Barrister Timothy Owen was scheduled to speak at the HKU’s Faculty of Law on Friday, according to the event website. The UK-based lawyer was meant to give an evening lecture about threats to judicial independence and the rule of law.
In a response to HKFP, the university’s law faculty forwarded an email announcing the cancellation to those who had signed up.
“We regret to inform you that the [event] scheduled for November 17, 2023 at 7:00pm has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances,” the email read.
The faculty did not respond to questions from HKFP about why the free, public event – co-organised by the university and legal firm Boase Cohen & Collins (BC&C) – was cancelled.
Local media outlet Ming Pao reported that the law faculty was under pressure for hosting the talk. With the moderator of the talk faculty dean Fu Hualing having travelled out of Hong Kong due to an emergency, and after assessing the risks, the faculty decided to cancel the event, the newspaper said citing sources.