Upcoming & recent

United Nations Role in International Tax Order: Past, Present and Future

Time: 28 February 2024 (Wednesday), 4:00 – 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: via Zoom
Link: Here
Description:

The international tax order has historically been OECD-centric with the UN playing second fiddle – if at all. However, of late, a lot is happening not only at the OECD but also at the UN, which could disrupt the international tax system and leave it in a state of disarray; if not anarchy. Past. An effort will be made to lay bare the revisionist viewpoint of the UN’s entry to and role within the international taxation system, and its outcomes particularly for the Global South. Present. The UN’s posturing not only at the Tax Committee level but also via other institutional interventions, may be indicative of a more dominant role across the international tax scene, which will be contextualized by connecting dots into the bigger picture. Future. While the OECD grapples with its two Pillars, the UN General Assembly Resolution 77/244 may have laid the foundations for the raising of a whole new Column – perhaps a Superstructure. While being tax-technical to the extent possible, this presentation will provide a critical snapshot of the current international tax scene with possible forebodings for the future.

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Book Talk: Blockchain Regulation and Governance in Europe

Time: 20 February 2024 (Tuesday), 5:30 - 6:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: via Zoom
Link: Here
Description:

In Blockchain Regulation and Governance in Europe, Michèle Finck examines the relationship between blockchain technology and EU law and introduces the theme of blockchain governance. The book provides a general introduction to blockchains as both a regulatable and a regulatory technology and outlines the interaction between distributed ledger technology and specific areas of EU law, such as the General Data Protection Regulation. It will be of great interest and immensely pertinent to anyone interested in EU law, the relationship between law, innovation and technology, and technology governance.

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Future Law Innovation Programme: Lawtech and the Development of Legal Education in Singapore

Time: 2 February 2024 (Friday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

Singapore’s push for the accelerated adoption of technology, as part of the transformation of its legal sector to support the digitalisation of its economy, began over 6 years ago. Integral to this effort was the Singapore Academy of Law’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) which was an industry-wide initiative to help law firms innovate new business models and catalyse the establishment of a national legal tech ecosystem. FLIP’s 2-year pilot ended just as the COVID pandemic started in 2020. Since then, new developments – like generative AI – have emerged amidst renewed efforts to help the legal profession look beyond the “BAU”. As education is a key intervention, this talk delves into the current thinking within SAL concerning continuing legal education and the training of lawyers in the age of pervasive AI.

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Open Finance, Artificial Intelligence and Data Quality

Time: 30 January 2024 (Tuesday), 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

As the financial industry seeks to leverage the strengths of artificial intelligence (AI), it must confront the data quality problem. AI applications demand substantial volumes of both training and testing data, posing significant challenges not only in terms of data availability but also with respect to its quality. Open finance initiatives focus on the former but not the latter. AI regulations are likely to impose strict but general data quality requirements prompting the question how the financial industry will meet them. While some private initiatives aimed at addressing the problem are ongoing, major issues in areas such as data structuring, compensation, liability, and dispute resolution are likely to remain unaddressed. This paper proposes a menu of public policy options designed to address the data quality problem inspired by data quality regulations in various sectors. These options range from providing guidance regarding financial data quality, mandating the setting of data quality standards by private data sharing schemes to public management of data pools certified to meet such standards.

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Strategic Incentives for Adopting the Global Minimum Tax

Time: 26 January 2024 (Friday), 12:00 – 1:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: via Zoom
Link: Here
Description:

This Seminar examines this narrative by systematically analyzing strategic incentives for adopting or retaining Pillar Two’s three components: the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR), the Qualified Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax (QDMT), and the UTPR or under-tax profit rule. It finds that such incentives are surprisingly weak for national-income-maximizing governments. Specifically: (1) IIR adoption is irrational conditional on QDMT adoption by other countries in response; (2) QDMT adoption is rational if and only if in response to IIR adoption, and the combination of IIR and QDMT adoption is therefore unstable; (3) in many policy-relevant circumstances, QDMT adoption is not an effective response to UTPR adoption, and IIR adoption is generally not an effective response to UTPR adoption. In addition, the Seminar draws an important distinction between two interpretations of the UTPR (extraterritorial v. non-extraterritorial), and identifies conditions under which they are equivalent (generating weak enforcement effects) and where they diverge. The Seminar’s findings suggest that if countries are motivated by national self-interest, then even after many adopt Pillar Two, the regime may still unravel. Indeed, the fact that Pillar Two contemplates very substantial wealth transfers among countries makes its “incentive compatibility” highly unlikely. The Seminar also shows the extraterritorial and non-extraterritorial interpretations of the UTPR raise distinct normative questions about international law; normative debates about the UTPR should therefore pay closer attention to the UTPR’s positive features.

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Book Talk: Coherence between Data Protection and Competition Law in Digital Markets

Time: 18 January 2024 (Thursday), 5:30 - 6:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: via Zoom
Link: Here
Description:

In digital markets, data protection and competition law affect each other in diverse and intricate ways. Their entanglement has triggered a global debate on how these two areas of law should interact to effectively address new harms and ensure that the digital economy flourishes. Coherence between Data Protection and Competition Law in Digital Markets offers a blueprint for bridging the disconnect between data protection and competition law and ensuring a coherent approach towards their enforcement in digital markets. Specifically, this book focuses on the evolution of data protection and competition law, their underlying rationale, their key features and common objectives, and provides a series of examples to demonstrate how the same empirical phenomena in digital markets pose a common challenge to protecting personal data and promoting market competitiveness. A panoply of theoretical and empirical commonalities between these two fields of law, as this volume shows, are barely mirrored in the legal, enforcement, policy, and institutional approaches in the EU and beyond, where the silo approach continues to prevail. The ideas that Majcher puts forward for a more synergetic integration of data protection and competition law are anchored in the concept of 'sectional coherence'. This new coherence-centred paradigm reimagines the interpretation and enforcement of data protection and competition law as mutually cognizant and reciprocal, allowing readers to explore, in an innovative way, the interface between these legal fields and identify positive interactions, instead of merely addressing inconsistencies and tensions. This book reflects on the conceptual, practical, institutional, and constitutional implications of the transition towards coherence and the relevance of its findings for other jurisdictions.

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UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Day 2023: The Role of Technology and Law in Cross-Border Trade

Time: 20 December 2023 (Wednesday) 4:30-6:00 PM
Duration: 1.5 hours
Location: Nagoya University and Zoom
Link: Here

The Quiet Revolution: Foreign Ownership and Corporate Governance

Time: 13 December 2023 (Wednesday), 6:30 – 7:30 PM HKT
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

One of the most striking changes in the world’s capitalist economies has been the rise of cross-border share ownership over the last twenty-five years. The talk will document this rise and seek to understand the relationship between this rise and corporate governance. The starting point is an exploration of the factors independent of corporate-governance considerations that favor a global market for securities and those that impede it. The rise in foreign ownership globally can be explained in significant part by the weakening of these impeding factors. The demand outside a country for the shares of its issuers is determined both by how much the forces impeding a global market for securities have weakened and by the corporate governance of the country’s issuers. This observation suggests pathways of causation between increased foreign ownership and improved corporate governance that run in both directions. For each, the weakening of the forces independent of corporate governance that impede a global market for securities acts as a catalyst. As they weaken, foreign ownership increases, leading to improved corporate governance, which in turn leads to increased foreign ownership.

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Book Talk: The New Stock Market: Law, Economics, and Policy

Time: 11 December 2023 (Monday), 12:30 – 1:30 PM HKT
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

The U.S. stock market has been transformed over the last twenty-five years. Once a market in which human beings traded at human speeds, it is now an electronic market pervaded by algorithmic trading, conducted at speeds nearing that of light. High-frequency traders participate in a large portion of all transactions, and a significant minority of all trade occurs on alternative trading systems known as “dark pools”. These developments have been widely criticized, but there is no consensus on the best regulatory response to these dramatic changes. The book offers a comprehensive new look at how these markets work, how they fail, and how they should be regulated. It draws on the informational paradigm of microstructure economics to highlight the crucial role of information asymmetries and adverse selection in explaining market behavior, while examining a wide variety of developments in market practices and participants. The result is an account of the stock market’s regulatory framework, fundamental institutions, and economic dynamics, combined with an assessment of its various controversies. The New Stock Market covers a wide range of issues including the practices of high-frequency traders, insider trading, manipulation, short selling, broker-dealer practices, and trading venue fees and rebates. The book illuminates both the existing regulatory structure of our equity trading markets and how we can improve it.

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Book Talk: Rethinking Securities Law

Time: 1 December 2023 (Friday), 5:30 - 6:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In-Person at Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
Link: Here
Description:

Rethinking Securities Law focuses on many key aspects of securities regulation and recommends meaningful reforms that should be implemented. The book addresses such fundamental subjects as the disclosure regimen of the federal securities laws, exempt offerings (for issuers as well as in the resale setting), the Securities Act registration framework, corporate governance, private securities litigation, insider trading, mergers and acquisitions, and the SEC itself. The book’s final chapter provides a summary of recommendations for adoption, numbering about 125 such recommendations.

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Deposit Insurance in the Aftermath of Recent Bank Failures

Time: 16 November 2023 (Thursday), 6:30 - 7:30 PM
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In-Person at Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
Link: Here
Description:

The recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), First Republic Bank (FRB) and Signature Bank have placed deposit insurance schemes and their limitations under the spotlight. This presentation considers deposit insurance schemes in major jurisdictions, and explores some risk mitigation steps that multinational corporations can take to better protect their large bank deposits. Recent bank failures have also prompted financial regulators to consider whether existing deposit insurance schemes are fit for purpose. This presentation explores three potential options for reforming the US deposit insurance scheme proposed by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): (1) limited coverage; (2) unlimited coverage; and (3) targeted coverage. Any reforms resulting from the FDIC’s proposals will not only be significant for the US financial system, but for the entire global financial system, because many deposit insurance schemes around the world are modelled on the US scheme.

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Trusts in the Courts – a Period of Constant Change?

Time: 13 November 2023 (Monday), 12:45 - 1:45 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Zoom & In-Person: Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

Fundamental aspects of trust law are being considered with increasing frequency in the higher courts around the world and, in the process, trust law is being developed, at pace, in crucially important respects (including trust validity (Webb v Webb; Zhang Lan v La Dolce Vita); exclusion of trustee duty (IQ EQ); trustee third party liability and indemnity (Investec Trust v Glenalla; Equity Trust v Halabi; Von Westenholz/ Guardian Trust principle); function of letters of wishes (Piedmont and Riviera Trusts; Re X Trusts); role of protectors (Re X Trusts); scope and exercise of powers (Grand View; Rysaffe Fiduciaries)). This talk will consider several of the more recent decisions and will address points of principle arising and their profound practical consequences, many of which are only now becoming apparent.

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The Return of Interference in Sovereign Affairs and International Law

Time: 9 November 2023 (Thursday), 4:00 - 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

Interference in sovereign affairs was for a long time a leading motif in Third World approaches to international law. Following the end of the Cold War, the debate has witnessed significant mutations. Interference is all encompassing and hard to pin down; it proceeds through a range of decentralized and private actors; few issues are still seen as inherently domestic; and disruption rather than coercion seem involved. Is the notion still helpfully understood as a corollary of sovereignty? What exactly is it meant to protect? How might one reinvest it with meaning without letting the fight against undue interference be worse than the problem it seeks to solve?

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How Should Central Banks Explore CBDC

Time: 6 November 2023 (Monday), 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Duration: 1.5 hours
Location: HKU iCube, 4005-07, 40F, Two Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

Central banks should ensure that they have the capacity to continue to meet their policy objectives in the digital age. It is in this context that central bank digital currency (CBDC) should be evaluated. If designed appropriately, CBDCs could allow central banks to modernize payment systems and future-proof central bank money as the pace and shape of digitalization continues to evolve. This Seminar proposes a dynamic decision-making framework under which the central bank can make decisions under uncertainty. A phased and iterative approach could allow central banks to adjust the pace, scale, and scope of their CBDC projects as the domestic and international environment changes.

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Should Hong Kong Follow New Zealand’s Decision to Implement a Digital Services Tax?

Time: 1 November 2023 (Wednesday), 3:00 – 4:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hours
Location: via Zoom
Link: Here
Description:

This presentation will consider the recent decision by the New Zealand Government to implement a Digital Services Tax (DST) as a reaction to the slow progress globally to implement the BEPS 2.0 Two-Pillar approach. It will review the original proposal released for consultation in 2019, the draft legislation introduced to Parliament in late August 2023, and speculate what may happen following the General Election to be held on 14 October 2023. Building on this foundation, the presentation will then move its focus to considering whether Hong Kong should follow a similar approach.

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The Evolution of Commercial Dispute Resolution Clauses in the International Commercial, Financial and Investment Contracts of China’s Enterprises – a Forward Look

Time: 18 October 2023 (Wednesday), 5:15 - 6:15 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

As China’s leading role in international trade and finance continues to mature, the settlement of disputes bilaterally and informally, or through formal mediation, while much to be welcomed, may not be sufficient to deal with the number of disputes that inevitably arise in trading and financial relationships. It is at that point that the dispute resolution provisions in the contractual documentation (including governing law) will govern how the dispute is to be decided. The purpose of the seminar is to identify the themes that will influence the evolution of these clauses. As well as the content of contractual provisions, the seminar will discuss the economic and other factors that may produce divergence from current dispute resolution models. The seminar will consider key factors influencing the selection of specific dispute resolution clauses in these international commercial contracts, considering the context of Chinese enterprises. Draft amendments to China’s Arbitration Law and changes such as legitimising ad hoc arbitration for foreign-related disputes and incorporating the notion of seat may affect CDR clauses. The seminar will discuss themes that will influence the future evolution of China’s commercial dispute resolution clauses – what will they look like in 10 years’ time? Will they diverge from current models in use internationally?

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Virtual Banking and Beyond

Time: 27 September 2023 (Wednesday), 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

The integration of technology, finance and services is rapidly changing the banking landscape, as big techs, fintech firms, non-bank financial institutions as well as incumbent banks take up stakes in virtual banking. New technology-driven models exploit the expanding data footprints of individuals and firms to generate information capital and reduce the reliance on collateral when offering loans and other financial services. Drawing on experiences from existing virtual banks, the speakers demonstrate that data and entities that manage data will be at the heart of this transformation from physical collateral to information collateral, helping to drive financial inclusion. At the same time, the growing importance of information capital presents new challenges to data privacy and its regulation. Financial regulators thus need to ensure that regulatory oversight delivers on the inclusion and intermediation-enhancing benefits of digital finance without compromising traditional regulatory goals. Moreover, there is a pressing need for a system of data governance that allows consumers and businesses to exercise control over their data through the granting and withholding of consent to the use and transfer of their data. The speakers delve into the case of India’s digital public infrastructure (DPI) and Hong Kong’s virtual banking experience to offer examples of a data governance framework and an integrated regulatory framework respectively.

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Book Launch: The Law of Loyalty

Time: 15 September 2023 (Friday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Room 901, 9/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
Link: Here
Description:

About the Author: Professor Lionel Smith is Cheng Yu Tung Distinguished Visiting Professor at HKU during September 2023. He is Downing Professor of the Laws of England at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He previously taught at the Universities of Alberta and Oxford before joining McGill University in 2000, where he was Sir William C Macdonald Professor of Law at McGill University from 2013-2022. Previously he was Director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and James McGill Professor. He is a Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and member of the American Law Institute, the European Law Institute, and the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, and is a non-practising member of the Bar of Alberta.

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Book Talk: Breaking Away

Time: 14 September 2023 (Thursday), 8:30 - 9:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Breaking Away sounds a warning call alerting readers that their privacy and autonomy concerns are indeed warranted, and the remedies deserve far greater attention than they have received from our leading policymakers and experts to date. Through the various prisms of economic theory, market data, policy, and law, the book offers a clear and accessible insight into how a few powerful firms - Google, Apple, Facebook (Meta), and Amazon - have used the same anticompetitive playbook and manipulated the current legal regime for their gain at our collective expense.

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Access to Sustainable Finance: The Impact of Private International Law

Time: 14 September 2023 (Thursday), 4:00 – 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

A fair, shared and inclusive global economy can only be concretised through a framework that allows access to sustainable finance. Robust procedural and substantive legal frameworks contribute towards this ecosystem by answering questions of private international law, such as applicable law, jurisdiction, as well as recognition and enforcement. Private international law also provides mechanisms of international cooperation to allow such questions to be answered clearly and effectively. In particular, coordinated guidance frameworks relating to digital currencies and payment systems, the treatment of digital assets and tokens, artificial intelligence (AI) and automated contracting, cross-border insolvency proceedings, and novel governance structures such as decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and voluntary and compliance markets on carbon credits will contribute to the goals of sustainable financing and access to capital. Examining each of these examples, this event will address the impact of private international law rules on cross-border access to capital and finance, sound commercial and business governance, and sustainable development.

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Land Options for Housing: How New Property Rights Can Break Old Land Monopolies

Time: 12 June 2023 (Monday), 4:00 - 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

The world today is afflicted by the inequality of wealth created in large part by monopolistic ownership of land. Hong Kong, with the least affordable housing in the world, provides a particularly apt example of how property law protects such monopolies – and also how the creation of new property rights can break them up. The Speaker will use Hong Kong as a case study to suggest both a diagnosis and a solution to two aspects of property law that slow down the creation of housing. First, the division of property rights between private owners and the government creates a bilateral monopoly that results in a gridlock. Second, reallocating property rights to end such a gridlock is impeded by the reciprocal causation between property rights and political influence – what the speaker calls a “constituency effect” of property law. Rather than attempt a frontal assault on existing holdings that would likely be foiled by such constituency effects, the speaker suggests that the government should create entirely new property rights around which new interest groups could form. By giving every Hong Kong resident “land options for housing” (LOHs), the government could create a competitive market for development rights that simultaneously ends the gridlock of monopoly and creates a new constituency to lobby for more housing.

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The Strength of Bad Ties: Modeling Tying Caselaw Since the Sherman Act

Time: 23 May 2023 (Tuesday), 12:00 – 1:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Virtual & In-Person at Room 824, 8/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
Link: Here
Description:

We deploy a suite of topic modeling visualizations to reveal how tying caselaw has fragmented since the Sherman Act. Topic modeling is a natural language processing algorithm that illustrates the statistical relationships among words within a corpus of texts; tying is the sale of one product on the condition that the consumer also purchase another product. Here our corpus consists of every federal tying decision between 1890 and 2018, a body of caselaw that is notoriously convoluted. Our results show that tying cases tend to be more loosely connected than in other antitrust doctrines. Additionally, using the “strength of weak ties” theory from sociology, we illuminate the similarities in legal and economic reasoning among tying cases in disparate industries.

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Book Talk: The Future of High-Cost Credit – Rethinking Payday Lending

Time: 12 May 2023 (Friday), 5:00 - 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In-Person at Room 824, 8/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
Link: Here
Description:

This book proposes a new way of thinking about the controversial and complex challenges associated with the regulation of high-cost credit, specifically payday lending. These products have received significant attention in both the media and political arena. The inadequacy of regulatory interventions has created ongoing problems with the provision of high-cost credit, particularly for consumers with lesser bargaining power and who are already financially vulnerable.

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The Cross-Border Insolvency Cooperation between Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR: Is the Arrangement Enough and Why?

Time: 3 May 2023 (Wednesday), 6:00 – 7:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

China has witnessed more and more cross-border insolvency cases in the recent decades. Further, due to the proximity and close economic ties between the Mainland China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), it is not difficult to understand the unprecedented importance of the arrangement between the Mainland and Hong Kong SAR concerning the cooperation mechanism for China-Hong Kong SAR cross-border insolvencies adopted in May 2021 (the Arrangement). However, the recent high-profile cross-border insolvency cases relating to the Peking University Founder Group (PUFG), Tsinghua Unigroup, and Hainan Airlines (HNA), which concern both the Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR, seem to indicate that the Arrangement is far from being enough to cope with all the cross-border insolvency cooperation matters between the two jurisdictions. The presentation tries to inquire as to why the Arrangement has not fulfilled its mission to the full extent, and whether and how to improve the current unsatisfactory status.

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AI in Insurance: A New Regulatory Focus

Time: 28 April 2023 (Friday), 12:30 – 1:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in different areas of insurance business, including underwriting, sales and claims handling. While it is capable of providing many benefits to insurers and customers, it gives rise to a number of important regulatory concerns, in particular in relation to governance and potential discriminatory practices. Insurance regulators have started to address such concerns through guidelines that may state high-level principles or set out specific obligations in relation to the development and use of AI applications. The seminar will consider this emerging area of regulation based on practical examples and regulatory circulars issued in key jurisdictions.

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The Government Shareholder as a Fiduciary: Implications for ESG Management

Time: 21 April 2023 (Friday), 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Philip K.H. Wong Theatre, 2/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are among the most important type of companies in many jurisdictions in Asia and beyond. But SOEs raise a unique governance issue: there is the risk that the government will exercise its powers as a controlling shareholder of the SOEs to advance its partisan ends rather than to promote public benefit. After all, there have been extractions of private benefits of control by the state controller in SOEs to the detriment of the company and the public. But the government (particularly where it uses public funds to invest) has to act in the public interest; it is ultimately accountable to its citizens. There is significant literature showing that the state’s relationship with its subjects is akin to the private law fiduciary relationship where there is discretionary power, information asymmetry, dependence and vulnerability. Drawing on this literature and the case law, Professor Lim argues that the government should be subjected to fiduciary duties where it is a controlling shareholder as in the case of SOEs (or where it is a minority investor in non-SOEs). He then explores the implications of government shareholder fiduciary duties for environmental, social and governance (ESG) management. He also examines the relationship between the fiduciary duties of the state controller and directors. Finally, he addresses potential objections and suggests how the government’s fiduciary duties can be enforced.

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Book Talk: The Administrative Foundations of the Chinese Fiscal State

Time: 14 April 2023 (Friday), 12:00 – 1:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

On subjects ranging from trade to democratization, there has lately been a wave of laments about China's development belying Western expectations. Yet these disappointments often come with misunderstandings of the very institutions that China was expected to adopt. Chinese taxation offers a sharp illustration. When China introduced a tax system suited for the market economy, it fully intended tax collection to rely on self-assessment, audits, and the rule of law. But this Western approach was quickly jettisoned in favour of one that emphasized monitoring of taxpayers and ex ante interventions, at the expense of deterrence and truthful reporting norms. The Chinese approach surprisingly matches recommendations made by recent economic scholarship on tax compliance and state capacity. China's massive but little-known explorations in taxation highlight the distinct types of modern state capacity, and raise challenging questions about the future of taxation and the superiority of institutions based on rule of law.

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The Public Revenue Regime in Hong Kong: Land & Housing

Time: 13 April 2023 (Thursday), 5:00 - 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

One can reasonably claim that Hong Kong is a remarkable tax policy museum. For a First World jurisdiction, it has an unusually limited range of taxes – there is no prescribed, general Sales Tax nor any formal Capital Gains Tax, for example. Yet one can also argue that has been a centre of revenue policy innovation. The innovation, above all, has pivoted on successfully accessing non-usual sources of public revenue (especially land-related revenues). The result is that tax reform has been kept to a minimum. Hong Kong thus retains a Revenue Regime (RR) which is (formally) low tax, clearly simple (with low compliance costs) and it has generated revenues sufficient to build excellent infrastructure, to provide often first-rate government services, to enable Hong Kong to stay virtually debt free and to amass huge fiscal reserves. This presentation will explain the origins and development of this exceptional RR. It will also examine the closely related development of Hong Kong’s massive public housing system.

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Global Minimum Tax Reform and the Future of Tax Competition

Time: 15 March 2023 (Wednesday), 5:00 - 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

In the current age of globalisation, capital mobility has contributed to international tax competition. While some countries succeeded in attracting as much foreign investment as possible by offering lucrative tax benefits, other countries have found themselves suffering from loss of tax revenue. For more than two decades, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been playing a leading role in the multilateral cooperation to combat harmful tax competition. On 8 October 2021, 136 jurisdictions under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Inclusive Framework reached a historic agreement to introduce a global minimum tax reform that aims to curb tax competition between jurisdictions. Will tax competition disappear under the global minimum tax reform? If not, what will it be like in the post-Pillar Two environment? This presentation will first discuss the problems of tax competition and give a historical account of the OECD’s efforts to tackle harmful tax competition. It will analyse how the OECD’s attitude and approach to address tax competition has evolved since the 1998 Report. Then, it will contemplate the future of tax competition in the post-Pillar Two environment. On the one hand, it will analyse how, and to what extent, the global minimum tax reform will reach its goal of curbing tax competition. On the other hand, it will explore any remaining scope for tax competition, based on the key technical designs of Pillar Two and the latest reactions of various jurisdictions.

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Metaverse in China

Time: 7 March 2023 (Tuesday), 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual and In-Person: Philip K.H. Wong Theatre, 2/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

Today, the metaverse can be described as a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. What is the current situation of the Metaverse in China? Given that digital assets are normally a very important part of the Metaverse but given the fact that cryptocurrencies are banned in Mainland China, is there a Metaverse in Mainland China and, if so, what does it look like? Also, what about Hong Kong? Is the Metaverse industry booming in the Special Administrative Region? The speaker will address these questions plus some general questions such as Open Metaverses vs Closed Metaverses, the Metaverse and DeFi, the Metaverse and privacy.

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The Covid 19 Pandemic and Business Interruption Insurance (BII)

Time: 28 February 2023 (Tuesday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

The Covid 19 pandemic has cost millions of lives. Its deleterious effects on mental health as well as social, cultural and educational development has been well documented. Its dire economic consequences were arguably greater than those of any event since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The global insurance industry has suffered an estimated US$44 billion in losses as a consequence of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many pandemic-related claims were made by businesses which could not operate due to outbreaks of the disease and related government ‘lockdowns’. Many insurers preferred to litigate over such claims rather than pay them, believing that their magnitude – in terms of both their number and size - could lead to their own financial collapse. Decisions such as that of the UK Supreme Court in FCA v Arch have followed. Some have favoured policyholders whereas others have not. The development of pandemic risk insurance on a public-private basic has been mooted as a way of closing a perceived ‘protection gap’ in relation to Covid 19 and possible future pandemics. Many schemes have been proposed but none have been implemented. This seminar looks at the nature of BII cover; examines the decision in FCA v Arch and other significant cases; and considers the future of BII and pandemic risk insurance cover. It draws upon the speaker’s research for his article Business not as usual – The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd (2022) J.B.L., Issue 4 pp 257-281 and his chapter Pandemics and Disasters: Insurance Challenges for the forthcoming book The Global Insurance Market and Change: Emerging Technologies, Risks and Legal Challenges (Routledge, 2023) edited by Dr Tony Tarr.

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Regulation and Innovation – Where Does the Balance Lie for Crypto?

Time: 15 February 2023 (Wednesday), 12:30 - 2:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong (In-Person Only)
Link: Here
Description:

The bankruptcy filing of FTX, the world’s second largest crypto exchange, was a point of inflection for governments, regulators and even the industry itself. Could regulation have forestalled the failure of FTX, protected investors from significant losses and prevented heavy damage to confidence in the industry? Across the world, there is yet a general consensus on how crypto activities and players should be regulated. In the United States, the debate has not moved beyond the question of who should regulate. Most jurisdictions have chosen to use their anti-money laundering regime (AML), which does not deal with conduct and investor protection issues, to regulate crypto platforms. Hong Kong has taken a bolder path. By summer this year, it will be mandatory for all centralized virtual asset platforms that offer virtual asset services in Hong Kong, whether or not the assets traded are securities, to be licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) under its “fit and proper” regime, with the objective of ensuring investor protection. Many governments have made known their desire for their market to be a hub for Web3, and the center for technological leadership. Yet, without a clearly defined regulatory approach, it would be difficult to continue to foster innovation while protecting consumers and investors. Inevitably, regulation comes at a cost. When properly calibrated, the benefit it yields should justify the cost. In the fast-evolving virtual asset universe, where does the balance lie? Join Alexa Lam and her moderator Jay Luo for a discussion of how an appropriate regulatory model could be created and what it might look like.

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Book Talk: Comparative Law

Time: 1 February 2023 (Wednesday), 5:00 - 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This book presents a fresh contextualized and cosmopolitan perspective on comparative law. It critically discusses established approaches to comparative law, but also presents more modern ones, such as socio-legal and empirical comparative law. Special emphasis is given to the impact of globalization on legal systems. It also explains how other disciplines make comparative law richer by using new methods and extending it to new questions.

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Contractual Estoppel: A First Look at First Tower Trustees in Hong Kong

Time: 5 January 2023 (Thursday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual and In-Person (Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU)
Link: Here
Description:

In 2018, the English Court of Appeal handed down its decision in First Tower Trustees Ltd v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 1396. In doing so the court issued important guidance on the usage of a principle known as contractual estoppel, which allows parties to bind themselves by contract to accept a particular state of affairs – for example, that representations have not been made or (if made) have not been relied on – even if the parties know that state of affairs to be untrue. This seminar will discuss the treatment of the First Tower Trustees decision in recent cases, including Ng Yuk Pui Kelly v Ng Lai Ling Winnie [2021] HKCA 724, following which tentative views will be offered on the future development of the contractual estoppel principle.

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Book Talk: Courts, Regulators, and the Scrutiny of Economic Evidence

Time: 13 December 2022 (Tuesday), 6:00 - 7:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Courts, Regulators, and the Scrutiny of Economic Evidence presents the first systematic examination of economic regulation and the crucial role of economic evidence in regulatory authorities and courts. This book brings together strands of scholarship from law, economics, and political science to explore two key themes: the influence of economic evidence on the discretionary assessments of economic regulators, and the limits of judicial review of economic evidence, supplemented with comparative examination of both UK and US systems. In light of the challenges posed by economic evidence, Mantzari argues the appropriate scope of judicial review in the era of regulatory economics, and what the optimal institutional response to the pervasiveness of economic evidence in regulation should be.

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Patent Licensing in IoT – SEPs and Patent Pools

Time: 13 December 2022 (Tuesday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the doorstep of becoming one of the most important features of the 21st century, connecting all kind of objects and devices and establishing communication between a vast amount of devices and services. The technologies unlocking this great potential are the result of decades of investment in effort, time, skill and money and are often protected by patents. Licensing in the IoT arena will require a delicate balance between innovation and implementation, investment and reward. This session will focus on how to establish a patent licensing model in this new emerging landscape.

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The Future of Financial Centers

Time: 29 November 2022 (Tuesday), 5:00 - 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual and In-Person
Link: Here
Description:

Financial centers – and the organizations that represent them – are spearheading efforts to strengthen their jurisdictions' financial markets, business environments, and innovation ecosystems to enable sustainable global growth.​ In 2030, financial centers will be green, smart, innovative, customer-focused, digital, and inclusive, and will play a critical role in attracting and retaining the best talent. ​Leading the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC), Dr. Jochen Biedermann will discuss about the financial centers and the continuing collaborations and sharing of knowledge as key to supporting growth across all sectors in the future. He will particularly touch on developments in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area from a global perspective. The Hong Kong government's Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) is an active member of the WAIFC.

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Global Minimum Tax Reform and China

Time: 23 November 2022 (Wednesday), 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This lecture will focus on the G20/OECD Pillar II international tax reform, discussing its possible impact on China and what China might do in response. In 2013, the G20/OECD launched the BEPS Action Plan and released 15 final reports in 2015. In 2019, in order to address the remaining issues of BEPS, the G20/OECD proposed a “two-pillar” tax reform package, on which a preliminary consensus was reached by 137 members of Inclusive Framework in October 2021. These final reports and measures marked the first fundamental reform in the international tax system in the past hundred years. As one of the two-pillar proposals, Pillar II aims to set the minimum corporate tax rate in the world, regulate the harmful tax planning of multinational enterprises, and create a fair international tax environment. China is currently at a stage of high-level of opening-up and is committed to building a dual circulation development pattern that will continue to energize the development of the Hong Kong SAR and Hainan Free Trade Port, and keep enhancing the momentum for the technological research advancement and scientific innovation. Will the Pillar II international tax reform proposal have any impact on China’s development strategy? What impact will it have on China’s tax law system? How should China respond to it? All these are worth exploring.

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One Country Two Systems and Cross-Border Legal Harmonization

Time: 5 November 2022 (Saturday), 9:00 — 18:00 HKT
Duration: 9 hours
Location: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Link: Here
Description:

On 5 November 2022, The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law will hold the “One Country Two Systems and Cross-Border Legal Harmonization” conference, its first in person conference since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This conference will gather leading practitioners and distinguished scholars to discuss the current cutting-edge topics relating to cross-border legal issues between Mainland China and Hong Kong. Through in-depth discussions on four major areas including data transfer, intellectual property, dispute resolution, and insolvency, this conference aims to generate illuminating insights to promote legal harmonization between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The conference will be held in person and is free to register. All are welcome.

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The Changing Landscape of Inbound and Outbound Investment to and from Hong Kong: Taxation Implications for Investors and Corporate Entities

Time: Thursday, 25 August 2022, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Businesses continue to look to expand beyond their domestic market into new markets. This creates novel business opportunities, but navigating taxation implications can pose its own complexities. This presentation addresses current outbound and inbound entity structures, tax compliance issues, and comments on indirect tax planning and advice. Of interest to tax practitioners and accountants is the changing landscape of outbound and inbound investments concerning Hong Kong in the present economy, and ongoing strategies to better develop corporate structures for foreigner operations.

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The Future of Tax Jurisdiction

Time: Wednesday, 22 June 2022, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This seminar discusses the future of tax jurisdiction. Tax jurisdiction is a function of state capacity, technology and politics. It reflects changing labour and capital relations and only partly depends on territorial boundaries. Tax concepts of residence and source have changed over time as the capability to tax mobile consumption, labour and capital changes. Governments extend or retract tax jurisdiction over income, entities and activities outside their territory. Tax jurisdiction is changed by cooperation between states, which has grown significantly in the last decade, although states continue to compete in some important respects. The speaker will illustrate the discussion with some examples of the evolution of tax jurisdiction, ranging from individuals as residents, workers, investors or consumers, to corporations subject to the latest global deal for taxation of multinational enterprises around the world.

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Book Talk: Hong Kong Competition Law – Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives

Time: Thursday, 28 April 2022, 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This is the first academic monograph on the Competition Ordinance in Hong Kong. It provides an overview of the historical background of the Competition Ordinance, highlighting the debate and the process that led to the adoption of the Ordinance. It offers detailed comparative and theoretical analysis of the key provisions of the Ordinance, focusing on the First Conduct Rule, the Second Conduct Rule, the exclusions and exemptions, and the procedural provisions. It draws on overseas legislation and jurisprudence that inspired the provisions in the Ordinance and incorporates a detailed examination of the latest cases decided by the Competition Tribunal. It engages in relevant academic debates and theoretical analysis of how competition law in Hong Kong should develop in light of its unique economic and political contexts. It concludes by setting forth of a set of recommendations for further reform.

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Understanding the Momentous Mainland-Hong Kong Cross-Border Insolvency Arrangement

Time: Thursday, 21 April 2022, 4:00-5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

By developing the common law on judicial assistance, the courts of Hong Kong have succeeded to some extent to meet the challenges arising from the many cases of insolvent companies from the Mainland which were listed in Hong Kong but incorporated in offshore jurisdictions. On the other hand, section 5 of the Mainland’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law provides that, in the absence of treaties, Chinese courts may recognise foreign insolvency proceedings based on reciprocity. Unfortunately the Mainland has not entered into any treaty with another jurisdiction, and the meaning of reciprocity is heavily contested. On 14 May 2021, the Mainland signed an agreement with Hong Kong for mutual recognition and assistance in cross-border insolvencies in the two jurisdictions. This talk seeks to explain how this momentous development was achieved; in particular, how the Mainland adapted ideas and provisions from the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (Model Law) to meet the Mainland’s conflicting objectives of development and risks control. It will also be shown that the agreement remains a work in progress, as reflected in cases decided after the coming into force of the agreement, which foreshadows further developments in practice to overcome hurdles and debates between old doctrines in private international law and the new doctrines typified by the Model Law.

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Blockchain Asset Registries-Freeing Crypto from Mania

Time: Tuesday, 12 April 2022, 4:00 – 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

There has been much excitement over the past decade over the technology known as the blockchain. However, few lawyers truly understand how blockchains work. Most are content to accept the mantra that blockchains are a form of decentralized, cryptographically secured, immutable ledger. Yet hacks of both exchanges and individuals have been common ever since crypto assets attained any significant value, so one must ask, “What do blockchains actually secure and how do they do so?” The answers will enable us to answer the perhaps more important question, “What don’t blockchains secure?” Technologists and financiers have little understanding of how asset registries work and the security considerations that underpin the law of property. There is a simplistic belief that an authoritative registry will solve problems of ownership without an understanding of the costs (financial and otherwise) of such registries. The underlying tension in the law of property is insoluble unless one can achieve a state of perfect security, wherein fraud becomes impossible. Yet no technology can do so, least of all blockchains, which are arguably even less secure than centralized ledgers once a proper cost-benefit analysis is undertaken. This seminar will provide participants with in-depth understanding of both the nature of blockchain security and its limits as well as a nuanced appreciation of the costs and drawbacks of asset registries.

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Protecting Policy Holders’ Interests in Health Insurance

Time: Thursday, 31 March 2022, 8:00 - 9:30 PM Hong Kong time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Speakers include Mr Clement Cheung, CEO, Hong Kong Insurance Authority; Professor Anita Katharina Wagner, Harvard Medical School; and Dr Andreas Reis, Co-Lead, Global Health Ethics, World Health Organization

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China’s Rising (and the United States’ Declining) Influence on Global Tax Governance? Some Observations

Time: Thursday, 3 March 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This lecture considers China’s rise as a global economic power and the implications for global tax governance, especially in light of the United States’ leadership in the international tax system.

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Book Talk: Regulating the Crypto Economy

Time: Thursday, 24 February 2022, 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This book focuses on the building of a crypto economy as an alternative economic space and discusses how the crypto economy should be governed. The crypto economy is examined in its productive and financialised aspects, in order to distil the need for governance in this economic space. The author argues that it is imperative for regulatory policy to develop the economic governance of the blockchain-based business model, in order to facilitate economic mobilisation and wealth creation. The regulatory framework should cater for a new and unique enterprise organisational law and the fund-raising and financing of blockchain-based development projects. Such a regulatory framework is crucially enabling in nature and consistent with the tenets of regulatory capitalism.

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Book Talk: Reforming Antitrust

Time: Thursday, 24 February 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 AM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Industrial consolidation, digital platforms, and changing political views have spurred debate about the interplay between public and private power in the United States and have created a bipartisan appetite for potential antitrust reform that would mark the most profound shift in US competition policy in the past half-century. While neo-Brandeisians call for a reawakening of antitrust in the form of a return to structuralism and a concomitant rejection of economic analysis founded on competitive effects, proponents of the status quo look on this state of affairs with alarm. Scrutinizing the latest evidence, Alan J. Devlin finds a middle ground. US antitrust laws warrant revision, he argues, but with far more nuance than current debates suggest. He offers a new vision of antitrust reform, achieved by refining our enforcement policies and jettisoning an unwarranted obsession with minimizing errors of economic analysis.

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Creating Equitable Tax Systems: Challenges Posed by Financial Markets

Time: Thursday, 17 February 2022, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Rising wealth and income inequality has led to growing social tensions in many countries and driven an increase in international frictions. One mechanism for addressing this problem is tax policy. However, not only have governments in major economies shied away from more redistributive fiscal policies, but in many cases have pursued highly regressive systems of taxation. A major underlying reason for this has been the outsized role of financial markets in the modern global economy. The relative mobility of capital versus labour has posed challenges to governments seeking to impose higher taxes on large corporations and the wealthy, particularly as global fiscal competition has heated up in recent decades. Mr. Fok’s recently published book, Financial Cold War, explores how the structure of the international financial system has contributed to growing tensions between China and America. Among other areas covered in this book, he specifically examines the role of taxation in contemporary financial markets and the risks posed by growing fiscal imbalances.

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Directors’ Duties and Disclosure Obligations under Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change

Time: Friday, 10 December 2021, 3:00 PM Hong Kong Time via ZOOM
Duration: 2 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

The CCLI has commissioned a legal opinion by Mr Alex Stock, SC, and Ms Jennifer Fan from Temple Chambers in Hong Kong regarding directors’ duties and disclosure obligations in respect of climate change and climate change-related issues under Hong Kong law. The legal opinion will be discussed at a virtual event “Directors' Duties and Disclosure Obligations under Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change” co-hosted by the CCLI and the HKU Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL). An accompanying white paper, expanding and complementing the legal analysis will be discussed at the event and published on the same date. The new legal analysis finds that, since Hong Kong law requires directors to act in good faith in the best interests of the company and to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, directors are legally both entitled and obliged to take into account risks and considerations arising from the effects of climate change. This event will amplify the key roles and responsibilities of Hong Kong directors to navigate their companies through the disruptions of climate change and the global net zero transition, and in doing so, assist Hong Kong in tackling these complex challenges.

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Book Talk: Consumer Theories of Harm

Time: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 6:00-7:00 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

It has long been thought that fairness in European Consumer Law would be achieved by relying on information as a remedy and expecting the average consumer to keep businesses in check by voting with their feet. This monograph argues that the way consumer law operates today promises a lot but does not deliver enough. It struggles to avoid harm being caused to consumers and it struggles to repair the harm after the event. To achieve fairness, solutions need to be found elsewhere. Consumer Theories of Harm offers an alternative model to assess where and how consumer detriment may occur and solutions to prevent it. It shows that a more confident use of economic theory will allow practitioners to demonstrate how a poor standard of professional diligence lies at the heart of consumer harm. The book provides both theoretical and practical examples of how to combine existing law with economic theory to improve case outcomes. The book shows how public enforcers can move beyond the dominant transparency paradigm to an approach where firms have a positive duty to treat consumers fairly and shape their commercial offers in a way that prevents consumers from making mistakes. Over time, this 'fairness-by-design' approach will emerge as the only acceptable way to compete. More information can be found at https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/consumer-theories-of-harm-9781509916870/

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Hong Kong and BEPS 2.0

Time: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 3:00-4:30 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This presentation will consider how the recent agreement reached by the OECD/G20 on the Inclusive Framework on BEPS to address the tax challenges from the digitalization of the economy may impact upon Hong Kong. With the agreement only having been recently reached and with much work to be undertaken to bring it into effect, this presentation can at best speculate on how this agreement with impact upon Hong Kong. Indeed, the presentation will be premised on the assumption that the agreement is implemented largely as intended.

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Regulators’ Perspectives on AI, Technology and Personal Data Protection

Time: Monday, 22 November 2021, 3:00 – 4:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Ms Ada Chung, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong will present "Ethical Development and Use of AI" and Mr Yeong Zee Kin, Deputy Commissioner, Personal Data Protection Commission, Singapore will present "Singapore’s Approach to Developing Trustworthy AI"

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A Multilateral Agreement on Carbon Pricing and Implications for Developing Countries

Time: Wednesday, 17 November 2021, 3:00-4:00 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Climate change is an urgent issue facing all nations. A carbon pricing measure can be a cost-effective way to address climate change issues. However, a truly effective measure of this sort would need to be implemented on a global scale and at an appropriate price level. This presentation considers options for creating a multilateral carbon pricing framework and implications for developing countries. It analyses three options: a global carbon tax, adoption of emissions trading systems widely with progressive tightening of emissions targets, and a global minimum carbon price framework. It argues that a multilateral agreement on global minimum carbon prices can be an optimal option to the extent that the agreement applies to major carbon emitters and provides differential prices for developing countries. The global minimum carbon price framework could be supplemented with unilateral border carbon adjustments to encourage compliance, but the legality of such adjustments must be considered in light of international trade law and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. The article concludes that the global minimum carbon price option can help scale up carbon pricing globally with effective prices for emissions reduction and at the same time take into account the interests and needs of developing countries in the implementation of reduction policies.

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PSD2 and the Regulation of Data-Based Innovation in Retail Banking: A European Perspective

Time: 6 October 2021, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Directive (EU) 2015/2366 on payment services (PSD2) is the cornerstone in the EU’s regulatory framework for retail payments. Adopted in 2015, PSD2 paved the way to what is known today as open banking – provision of innovative financial services by non-banking providers using consumer data. Despite addressing the issues of uneven-playing field and consumer protection, and the aim of PSD2 to facilitate innovation, enhance trust and consumer control over their own data, a number of challenges remain. Problems of technological interoperability and obstacles to cross-border provision of services persist, and prompt a critical review of the current regulatory framework. The lecture will guide participants through the core elements of PSD2, focus on the consumer payment account data sharing and the interplay between PSD2 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), outline the main regulatory challenges and discuss the recent proposals to revise the current framework.

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AI Governance and Open Finance Initiatives

Time: 13 September 2021, 4:00 – 5:00 PM HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

The lecture will have two parts. The first will talk about AI governance and the concept of ‘AI in community’. Following will be a discussion of digital self-determination as a progressive approach to responsible data access and a paradigm of data management which moves away from rights and ownership, rejects contestation and looks for mutualised interests. The second part of the lecture will take two case studies 1) fair lending, and 2) open banking. Both these areas of interest provide fertile discussion of the application of digital self-determination (DSD). For instance, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently announced plans to launch the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI), a new consent-based financial infrastructure which seeks to enable more secure and efficient data flows between banks and businesses to address pain points in SME financing. This is part of the four phase initiate on Open Banking. DSD has specific application in achieving these aspirations. Openness connects with DSD’s requirement that data-subjects should be informed about the nature, purpose and consequences of personal data access and usage. Fairness is reflected DSD’s commitment to autonomy in community – where data interests may be shared, responsibilised and respectfully managed in an atmosphere of mutual benefit. Speakers: Professor Mark Findlay and Nydia Remolina.

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Digital Assets in Hong Kong: What are They and How are They Taxed

Time: 31 May 2021 4:00-5:00 pm HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH | Initiated by the Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP), Asian Institute of International Financial Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong | Join Dr. Oriol Caudevilla, Honorary Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law, in the webinar presentation 'Digital Assets in Hong Kong' who will contrast between digital assets and #cryptocurrencies, discuss #blockchain technology and how digital assets are taxed in Hong Kong. The presentation will take place via Zoom on Monday, 31 May 2021, 4-5pm HKT. Click link for REGISTRATION and more information.

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