In the late 1990s, an extraordinary boom in population growth sparked a need for water services expansion. Unable to meet growing demand, some public authorities turned to the private sector for help. Against this background, there has been a proliferation of water-services privatisation contracts between foreign investors and states. Currently, 10 percent of global consumers now receive their water from private companies.
As countries increasingly rely on private sector participation in the water supply sector and the provision of sanitation services, related cross-border disputes have soared. Recognising the lack of specific international regime or regulation for sanitation and water services, the International Law feature examines the emerging global governance regime and exposes the horizon of forthcoming research and debate in the global governance of this industry.
Elsewhere in our June issue is an Insurance Law article that discusses important provisions of the UK Insurance Act 2015 (“UK Act”), which comes into force in the United Kingdom in 2016. The UK Act represents the most fundamental change to English insurance law for more than a century and will impact many insurance and reinsurance contracts underwritten by Hong Kong insurers that cover international risks and are expressly governed by English law.
The Criminal Procedure piece evaluates the Court’s authority to declare a guilty plea a nullity, which stems from case law and is dealt with as a “change of plea”. It also highlights ways in which relevant common law principles could be improved upon.
Finally, to commemorate the recent 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, our Aside section features an article that examines the legal profession’s collective obsession with the Bard and the overwhelming evidence that his plays are not of an age, but for all times and places.