Kelley Loper & Carole J. Petersen on Educational Freedom within the Shadow of Hong Kong’s Nationwide Safety Regulation (new e-book chapter)


“Educational Freedom within the Shadow of Hong Kong’s Nationwide Safety Regulation”
Kelley Loper & Carole J. Petersen
in The Nationwide Safety Regulation of Hong Kong: Restoration and Transformation,

Edited by Hualing Fu Michael Hor (Hong Kong College Press, July 2022),
Chapter 12, pp. 255-278
Introduction: This chapter analyses the impression of the Regulation of the Individuals’s Republic of China on Safeguarding Nationwide Safety in Hong Kong (NSL) on instructional autonomy and educational freedom, two core values that the “One Nation Two, Techniques” (OCTS) mannequin of autonomy is meant to guard.  Resulting from area constraints, this chapter primarily focuses on educational freedom in tertiary schooling.  Nonetheless, it would additionally handle sure contentious points which have arisen in main and secondary faculties.

     Following this introduction, Half I evaluations the idea of educational freedom, its worth to society, and the methods by which it may be undermined.  Half II then analyses the scenario within the Hong Kong Particular Administrative Area (SAR) previous to the enactment of the NSL.  Though educational freedom and academic autonomy are expressly protected within the Hong Kong Fundamental Regulation (BL), adjustments to school governance previously twenty years have made universities and particular person teachers extra weak to political pressures.

      Half III of the chapter analyses provisions within the NSL that might additional inhibit educational freedom and academic autonomy.  The NSL obligates the native authorities to “promote nationwide safety schooling in faculties and universities” and creates a number of new legal offences, which additionally apply extraterritorially.  The NSL additionally created new safety businesses and endowed them with intensive powers.  However, Article 4 gives that human rights shall proceed to be protected, together with the rights acknowledged within the BL, the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Worldwide Covenant on Financial, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).  These two treaties have a particular place in Hong Kong’s authorized framework attributable to Article 39 of the BL and the Invoice of Rights Ordinance (Cap 383) (which duplicates a lot of the provisions of the ICCPR).  Thus, any insurance policies adopted by Hong Kong’s instructional establishments ought to adjust to each treaties.  When circumstances are litigated the native courts ought to use the ICCPR as a information to interpret obscure language within the NSL.  Thus, the views of the United Nations (UN)  Human Rights Committee, the knowledgeable physique tasked with monitoring states events’ implementation of the ICCPR, are significantly related.  The UN Committee on Financial, Social and Cultural Rights, the monitoring physique for the ICESCR, may supply steerage, significantly within the context of the precise to schooling.  These worldwide requirements and their direct incorporation into Hong Kong legislation enable room for the courts and others to assist educational freedom.  On the similar time, authorized safety alone is unlikely to be ample.  Different non-legal methods, such because the drafting and enforcement of sturdy educational freedom insurance policies by tertiary establishments themselves, are wanted to strengthen educational freedom in Hong Kong going ahead.  Certainly,  we conclude that the educational neighborhood has an obligation to undertake such insurance policies and that the Hong Kong authorities has a constitutional obligation to respect them.  Instructed language for a college coverage on educational freedom is subsequently included on the finish of this chapter. 

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