Appeal and in judicial reviews in the High Court, and in subsequent appeals.

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Geoffrey Robertson QC delivers the third annual HKU-Boase Cohen & Collins Criminal Law Lecture to an attentive audience and afterwards is pictured with BC&C Senior Partner Colin Cohen and Dean of the Faculty of Law Professor Michael Hor. At the subsequent cocktail reception (bottom photograph), fans queue up for Mr Robertson to sign copies of his acclaimed autobiography, Rather His Own Man.

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