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Research Fellow (GCAL) | PhD (SOAS) | MSc (LSE) | Chevening Scholar

 Scholar in Law, Politics and Human Rights in Hong Kong & China


Dr. Yan-ho Lai, aka Eric, is a research fellow at Georgetown Center for Asian Law (GCAL), an associate fellow at the Hong Kong Studies Hub of the University of Surrey and a member of the Asian Civil Society Research Network. He received his Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science as a Chevening Scholar in 2013 and his Ph.D in law at SOAS University of London in 2022 respectively. His main research focuses on law and politics, law and society, law and social movement, national security, judicial politics and international human rights laws and practices in hybrid and authoritarian regimes. Lai is formerly a visiting fellow at the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, formerly visiting researcher at King's College London Dickson Poon School of Law, and formerly received the Hong Kong Law fellowship at GCAL. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Lai has been involved in civil society development and human rights advocacy since 2010. He writes on law and politics, electoral integrity, judicial activism, international human rights, and religious freedom in academic journals, newspapers, and popular literature. He also has a postgraduate diploma in law (law conversion course) in the UK. 

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The Rule of Law

Implications of Article 23 Legislation on the Future of Hong Kong


Lai, EYH (2024). "Implications of Article 23 Legislation on the Future of Hong Kong" China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, vol.25, issue 5. 

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Academic Publication

(2024),  "An Anatomy of Authoritarian Rule of Law in Hong Kong" China Journal of Democracy, vol.2, no.3, pp. 78-99 (in Chinese). 

(2024) 〈香港司法政治化與法律人的回應〉in Ming-sho Ho (Ed),《未竟的民主:香港人的民主運動與日常抵抗》, Rive Gauche, Chapter 4. (co-authored with Ching-fang Hsu)

(2023), "Authoritarian Crackdown Without Bloodshed: China’s Securitization in Post-NSL Hong Kong" in Wei-chin Lee (ed) Protests, Pandemic, and Security Predicaments: Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the US in the 2020s, Palgrave MacMillan, pp.75-117.

(2022)"Departure from International Human Rights Law and Comparative Best Practice: HKSAR v Tong Ying Kit" Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 52, Part 2, pp.466 - 486. (with Thomas E. Kellogg)

(2022) "A ‘Leader-full’ Movement Under Authoritarianism: Mobilization Networks in Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement” in Anthony J. Spires and Akihiro Ogawa (eds), Authoritarianism and Civil Society in Asia, Routlegde, chapter 1.

(2022) A “leaderless but leader-full” movement: Social mobilisation in the 2019 Hong Kong protests (2022) in Amy Barrow and Sara Fuller (eds), Activism and Authoritarian Governance in Asia, Routledge, Chapter 10​.

(2022) Review: Dictatorship by Degrees: Xi Jinping in China by Steven P. Feldman. China Information, first published online, June17.

(2022) Review: Sunflowers and Umbrellas: Social Movements, Expressive Practices, and Political Culture in Taiwan and Hong Kong: By Thomas Gold and Sebastian Veg.  The Journal of Development Studies, ahead-of-print, 29 May.


(2020). "Solidarity and Implications of a Leaderless Movement in Hong Kong: Its Strengths and Limitations" , Communist and Post Communist Studies, Vol. 53, No.4, pp.41-67 . (with Ming Sing)

(2020). “Discernment of Spirits and Pastoral Circle in Social Movement: A Theological Reflection on Hong Kong’s Anti-extradition Movement” Hong Kong Journal of Catholic Studies Vol.11, pp.138-191.


(2019). “Lady Justice or The Golden Calf? The ‘China Factor’ in Hong Kong’s Legal System” Social Transformation of Chinese Societies, 15:2, pp. 178-96.

Policy / Public-facing Publication

(2024) Research Report: Anatomy of a Crackdown: The Hong Kong National Security Law and Restrictions on Civil Society. Center for Asian Law, Georgetown University Law Center, March 2024 (Co-authored with Olivia Chow and Thomas E. Kellogg).

(2024) "Implications of Article 23 Legislation on the Future of Hong Kong" China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, vol.25, issue 5.

(2024) "Submission on the Hong Kong Government Public Consultation Document, Safeguarding National Security: Basic Law Article 23 LegislationCenter for Asian Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 27 Feburary.

(2024) "Will Hong Kong's National Security Law Safeguard or Harm Its Citizens?" East Asian Forum, 6 January. 


(2023). Research Report: The Hong Kong 2019 Protest Movement: A Data Analysis of Arrests and Prosecutions. Center for Asian Law, Georgetown University Law Center, (with Jun Chan and Thomas E. Kellogg).

(2023) "What Agnes Chow’s Case Tells Us About the Rule of Law in Hong Kong" The Diplomat, 8 December.


(2023) "Hong Kong’s Legal War on a Protest Anthem" The Diplomat, 1 August. 

(2023) "Hong Kong Is Trying to Salvage Its Image. Who Is It Fooling?" The Diplomat, 27 March.

(2023) "Hong Kong’s Democratic Primary Trials Show a Dark Truth" The Diplomat, 4 February.

(2021) 《破解香港的威權法治: 傘後與反送中以來的民主運動》[Unravelling Authoritarian Rule of Law in Hong Kong: From Post-Umbrella Resistance to the Anti-Extradition Bill Protests] Taiwan: Showwe Information, 2021, ISBN: 9789865540654

(In Traditional Chinese). 

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