From Senior Police Officer to Senior Lecturer – interview with Mr. Noel Lau


Noel Lau 1

This year, a number of part-time lecturers are officially joining the big family of Shue Yan University as full time academic staff. Mr. Lau Yat Hung, Noel, is one of them. Just retired from the Hong Kong Police Force, Mr. Lau hopes to share his experience of balancing law and reason the students of the Department of Law and Business.

As a Senior Lecturer, Mr. Lau teaches Evidence, Contemporary Issues in Corporate Governance and Property Law. In his view, strict law enforcement action is not always the most effective way to maintain law and order. The Rule of Law has to be upheld and crime problems have to be examined from different perspectives, taking into account their legal, social, cultural and political dimensions.

Mr. Lau had been working in the police force for 29 years before his retirement. As a Senior Superintendent of the Police Force, he had worked in different departments, including the Crime Wing, the Uniform Branch, and the Operations and Policy Bureaus. Besides his experience in the execution of the law, Mr. Lau has also been involved in the process of formulating policy and legislation, including the legislation relating to fighting terrorism, protecting national security and wiretapping. He has also worked in different tertiary institutions as a part-time lecturer, and served in the Police College before his retirement.

Mr. Lau joined the Department of Law and Business as a full time lecturer because he believes that the development of the Department uniquely suits the environment of Hong Kong. As an international finance centre with an increasingly close relationship with the Mainland, Hong Kong has a growing need for professionals with both legal and business knowledge. Currently, there are only three institutions which provide legal education leading to professional qualifications in Hong Kong. Mr. Lau hopes that Shue Yan’s BCom Hons in Law and Business  can pave the way for our students to obtain professional legal qualifications in the future.

“Due to the information explosion and globalization, obtaining a professional qualification is of the utmost importance nowadays for the young generation to secure their future and gain a competitive edge.” Mr. Lau said.

Noel Lau 2

This year, besides the mooting that is held every year to hone students’ advocacy skills, the Department of Law and Business has established the Conflict Engagement and Resolution Institute, a mediation and arbitration centre that, in addition to offering courses for professionals, will provide more opportunities for students on the BCom Hons in Law & Business to apply what they have learnt in class. Mr. Lau said that while good facilities were important, “learning and working attitude is the most crucial element that leads to success.”

“To be honest, I think the quality of our Law and Business students is comparable to the law students in other Hong Kong universities. Our students have a very positive learning attitude. To get the most out of the lectures you have to have enough self motivation to learn.” said Mr. Lau.

In the future, Mr. Lau hopes the students can learn how to turn information into knowledge and develop their own critical thinking. Effective intelligence management is the new challenge for the students. “Square hole fits a square peg. In the university, you should learn to understand yourself and find your own way in the future.’ Mr. Lau said.

Mr. Lau started his criminology and legal studies not long after he joined the police force. How did he manage to balance his intensive work as a police officer and his studies? “It is all about determination,” Mr. Lau said. “Shue Yan has provided many learning opportunities to students, with diligence, perseverance and a clear objective in mind, students graduating from the University should have a bright future.”

Last but not least, Mr. Lau encourages students to manage their time effectively, understand their own strengths and weaknesses and think carefully about what they wish to achieve in their lives. “After all, a happy and meaningful life is not about working endlessly in an office in order to earn your living. Everyone should find a healthy balance in their life.”

Source: October Issue 2011

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