The Rule of Law: A Comparative Perspective—Festschrift for Anton MJ COORAY on the Occasion of his Sixty-fifth Birthday
At the end of June 2013, Professor Anton MJ COORAY retired from his position at the City University of Hong Kong School of Law after almost twenty-five years of loyal and productive service. During that time, he made a very substantial contribution to the success of the School, as well as to the study and practice of law both within and outside of Hong Kong.
This Festschrift has attracted contributions from not only his colleagues, but also a number of world-renowned scholars, who wished to convey through their contributions their enormous respect for his scholarship, leadership and gentlemanly bearing. 'The Rule of Law: a Comparative Perspective' has been chosen the theme of this Festschrift because it is one of the most important topics in the area of constitutional and administrative law, about which Professor COORAY has researched and written extensively.
Although the study of the 'rule of law' encompassed a very long list of fundamental legal principles or precepts, the thirteen chapters contained in this Festschrift fall into three main spheres: the rule of law from the perspectives of (1) international law, (2) domestic law and (3) law and religion. The excellent and original scholarship presented in this Festschrift contributes to the promotion of a better understanding of the concept of rule of law and its implications, including how the rule of law has interacted and continues to interact with international laws, domestic laws, and religions over time to meet the changing needs and aspirations of human dignity worldwide.
Whatever specialisations or interests we have in the very many facets of the law, it is the rule of law that binds all legal disciplines into a rational whole. For it has always been the law’s justification, its only justification, to serve the community in which it exists. This has been the effect of all that the great lawyers, philosophers and legal systems have tried to communicate to us. From Hammurabi to the common law through the Napoleonic Code, from Plato to Ronald DWORKIN, from John MARSHALL to Lord REID, the list is a long and impressive one. The depth of learning displayed in the present volume should be closely appreciated by student and lawyer alike, not least for the comparative presentations into this core concept involving as they do trans-national and trans-cultural approaches.
Though each system of law may have different approaches, the theme of the rule of law is the same. The public interest in any community lies in the recognition that there are principles and rights that are fundamental to the existence of a decent and fair society. And that these rights and principles are to be observed by everyone and every entity. Enforcement by the courts (the concept of the independence of the judiciary) is naturally an important aspect but there must also be recognition of the rule of law, both in spirit as well as in content, by governments and legislatures.
Anton COORAY has long recognised and advocated what I have tried to articulate in this short Foreword. He fully understands the rule of law and respects the dignity of it. And in my view, that makes him the complete lawyer.
Chief Justice’s Chambers
29 August 2013
—Guiguo WANG and Fan YANG
- The Rule of Law Sans Frontières: Cross-Border Aspects of the Principle of Legality
- The Rule of Law in India: The Chasm between Paper and Practice
- The Decalogue and Sri Lankan Criminal Law: Definition of Offences as a Prerequisite for the Rule of Law
—Noel DIAS and Roger GAMBLE
- The Rule of Law and the WTO: The Hope and Disappointment of WTO’s Decision Making
- In the Name of Harmony: The Erasure of Domestic Violence in China’s Judicial Mediation
—Xin HE and Kwai Hang NG
- The Islamisation Phenomenon and the Rule of Law in Malaysia
—Hong Phun LEE
- Rule of Law under the Communist Party of China: A Study of Local People’s Congress Elections
- Rule of Law: A Tort Law Perspective
—Fozia Nazir LONE
- The Rule of Law in Austria: The Constitutional Framework for Austrian Civil Procedure
- Rule of Law and Religious Faith and Beliefs: Dilemma for Indian Courts
- Legislative Reversals of Judicial Decisions
- Implementation and Application of the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention
- The Rotterdam Rules and the International Rule of Law