ROLE Essay Competition 2021


Since 2012, the Rule of Law Education project (ROLE) at HKU has been developing academic materials and other resources to promote a better understanding of the rule of law in Hong Kong, including among secondary school students.


To encourage secondary school students to think creatively and more deeply about the rule of law, ROLE is inviting S4 to S6 students to participate in its 2021 Rule of Law Essay Competition.


Essay Topic

Lord Chief Justice Hewart famously noted that "justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done​" (Rex v. Sussex Justices, [1924] 1 KB 256). How would you interpret this statement in the context of the rule of law? Use examples to illustrate your ideas.



A student currently enrolled in either Form S4, S5 or S6 in any secondary school in Hong Kong may submit one essay.


Language and Format

Essays may be submitted either in Chinese (word limit: 900 words) or in English (word limit: 800 words). One entry per student maximum (choose either English or Chinese).


Assessment criteria

All essays will be scored anonymously by a panel of judges, who will assess each essay based on its content, structure, writing style, and creativity. 



There will be 6 winners total, one for each language group in the categories below:

Champion: HK$3,000 and certificate   
First runner-up: HK$2,000 and certificate
Second runner-up: HK$1,000 and certificate


A number of Certificates of Merit will be awarded to high-quality entries at the discretion of the judges, as appropriate.


Submission rules

How to submit:
There are 2 ways to submit an essay:

  1. by email to with “HKU Rule of Law Essay Competition 2021” as subject title; or

  2. by post to “Room 0401, 4/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong” with “HKU Rule of Law Essay Competition 2021” marked on the envelope.


What to submit:

Complete entries must include: 1) the essay 2) a completed application form, and 3) a copy of the participant’s student identity card (for the relevant secondary school attended).



No later than 5pm on Monday, 20 September 2021. All entries via email must be received by this date. All entries via post must be postmarked no later than this date.


Other notes

  1. The participant's name shall only appear on the application form accompanying his/her essay. Judges will score all essays anonymously.

  2. Plagiarism and/or impersonation is strictly prohibited.

  3. All entries must be original work. Any entries that have been previously published in any form (including on any websites, blogs, online forums, newspapers, magazines, etc.), or previously performed or awarded, will be disqualified.

  4. Participants are not allowed to submit their entries to other competitions before the result of the competition is announced.

  5. Essays must be written by a single author; co-authored essays are not accepted.

  6. Once submitted, the essay entry is considered final. We do not allow participants to modify an entry after it has been received.

  7. Entries via post will not be returned. Please make a copy as necessary before submission.

  8. Participants accept that the copyright of their essays belong to Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong.

  9. Please indicate the number of words at the end of the essay.

  10. The organizer reserves the right to disqualify entries and reclaim prizes awarded should be found to have violated any of these guidelines, copyright, or any other applicable law or regulation.


  1. The results will be announced on Monday, 1 November 2021 (extended to Friday, 12 November 2021) on the ROLE website ( Winners will be informed directly.


Please direct additional questions to or contact Ms Lydia Choi on 3917 4802.