Professor Michael Palmer

Barrister (England and Wales)

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Professor Michael Palmer
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Professor Michael Palmer is Emeritus Professor of the School of Law at SOAS and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London).  He is also Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, and Senior Research Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Professor Palmer specialises mainly in the field of comparative legal studies, alternative dispute resolution, and gives particular attention to Chinese law, both traditional and modern, and has published widely in these areas.

He has been Joint Editor of the Journal of Comparative Law for more than a decade, and is also Editor of the online journal Amicus Curiae. Professor Palmer has been a special adviser to the Attorney-General of Hong Kong, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Commission, and also recently served as (very probably) the first western Dean of a mainland Chinese law school.

Professor Palmer has also been a Visiting Professor of Law at SPACE, University of Hong Kong; Faculte Internationale de Droit Compare, Universite Robert Schuman, Strasbourg; Renmin University Law School, Beijing, China; and California Western School of Law, San Diego, USA.


His areas of expertise are:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Chinese law
  • Human rights law
  • Private international law
  • Selected aspects of Hong Kong law

Professor Palmer has assisted in many court proceedings, tribunal hearings and mediation in England, Scotland, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States.


  • B.Sc (Econ.), London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
  • MA (Chinese Studies), School of Oriental and African Studies
  • LLB, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
  • LL.D, University of London

Membership and Appointments

  • Emeritus Professor, School of Law and China Institute, SOAS (University of London)
  • Senior Research Fellow, IALS (University of London)
  • Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor of Law, Faculty of Law,  University of Hong Kong
  • Senior Research Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Professor Palmer has published essays across a wide range of current legal issues.  


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