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Geoffrey Ma to deliver keynote lecture

Hong Kong, 29 August 2022: The former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, the Honourable Geoffrey Ma GBM QC SC, will deliver the fifth annual HKU-Boase Cohen & Collins Criminal Law Lecture next month.

Mr Ma’s address, “A Civil Practitioner Enters the World of Criminal Law”, will be given at the University of Hong Kong on Friday 23 September, starting 7:00pm. It will mark the lecture’s return as an in-person event after the last edition was conducted online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled that former Chief Justice Ma has accepted our invitation to deliver the Criminal Law Lecture. Given his immense standing in the legal world, we are certain his talk will be hugely popular with legal professionals, law students and the general public,” says BC&C Senior Partner Colin Cohen.

“Our vision for the Criminal Law Lecture has always been to attract world class speakers, galvanise the legal profession and create an event that transcends academia. This forthcoming address by former Chief Justice Ma fulfils all these objectives.”

The lecture, to be held in the Philip KH Wong Theatre at HKU’s Pokfulam campus, is free of charge and open to all. Anyone wishing to attend should register here. Two evenings before the lecture, Mr Ma will conduct a “fireside chat” with Colin before a small audience in a private event at the China Club.

Mr Ma served as Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal from 2010 to 2021. Born in Hong Kong, he gained his law degree at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He was called to the English Bar (Gray’s Inn) in 1978, the Hong Kong Bar in 1980, the Bar of the State of Victoria in Australia in 1983 and the Bar of Singapore in 1990. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993. Before joining the Judiciary, Mr Ma was in private practice in Hong Kong and in Singapore. He was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012.

The inaugural Criminal Law Lecture featured Clare Montgomery QC giving a fascinating insight into “Joint Enterprise”, the three-decade-old legal principle that allows someone to be convicted of murder even if they did not strike the fatal blow. In the second lecture, Edward Fitzgerald QC spoke on the topic of “Criminal Appeals and New Evidence” and then celebrated barrister, author and broadcaster Geoffrey Robertson QC enthralled a large audience with his talk entitled “International Criminal Law: Can it be Enforced?”

All three speakers visited Hong Kong and delivered their lectures in person at HKU. Last year’s talk, “Free Speech in Universities”, was delivered online from London by the UK’s former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald QC.

Adds Colin: “We are delighted to return to an in-person event and we look forward to what promises to be a compelling evening in the company of former Chief Justice Ma. Our thanks also go to HKU for their assistance in staging this landmark event.”

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