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Wei Lun Ivan Lee's picture


Education CV


  • LLM (Legal History), University College London; LLB, National University of Singapore


  • Sheridan Fellow at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (2014-)


  • Cambridge Trust NUS Cambridge Scholarship (2017-2019)


  • Treasurer and General Editor, Cambridge International Law Journal (2017-2018)
  • Editor, UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (2015-2016)

Fields of research

Legal and imperial history; criminal law; legal realism and legal pragmatism


The Making of Britain’s Chinese Empire: Jurisdictional Politics in Victorian East Asia


My research traces the origins and evolution of British rule and jurisdiction over the Chinese populations of Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements, c. 1840–1900. I investigate the interconnections between legal development and the development of the institutions of colonial government in these territories. Legal concepts and ideas explored will include imperial protection, subjecthood (or nationality), territorial sovereignty, and personal and extraterritorial jurisdiction. Much of the project will draw on the records of the Colonial Office and Foreign Office at The National Archives of the UK.


Representative Publications

‘The Protector of Chinese Inhabitants: British Sovereignty and Criminal Jurisdiction in Hong Kong after the Treaty of Nanking, 1842–1850’ (paper presented at the Faculty of Law Research Seminar Series, National University of Singapore, September 2017; and to be presented at the Yale Law School Doctoral Scholarship Conference, November 2017)

'Legal Pluralities and Colonial Politics: The Case of Chinese Secret Societies in British Malaya' (paper presented at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference at the University of York, September 2015)

'Common Intention and the Presumption of Joint Possession in the Misuse of Drugs Act' (2014) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 419-428

Start Date

Jan 2017