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201st Congregation (2019)

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HKU to confer honorary degrees upon four outstanding individuals at the 201st Congregation

February 27, 2019

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) will confer honorary degrees upon four outstanding individuals at the 201st Congregation to be held on April 2, 2019 (Tuesday) in the Loke Yew Hall, Main Building of Main Campus.

The honorary degree recipients to be conferred at the Congregation are:

Doctor of Laws honoris causa
Geoffrey MA Tao Li 
Roberto Alexandre Vieira RIBEIRO

Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa
David SIN Wai Kin 
Andrew Michael SPENCE

Honorary Degrees are awarded to individuals in recognition of their distinguished service and commitment to the University, the community, and to academia. They are also conferred to those who have made valuable intellectual, social and cultural contributions to society and the world.

 

Biographies:

Geoffrey MA Tao Li

Geoffrey MA Tao Li

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao Li is the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong SAR Judiciary.

Chief Justice Ma was born in Hong Kong in 1956. He holds an LLB from Birmingham University in the UK, and completed the Bar Finals in 1978. He was called to the English Bar (Gray’s Inn) in 1978, the Hong Kong Bar in 1980, the Bar of the State of Victoria in Australia in 1983 and the Bar of Singapore in 1990.

He began his private practice in 1980, practising in Hong Kong and in Singapore. Chief Justice Ma has wide legal experience in various areas of the civil law. His main areas of practice were: arbitration, commercial (including shipping, admiralty, banking, insurance), company, building, administrative and constitutional law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993.

Chief Justice Ma joined the Hong Kong Judiciary as a Recorder of the High Court in 2000, was appointed Judge of the Court of First Instance in 2001, and Justice of Appeal in 2002. He became Chief Judge of the High Court in 2003, with the responsibility of leading the High Court both judicially and administratively. As Court Leader, he had to ensure the smooth operation of the High Court and the efficient utilisation of judicial resources and court time, and had to advise the Chief Justice on policies, legislation and practices relating to the High Court.

He was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal in 2010.

Chief Justice Ma became an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2004, an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford, in 2012, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2016. He is a Patron of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law; he is also a Patron of the International Advocacy Training Council.

At the University of Hong Kong, Chief Justice Ma has served as an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Professional Legal Education of the Faculty of Law since 1987 – generously sharing his expertise and experience with students and faculty members for over three decades.

He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham and from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Chief Justice Ma was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012.

In recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong and the rule of law, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

 

Roberto Alexandre Vieira RIBEIRO

Roberto Alexandre Vieira RIBEIRO

Mr Justice Ribeiro is a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong SAR Judiciary.

Mr Justice Ribeiro was born in Hong Kong in 1949 and was educated at La Salle College before reading law in the United Kingdom. He obtained his LLB (1971) and LLM (1972) degrees from the London School of Economics. On returning to Hong Kong, he taught as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Hong Kong from 1972 to 1979. These were the early days of Hong Kong’s first law school, and Mr Justice Ribeiro was instrumental in helping to lay down the foundational principles of the teaching of common law and in nurturing the values of the rule of law in his students.

He was called to the English Bar at the Inner Temple and to the Hong Kong Bar in 1978 and entered full-time private practice in Hong Kong in 1979, practising generally in the field of commercial law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. While at the Bar he served on the Bar Council. He also served as a member of the Operations Review Committee, an oversight committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, until 1999.

Mr Justice Ribeiro was made a Recorder of the Court of First Instance in 1997. He joined the Judiciary in 1999 as a Judge of the Court of First Instance. Then in January 2000, he was appointed a Justice of Appeal and, in September of that year, he was appointed a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal.

Mr Justice Ribeiro was the Vice-Chairman of the Chief Justice’s Working Party on Civil Justice Reform and drafted the Interim and Final Reports on which the procedural reforms adopted in 2009 were based. From 2008 to 2014, he was a member of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission which recommends judicial appointments. He presently chairs the Judiciary’s Committee on Information Technology.

Mr Justice Ribeiro was elected an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple, an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. He has been made Officier of the Légion d’Honneur, Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques and Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

In recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong and the rule of law, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

 

David SIN Wai Kin

David SIN Wai Kin

Dr David Sin Wai Kin is a pioneering business leader whose commercial interests and influence range from the jewellery sector to property development, rental property, hotel operations, and even banking and finance.

Dr Sin is the Chairman of Myer Jewelry Manufacturer Limited, Honorary Chairman of Hip Hing Construction Company Limited, and Vice Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director of Miramar Hotel and Investment Company Limited. He has also served as the Executive Director of New World Development Company Limited and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Hang Seng Bank Limited.

While his own education was halted at a very young age due to the Second World War, Dr Sin has been a strong advocate for higher education in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

At the University of Hong Kong, the Sin Wai Kin Fund was established to support the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, as was the Sin Wai Kin Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities.

At other local universities, Dr Sin established the Sin Wai Kin Professorship of Chinese Culture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Sin Wai Kin Professorship in Chinese Culture at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Sin Wai Kin Distinguished Professorship of Chinese Culture and Translation at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong .

Dr Sin has been awarded Honorary University Fellowships by the University of Hong Kong, the Open University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has served as a Council Member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which conferred on him an honorary doctorate in 1994.

Dr Sin is a designated Honorary Citizen of Foshan in Guangdong, an Honorary Advisor to Zhongshan University and Chairman of the Foundation of the Zhongshan University Advanced Research Centre.

In recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong and academia, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.

 

Andrew Michael SPENCE

Andrew Michael SPENCE

Professor Andrew Michael Spence is a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, and a world authority on growth in developing countries and on the convergence between advanced and developing economies.

He is currently the Philip H Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University, Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

At the University of Hong Kong, Professor Spence co-chairs the Advisory Board of the Asia Global Institute and is a Member of the AsiaGlobal Fellows Faculty Committee.

Professor Spence holds a BA in Philosophy from Princeton, graduating summa cum laude. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, where he earned an MA in Mathematics, and holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard.

From 1973 to 1975, he taught at Stanford as an Associate Professor of Economics. From 1975 to 1990, he served as Professor of Economics and Business Administration at Harvard, holding a joint appointment in the Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 1983, he was named Chairman of the Economics Department and George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration. He served as Dean of the Stanford Business School from 1990 to 1999, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University from 1984 to 1990.

Professor Spence was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize for excellence in teaching and the John Bates Clark Medal for a "significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge."

In 2001, Professor Spence received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his path breaking work in the field of information economics.

He has served as the Chairman of the Independent Commission on Growth and Development created by the World Bank in 2006, and on the Board of Directors of many private companies. He was a Member of the Board of the Stanford Management Company, which manages the Stanford University endowment, and the International Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation.

In recognition of his contributions to academia and the world, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.

At the Congregation, one of the honorary degree recipients, the Hon Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao Li will deliver the acceptance speech on behalf of the honorary graduands.

Details of the Ceremony as follows:
Date: April 2, 2019 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: Loke Yew Hall, Main Building, HKU

*Note: Photographers are reminded to bring their long lenses and not to use flashlight inside the Hall.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Trinni Choy, Assistant Director (Media) tel: 2859 2606/ email: pychoy@hku.hk or
Ms Melanie Wan, Senior Manager (Media) tel: 2859 2600/ email: melwkwan@hku.hk
Communications and Public Affairs Office, HKU.