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International Bar Association Publishes Earl Deng & Samantha Lau’s Article on the Development of LGBTI Rights in Hong Kong

The International Bar Association (IBA) has recently published Earl Deng and Samantha Lau’s article and commentary on the development of LGBTI* rights through decided cases in Hong Kong.

The article, “Countering the Regional Trend of Recognising the Equal Enjoyment of Socio-economic and Fundamental Rights for the LGBT Community”, provides an accessible and convenient overview of all significant Hong Kong LGBTI cases and detailed commentary on the implications of MK v The Government of HKSAR [2019] 5 HKLRD 259, an important Court of First Instance Judgment which construed the statutory definition of “marriage” as not engaging the right to marry for same-sex unions and that the absence of an alternative framework such as civil unions for same-sex couples was not discriminatory. The article can be accessed via IBA’s website.

Established in 1947, the IBA – the global voice of the legal profession – is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Its LGBTI Law Committee focuses on the unique legal challenges that individuals may face within various jurisdictions, by reason of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. The committee also aims to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession and society at large.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex

Earl Deng


Earl Deng

Earl Deng was called in 2008 and has a developed a broad and busy civil law practice which encompasses both complex advisory and advocacy work in the fields of commercial, contractual, chancery and intellectual property disputes and is known as a specialist advocate for public and administrative law matters, and minority rights.

Samantha Lau

Samantha is a Bar Scholar who was called to the Bar in 2020. She graduated from the University of Hong Kong with double first-class degrees in law and government, before attending Harvard Law School for postgraduate studies, where she graduated with a top prize for her essay on equality law. She served as a judicial assistant of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong from 2018 to 2019. 
Samantha is quickly developing a predominantly civil practice with an emphasis on commercial and public law litigation as well as securities law. She has experience in advising on discrimination claims on various grounds including sex and pregnancy.