Paul Harris SC
Office Contact No.: 2866 8233
Fax: 2866 7858

M.A. Oxon (1974); Call (England and Wales) 1976; Hong Kong (1993); Senior Counsel 2006
LLM (Human Rights Law) 2008

Paul Harris S.C. is a public law and human rights specialist but also has considerable experience of property and commercial litigation including issues relating to trusts. He has considerable experiences of cases involving issues of cross-border jurisdiction and is the joint author of  Johnston & Harris: "The Conflict of Laws in Hong Kong" ( Sweet & Maxwell 2017). He practices in both London and in Hong Kong, where he is one of the SAR’s leading public law silks.

Leading Hong Kong cases have included

HKSAR v  Ng Kung Siu (1999) 2 HKCFAR 442 ( the “flag burning” case);

Gurung Kesh Bahadur v Director of Immigration  [2002] 5 HKCFAR 480, about the right of Hong Kong residents to re-enter Hong Kong after traveling

Andayani v Chan Oi Ling  [2000] 4 HKC 501 about rights of domestic helpers

Ng Wai Sang v Secretary for Justice  [1998] 3 HKC 501 about reasons for administrative decisions

HKSAR v Yeung May Wan & Ors  [2005] 2 HKLRD 212 about the right to demonstrate (the “Falun Gong hunger strikers” case)

Tong Yu Lam v Long Term Prison Sentence Review Board, CACV 203/2006 ( about review of sentence of mandatory life sentence prisoners) 

Cho Man Kit v Broadcasting Authority, 8 May 2008, about sexual orientation discrimination (the “Gay Lovers” case).

Epoch Group Ltd v Director of Immigration  [2011] HKCFI 166,  a successful challenge to the Director of Immigration’s decision to refuse entry to Hong Kong to members of the Shen Yun dance troupe from New York

Esquire (Electronics Ltd) v HSBC  [2006] HKCA 383, the “ Magic Score” litigation about alleged breaches of trust by HSBC with regard to sale of a commercial property.

Paul's most notable recent Hong Kong case was ZN v Secretary for Justice [2016] HKEC 2766 in which he successfully argued ( against a large legal team for the Respondent led by Lord Pannick QC) that the HKSAR Government was in breach of the Bill of Rights for having no law criminalizing human trafficking.    

His most notable recent English case was Bancoult v Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (No 2) [2016] UKSC 35, on behalf of the displaced Chagos Islanders.

He also successfully represented the veteran Parliament Square demonstrator, Brian Haw, in Hall & Ors v Mayor of London   [2010} EWCA Civ 817, about the right to demonstrate in Parliament Square.

His other publications include “Halsbury’s Laws of Hong Kong: Election law”, “The right to demonstrate” (2007), and "Raising Freedom's Banner - how peaceful demonstrations have changed the world" (2015). Paul has recently conducted seminars on Hong Kong election law and on defamation and the internet.

Paul speaks fluent French German and Spanish and regularly translates legal documents from those languages. He also speaks reasonably fluent Cantonese and can conduct conferences in Cantonese.