Preview Response

Justice / Law

Karen Kong (江嘉恩)

Principal Lecturer in Law, University of Hong Kong


My research on social and economic rights is closely related to social justice, as it looks at how resources should be fairly distributed in the society based on human rights norms. ‘Render to each what is his right’ can be applied to social and economic rights as well, as each person has a moral claim to basic necessities in this world. Treating each person that shows due respect for his worth should include respecting his dignity and ensuring his basic needs like food, water, shelter, primary healthcare and basic education are not deprived of. If the society’s resources are concentrated unfairly on the rich and powerful, or if the rules of the society are designed in such a way that the poor’s resources or due are being unfairly taken away or withheld by the rich, the society fails to fulfil social and economic rights to all equally or to achieve social justice.

Some issues about human rights and justice include, whether migrants, non-nationals and refugees should be given the same rights as citizens? Should the grounds of discrimination be limited to personal characteristics listed in the international human rights instruments, such as race, colour, sex and religion? When there are discrepancies between human rights norms and the Bible, how should they be dealt with by academics?