The Towering Judges Conference, which took place on 25-26 January 2019 at the CUHK Graduate Law Centre, brought together a diverse group of scholars to discuss the phenomenon of judges who, within their particular institutional and political settings, were able to transform their constitutional systems. The two-day conference discussed towering judges from jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hungary, India, Israel, Nepal, Singapore, South Africa, Vietnam, and the United States. Participants considered, among others, the following issues: (1) Why do we tend to find towering judges in moments of constitutional and democratic change in some countries and not in others; (2) how effective are towering judges in promoting democratic consolidation and in effectuating constitutional change; (3) can we find examples of towering judges that have had a detrimental effect on democratic change, either by using the wrong tactics, producing political backlash, or by actively promoting reactionary or anti-liberal ideas; (4) what kind of legacy do towering judges leave, and do their achievements carry on to a second generation of judges.
The conference opened with a keynote address delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary, a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. His address is available at http://www.law.cuhk.edu.hk/20190125_keynote_JusticeBokhary.
(From left) Tel Aviv Associate Professor of Law Iddo Porat, CUHK Law Assistant Professor Rehan Abeyratne, The Honourable Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary, and CUHK Law Dean Professor Christopher Gane.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary.