Hong Kong University, Centre for Comparative and Public Law, 'Freedom of Assembly and Protest Policing'

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Assembling in publicly accessible places provides a uniquely powerful way for a
movement to register the intensity of support it enjoys. It is often also a
transformative experience for those who participate. Drawing on international
standards and illustrative examples from around the world, this talk will address
several regulatory practices encountered by protesters in Hong Kong (including
those introduced under the 1922 Emergency Regulations Ordinance and the
‘unlawful assembly’ provision in section 18(1) of the Public Order Ordinance).
Highlighting the ongoing work of the UN Human Rights Committee in drafting
General Comment 37 on the right of peaceful assembly (under Article 21 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the talk will consider the
key role and obligations of the police in protecting and facilitating peaceful
assemblies. Moreover, in relation to strategies of de-escalation, the talk will
highlight the important work potentially undertaken by legal observers and
assembly monitors. The talk will argue that the design of robust institutional
safeguards and independent mechanisms of accountability are ultimately crucial
to ensuring an effective right of peaceful assembly.
Period4 Nov 2019
Event typePublic lecture/seminar/debate
LocationHong Kong
Degree of RecognitionInternational