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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

The Best of Both Worlds

"It's academic." We often hear such a concluding remark when arguing. The expression suggests that it may be something that theorists can talk about it in the academia without resolving the problem. For practitioners in the real world, what they need are practical solutions to respond to the challenges timely.

"In any disciplines including legal studies, aren't we doing some kind of abstraction and application from time to time? Isn't jurisprudence abstracted legal practice and legal practice applied jurisprudence? Wouldn't judges hand down decisions, implicitly deploying economic analysis of law to resolve legal problems?" I ponder.

In the 1980s, having obtained scholarships and LLMs, I begun practising in the public sector. But I wondered if there were tasks that fused the academic world of theory and the real world of practice. Seizing a senior position vacancy at the Law Reform Commission secretariat, I got the job and anticipated that it should meet my aspirations.

Later at the Intellectual Property Department, I continued to theorize not just for the sake of it but helped turn the law-as-it-ought-to-be into statute books of Hong Kong. The law-as-it-is has been abstracted or applied by lawyers and judges. As an alternative academic cum practitioner, I feel privileged to have experienced the best of both worlds!

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