Hong Kong, 20 September 2021: Lord Ken Macdonald QC enthralled a global audience with his insight and observations into academic freedoms when he delivered the fourth HKU-Boase Cohen & Collins Criminal Law Lecture on Friday.
His talk, “Free Speech in Universities”, examined how a combination of the UK government’s anti-terrorism legislation and a transatlantic “cancel culture” are compromising the open exchange of ideas on British and North American campuses.
In conveying his thoughts, Lord Macdonald (pictured, inset) drew on his vast experience in private practice and public office. A founder member of Matrix Chambers in London, he is a former Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales and recently completed a nine-year tenure as Warden of Wadham College at the University of Oxford.
“It was a fascinating talk from one of the UK’s true legal heavyweights and raised many issues which should concern not only academics and legal professionals, but people from all walks of life. We are extremely grateful to Lord Macdonald for his giving us the benefit of his vast experience and insight,” said BC&C Senior Partner Colin Cohen, who preceded the lecture with a short welcome speech.
Professor Simon Young, Associate Dean (Research) in HKU’s Faculty of Law, hosted the webinar and conducted a Q&A with Lord Macdonald from questions submitted by the audience. Professor Fu Hualing, Dean of the Faculty of Law, gave the vote of thanks.
Colin added: “Given the global health situation, we took the decision to hold this edition of the Criminal Law Lecture online and so our thanks go to the team at HKU for their superb organisation and technical support. We are hopeful we can revert to holding the lecture in-person next year.”