Date: 02Sep 2016

The escalating conflicts between Beijing and elements of Hong Kong’s democracy movement currently threaten the very essence of “One Country, Two Systems”. Professor Petersen will suggest concrete steps to moderate the increasingly polarizing rhetoric and to negotiate a mutually beneficial compromise on democratic reforms. Faithfully and creatively implemented, “One Country, Two Systems” could provide Hong Kong with “internal self-determination” while also reassuring China of its right to territorial integrity and enhancing its international reputation. But this will require good-faith negotiations on both sides and a public commitment to civil liberties, peaceful advocacy, and respectful dialogue. It will also require strong leadership from the middle and a commitment not to vilify those who seek genuine compromise on democratic reforms.

Carole J. Petersen is a Professor of Law in the William S. Richardson School of Law and the Director of the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she teaches courses on international law, human rights, and gender and the law. From 1991 to 2006, Carole taught law at the University of Hong Kong, where she also served as the Director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (from 2001-2004) and was a member of the Women’s Studies Research Centre. She co-authored, with Jan Currie and Ka-Ho Mok, the book Academic Freedom in Hong Kong (2006) and co-edited, with Fu Hualing and Simon N.M. Young, the book National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong’s Article 23 Under Scrutiny (2005). She holds a BA from the University of Chicago, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a Postgraduate Diploma in the Law of the People’s Republic of China from the University of Hong Kong.