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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Actor-Beneficiary


FADE IN:

INT. STUDY - DAY

The TV is showing a documentary: Mission to the Moon. iPad Mini in hand, Peter sees a tag-line.

PETER (V.O.)

Neil Armstrong signed

Outer Space Treaty...?

Was that so? Did he

have the full powers to

represent the US?

Peter taps the link and begins to examine the features of an electronic copy of the Treaty. He sees Neil Armstrong's signature in blue felt tip at the blank space above Article 5.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I see. It's just his autograph

on a copy of the Outer

Space Treaty 1967.

Peter mines Article 5 of the Outer Space from the web. We see on the screen that: State Parties shall regard astronauts as envoys of mankind in outer space and shall render to them all possible assistance in the event of accident, distress, or emergency...

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

The Article takes good

care of the actors... I

studied Space Law and

was examined on that.

FLASHBACK

INT. BENTHAM HOUSE, UCL - DAY & NIGHT (1986-1987)

Peter is among a dozen or so international STUDENTS. A LECTURER (30s) teaches during the day and a PROFESSOR (60s) during the night.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Fond memories of Richard

Gardiner, a former FCO

Counsellor and Bin Cheng,

the living academic Air &

Space Law authority.

We had the best of both

worlds then.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I felt I knew Prof. Bin Cheng

even before I met him. In

1985, I began reading my

External LLM (Lond) and

I chose a paper that he

originated ie Methods and

Sources of International

Law. I learned from him

how to learn International

Law.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

He's very far-sighted and

academically very broad

and deep. I'm indebted

to him for my strength in

International Law.

Peter reads further the small prints on his screen.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It's actually a lot for auction.

The signature by the

first man to step foot on

the moon on a copy of the Outer Space Treaty

should add some value.

He's an actor-beneficiary

in space.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

What would be the price

difference if the copy

document is signed by

Buzz Aldrin - the second

man to land on the moon?

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Having studied the law

of the land, I wanted to

learn Sea Law, Air Law

and Space Law, although

I was suggested to study

intellectual property (IP).

I thought Hong Kong might

be too small for me.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Although I was on UK

FCO scholarship to read

my second LLM, I didn't

have any chance to work

in the diplomatic service,

either in UK prior to 1997,

or in China thereafter. I

was neither a full UK

national nor a full Chinese

national.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

That triggered my urge to

negotiate an interpretative

statement of "national" in a

non-sovereign context in

the draft WTO-TRIPS

Agreement. The result

is its Footnote 1.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

But that's the utmost I

could do to reflect a political

fact of identity confusion

or inferiority in a confined

legal context.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

That might help explain

why for the youngsters in

HK, not even 1 in 100

would regard himself/

herself as Chinese now.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Realizing my intended

career development was

a non-starter, I decided

to re-focus on IP. I was

born and raised in Hong

Kong and inherited its

legacy.

Peter gets an idea.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

If I put my signatures

against Footnote 1 of the

WTO-TRIPS Agreement,

or even on Hong Kong

IP laws first designed by

me, would they therefore

be valuable? I'm also an

actor-beneficiary in IP!

Enlightened, Peter picks up two copies of the WTO-TRIPS Agreements with different covers on his desk. As he signs at the left-hand margin of their respective Footnote 1, he smiles.

FADE OUT. The End

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