April 12, 2024

William SaundersOn March 9 Catholic Law's Center for Religious Liberty (CRL) and Federalist Society welcomed Eric Yan-ho Lai to the Law School, who was introduced by William Saunders, Co-Director of CRL. Lai shared with students in attendance how both the laws and courts in Hong Kong have been used by the authorities to develop authoritarian governance. He also addressed the changing political and legal systems of Hong Kong when China introduced the 2020 national security law. Created in response to the protests which erupted in Hong Kong the year before, the law made illegal a wider range of dissenting acts while reducing the city's autonomy. Prior to taking questions from the audience, Lai brought the focus on how these changes and other actions by China have further impacted human rights, and particularly religious freedom, in Hong Kong.

Eric Yan-ho LaiEric Yan-ho Lai is a research fellow with the Georgetown Center for Asian Law, where he observes and analyses the development of the rule of law and judicial independence in the context of China-Hong Kong relations. He received his PhD degree in law at SOAS University of London in 2022. His research focuses on the dynamics of legal transplant and legal professionalism in authoritarian regimes; he also studies law and politics, social movement, contentious politics and international human rights practices in Hong Kong and China. His publication can be found in academic journals such as Communist and Post-communist Studies, Journal of Asian and African Studies, and the Hong Kong Law Journal.