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Editor’s Note PASS-ed Events SS Flagship 2018 “I’m More Than...” LSE Forum 2018 Humans of HKPASS What’s On The Blog? 來日方長 那一朵薔薇的浪漫 What Are You Telling Me? Misinformed Choices Theme: Of Unions And Separations Union Force in Hong Kong 落日故人情 Separation... With Little Hope of Union Formalising the “Fusion of Powers” Letter from the Editor
EDITOR’s Note Hi Readers! The hectic month of February brought with us our annual Social Service Flagship as well as the LSE Forum 2018. Read on for recaps by the PICs of the respective events. This issue’s Humans of HKPASS column features interviews of Caius Mok (Treasurer), Kevin Chau (Secretary), and two sub-committee members Giovanna Lau and Patricia Lu. Read the interviews to know more about them on a personal level! This issue’s theme is “Of Unions And Separations”. There are many high quality pieces (as usual), and I am sure that there is some thing for everyone. Since this will be the last issue of the academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading. Please continue to support PASS-On as there will be new issues in the next academic year! Happy reading! Jennifer Lau
Publications Officer 2017-18
PASS-ed Events February February was the flagship month. On 11 February, the LSESU Venue opened its doors to guests for an interactive exhibition aiming to dissolve discrimination and stigma towards ex-offenders. Our PICs Beatrice Tsang and Nova Yu present to you this year’s Social Service Flagship: “I’m More Than...” On 17 February, LSE Forum 2018 saw student representatives from 16 UK universities debating on a wide range of topics, including political, social, legal and ethical issues. Read on for sharings from the PICs Colette Wong and Brendan Ho as well our very own debaters from the LSE.
With the aim to dissolve discrimination towards ex-offenders in mind, we as a team embarked on the preparation of the annual social service flagship event “I’m more than…”, with great ambition. The event had been split into two main sections: a multi-faceted production and an interactive exhibition. It has definitely been a challenge, not to mention that neither of us had any prior experience in film-making, Photoshop, audio editing… all the skills that were required to accomplish our initiative. Yet, we are very grateful for this fulfilling opportunity as it has enabled us to explore and learn new things as we work. One of the main productions for the event is the mini film that we made about the difficulties often faced by ex-offenders when they actually get released from jail. It is clearly shown to the audience that even though these people have served their punishment in the form of jail time, they never quite regain true and proper freedom as they fail to escape from the prejudices of social judgement. The mini film is an appeal to emotions and from an omniscient perspective, let light into the struggles of ex-offenders. It can be said to be a success in provoking sympathy among the audience. Although we have encountered countless difficulties along the way, nothing is more heart-warming and rewarding than receiving positive feedback from the audience. In particular, we express special thanks to our honoured guest Sarah Barker for sharing her first hand experience on imprisonment and her journey of reintegration, the event has really left a huge impression on the audience.
Another highlight of the event was the exhibition which involved a popular social experiment game, beautiful artwork, (somewhat amusing) confessions, and more. All credit is due to each and every sub-committee member who have not only participated, but also assisted us in preparing the booth work, without your hard work the event would not have been so enjoyable for many. Throughout the flagship, we have faced various challenges. Hoping to achieve our best within the limits of time, skills and experience, all of us broke out from our comfort zones and were willing to explore more. After the entire year, not only the event that we have held, but also the memories which we have created, the friendships which we have made and the happiness that we have enjoyed together. Last but not least, we would like to sincerely thank all the committee members and our team, especially our secretary Brian Yu and treasurer Kate Yiu, who have trusted us and put forth their best efforts into the event, so that the vision we had in mind, was realised. Beatrice Tsang, Nova Yu PICs of SS Flagship 2018
persons in charg
As one of the largest events organised Social Services Society in the UK, LSE the LSE on 17th February. Being the this year we are honoured to have w over the United Kingdom to participa are extremely delighted to have invited our grand final chief judge, who comments to all our candidates!
When we ran for the LSE Forum PIC our previous debating experiences w successfully. However, it wasnâ€™t until l realised the complexity of the web o detail it involves in order to run the Fo have accomplished this if it werenâ€™t fo precious advice. From their attention t affairs; we have learnt a lot during the has shaped us into more mature leadership roles and we are very grate
As our final flagship of the year, we w member within our society. All of o setting the various motions for the fo chairman on the day. The joint effort also crucial to our success, without th have run so smoothly. On a final no continue to strive and serve as an i around the United Kingdom to exchan
d by any Hong Kong Public Affairs and E Forum 2018 was successfully held at eleventh year since its establishment, welcomed 16 top universities from all ate in our final flagship of the year. We d Ms Cherie Yeung from the HKETO as offered insightful and encouraging
position during elections, we thought were enough to help us host this event later on during the preparation, that we of administrations and the amount of orum smoothly. We honestly could not or our experienced seniors who gave us to details to how they handled external e 6-week preparation period. This event individuals so as to handle future eful for this precious opportunity.
were very determined to involve every our subcommittees were involved in orum and in timekeeping or acting as t of our entire executive committee is heir commitment the Forum would not ote, we hope that the LSE Forum can interactive platform for elite students nge ideas. Brendan Ho, Colette Wong
team ls william wong
粵語辯論早已經是遙 寫辯論稿的感覺與技 生、道德議題，不單 時，香港的種種難題
‘Debating is more than
As the much anticipat and proud to have re unforgettable and enr Kan Yin have certain motions. Our oppone place.
This has been a very everyone who chippe organise the event, an by taking up various successfully hosting universities all around
This marks the end of year ahead for the soc
從中四第一場基盃， 平。由辯題、站方到 憾因種種原因未能在
兩年前進了大學後， 為 LSE 打 LSE Foru 其實已並不重要，重 LSE Forum 亦的確提 識。當然還要感謝兩
遙遠的中學回憶，感謝 LSE Forum帶給我重新鍛練廣東話演講的機會，令我重新找回 技巧，自由辯論的唇槍舌劍，雖然早已生疏，但仍是樂趣無窮。大會選擇的政策、民 單單是對香港社會發展的反思，更提醒著負笈海外留學的我們：在享受英國生活的同 題、癥結，正等待學成歸來的我們解決。
n just a duel of speeches - it is about strategy, logic and presentation.’
ted annual LSE Forum comes to a close, I would like to say that I am very much honoured epresented LSE as a debater in this exciting competition, and it has definitely been an riching experience. The preparation sessions with my amazing teammates William and nly extended my knowledge and provoked my thinking upon issues highlighted by the ents are also very well-prepared and are of high calibre, allowing lively debates to take
y enjoyable day, yet the event wouldn’t have run smoothly without the crucial effort of ed in. Shout outs to the PICs Brendan and Colette who have worked day and night to nd to the sub-committee and committee members of HKPASS for helping out on the day roles. At the end of the day, I am sure that everyone would share the happiness of such a large event and spectating so many excellent debates between students from d the UK.
f another year of activities held by HKPASS, and I foresee another successful and fruitful ciety.
，到中五最後一場聯中，短短兩年的中學辯論生涯，讓我明白辯論從來沒有絕對的公 到評判，都滲透著主觀的判斷，這就是辯論比賽的本質。在最後一場聯中落敗後，遺 在比賽中為學校辯隊帶來榮譽，並曾許諾大學不會加入辯論隊。
，有幸獲邀參與 LSE Forum，跟其他曾在中學打辯論的辯員一同打辯。去到今年再度 um，雖然已經失去了中學時期每天放學花7小時準備辯題的毅力，但現在比賽的結果 重要的是享受身為辯論員在台上打辯的時間。感激HKPASS給我再次辯論的機會，而 提升了一些對時事並未有太大認識的學生對社會的關注度，以及對中文辯論的基本認 兩年前跟我一起打辯的隊友Claudia 和 Jyan，還有今年的William和Ian。
Humans of H Caius Mok (Year 2 Actuarial Science)
在Caius的要求下，筆者還是很配合的用中文完成了這篇採訪。 不得不提，這篇採訪是在靜默和尷尬的氣氛中開始的。筆者承認 自己並不是一個很出色的採訪者，面對著面前這個短問短答而又 特別安靜的大男孩，我也有些無計可施的無奈感。 興許是察覺到我的無措，Caius終於緩緩開口，解釋自己並不是 一個喜歡說話的人，他需要別人不停的引導和發問。他舉例，兩 人共進晚餐，如若對方並不首先開啟話題，他絕不介意完全寂靜 的渡過一頓飯的時光。筆者訝然，畢竟平日看到的他也是頗健談 的。對此，Caius 特別感恩身邊時常有一群摯友相伴，忍耐他的 被動與慢熱，並不斷製造及帶動話題。他縱然享受獨處的時間， 卻也十分珍惜與朋友相聚的光陰。他直認，在這裏認識的朋友必 然是他這一年多裏不可或缺的人。
「我沒有最喜歡的東西，因為我不習慣特意為喜歡的東西分一個明確的優次。」 聊起了他為什麼會選讀精算這一科目的時候，Caius眼中閃過一絲無奈。「其實也是因為我沒有特別喜歡 的一科吧。我不是一個文人，對文學沒有興趣，而精算在數學中帶了一些經濟和科學，也算是在我的接 受範圍之中。」「如果可以再選一次，你還會選精算嗎？」Caius沉思了片刻。「如果前程不在考慮範圍 之內，我想不會了，可能會選物理學吧。」 談起了自己的興趣所在，Caius的話漸漸多了起來。原來，他對物理學情有獨鍾是因為他曾受中學物理老 師所啟蒙。他形容，物理學的有趣之處在於發掘大自然的定律，而這些定律往往能與人生找出共通點。 比方說，楞次定律（Lenz’s Law）中，當電流遇到一定的磁場，就會自然地產生一種對抗的力量。Caius自 己在現實中也很有規律，也抗拒轉變。他每一天都有一個預先制定的時間表，亦清楚自己在甚麼時候要 做甚麼事，因此他並不歡迎突發以及未知的事情。
「困難到處都是，重要的是心態。」 對於Caius，整年中最深刻的莫過於第一次與非家庭成員在一起居住。正所謂「相見好同住難」，每一個 人的生活習慣各有不同，要磨合並不是一件容易的事。就算是認識了很久的朋友，也不代表同住的時候 能夠一帆風順。因此，本著多一事不如少一事的格言，Caius也會盡量的遷就和包容。
「與其問從HKPASS中得到甚麼，不如問自己為這裏付出得夠不夠。」 回想過去一年，Caius認為當中的跌跌碰碰不少，沮喪難熬的日子更是無可避免，但他認為這些是每一個 上位者都必須經歷的磨練。作為一位財務袐書，Caius的角色在很多時候都屬於後援。他坦承自己遇到的 困難已比處於前線的人要少得多，但他仍語重心長的寄語：「每一個難關都應該要用同樣著緊的心態來 應付，千萬不能厚此薄彼。」雖然Caius鮮會在活動中扮演策劃者的角色，可他也一再強調後援在一個團 體中的必要性和重要性。只有每一個人都謹守自己的崗位，事情才能向我們嚮往的方面發展下去。 黃海垚
Kevin Chau (Year 2 Economics) Our PASS Secretary, Kevin Chau, was still his usual bubbly self in spite of the stormy weather on this Monday afternoon. For one reason or another, his greeting ‘yo!’ reminded me of Joy from Inside Out.
‘Determination; you gotta have actual, not cliché, determination!’ Unlike most economists, non-monetary incentives seem to be driving this second-year economics student towards the banking industry more than anything else. Coupling a frown with his fitting glasses, Kevin made a comment that is worth pondering – ‘banking has the steepest learning curve’. Knowing that he is not particularly keen on traditional academic disciplines, economics happened to be on Kevin’s list through a process of elimination. One should find Kevin’s sense of self-awareness especially sublime. He knew that ‘high precision’ could not be on his agenda, and that he wanted something that could offer him a balance between qualitative and quantitative analysis. So here he is, gearing himself up in the midst of one of the most distinguished institutions around the world.
‘Everyone has a different success formula; you just can’t blindly emulate all those formulae.’ Rightly phrased by Kevin, some cherry-picking really has to be done when coming up with one’s own success formula since it all boils down to knowing exactly what one’s goal is. Kevin’s working ethos is one of a kind. He contended that ‘strategy’ should always sit at the heart of one’s pursuit. This is especially true when one is preoccupied by piles and piles of, basically, everything! Our summer exam timetable has just been released and here is a top tip from our PASS secretary, ‘get your priorities straight’. Another way to put it: if you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want will become the sacrifice. p.s. Perhaps this wasn’t an ‘interview’ as such, but a mentoring session with a bright and, indeed, bubbly individual.
Graphics from freepik
Humans of H Giovanna Lau (Year 1 Economics)
May I present you Giovanna Lau, one of my best companions during my HKPASS journey. Perhaps Giovanna is not one of the most outspoken or sociable sub-committee in HKPASS, but her eagerness in helping different events and trying her best to complete the work delegated to her surely left a good impression to many. Despite her involvement in HKPASS, Giovanna regard herself as quite academic-orientated. It is not a surprise that you can meet her in silent zones of the library whenever you pass by. I was indeed astonished by the amount of time that Giovanna devotes into her studies. Skipping her lunch or dinner and replacing them with a cup of coffee is almost a daily routine for her. With a bitter smile, she admitted her unhealthy lifestyle, but she reassured me that she will take a good care of herself.
‘My motivation to study comes from the continuous stress.’ This gloomy yet realistic phrase thoroughly explains why Giovanna is always staying in the library (or living in the library, as I privately describe her). The sources of her stress are not only from her parents and peers, but also from herself. Being exceptionally systematic and self-regulated, she tends to set a goal every day and forces herself to align with it – even this may mean that she only gets 2 hours of sleep that night. This is because she feels obliged to keep up to a certain standard in her studies so that her family and friends will not be disappointed. When things become too stressful, Giovanna motivates herself by watching TV dramas and variety shows. This is a good time to relax her mind before indulging into another battle with her courses. ‘Sometimes a little bit of laughter can already brighten up my day.’ She added with a grin.
‘Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.’ As I conclude our interview, Giovanna shares with me her most cherished quote that has inspired her all the way. This world is full of erroneous and fraudulent impressions and information. What we see with the eye may not be presented with veracity. It is through continuous discussions and debates that the truth may be revealed. Amused by the extensive angles that different people can take with regard to a
HKPASS single issue, she actively engages herself in political and social issues, in hope to discover the reality in this world. She is also encouraged to adopt an impartial approach whenever she evaluates herself or others. She finally asserts the prominence of keeping an open-mind. ‘It is the only way that exposes you to brand new perspectives and improves you to become a more all-rounded person.’ Colette Wong
Patricia Lu (Year 1 LLB) On this gloomy Friday evening, there was our Patricia sitting at Garrick, sipping at some Innocent and skimming through some Facebook posts.
Lastminute.com? Here is the logic: if lastminute.com can get you what you want, why bother with booking.com in the first place? Having four formative essays to smash within two weeks is demanding. English lawyers, by the way, worship at the altar of stare decisis; meaning that this law student is expected to read pages and pages of cases before she can actually write up her answers. Three hours before the deadline, then, is precisely when Patricia has herself powered up. Live on the edge; careful not to fall.
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra. Catered food is not necessarily Michelin-starred. Strictly speaking, none is (do correct us if we are wrong!). As Patricia was new to the world of pots and pans back in September, this amateur chef has therefore yet to master the use of tweezers and squeezers. In fact, Patricia has been experimenting with different dishes ever since she moved into a catered accommodation right in the hub of London. Her current culinary repertoire is as follows: pan-fried salmon, bland macaroni, boiled lettuce and occasionally, Japanese ramen. Fresher’s life has not been easy for everyone yet Patricia’s gorgeous grin when outlining her daily routine did say a lot about her positive vibes. In essence, these positive vibes are ‘that little extra’ which makes Patricia extraordinary!
Cello is a little box of sunshine that can always brighten up a cellist’s day. Inspired by her grandad who plays double bass, Patricia began her magical career as a cellist at the age of seven. When asked what it is about cello that has captivated her for over a decade, Patricia answered ‘just the sound of it’ with no second thoughts whatsoever. Perhaps this is why many have said that music speaks when words fail. On this note, may I wish Patricia the best of luck with lastminute.com! Graphics from freepik
Whatâ€™s On the Blog? Blog posts are continuously uploaded to our website here are some of this monthâ€™s highlights.
來日方長 據說，每一首歌都承載著一個故事，每一首歌都有一位獨一無 二的主角，而每個人的心中都有那一首專屬的歌。你喜歡的歌 ，可能多不勝數；但只有那一首歌，直擊你的靈魂深處。那一 曲旋律，曾讓我們在那些無眠的夜裏反反覆覆的聽著，在寂寥 的時間裏細細咀嚼。畢竟人是感性的動物，偶爾流露宣泄並不 是甚麼可恥的事。因此，多少次，我們在熟悉的音調中默默淚 流；多少次，我們在諳知的歌詞中自我擁抱。 我躺在床上，翻開了某首歌，聆聽著那倒背如流的歌詞，任那 剪不斷的凌亂散落心間。 流言滿天飛，我們身處的世代存在著太多惡意批判。閉上眼， 你聽見了幾多流言蜚語，而你又能回應多少。躲都躲不過去的 時候，又何必壓抑自己的真正感受，讓自己委曲求全。 所謂情感，其實就是親手遞給對方一把刀，賦予對方一種對自 己生殺予奪的控制權。友情的背叛、親情的爭執、愛情的誣蔑 ，哪一次不會讓我們鮮血淋漓。血水流盡，我們之間的情誼不 再。然而，不再相見，不一定等於分離；不通音訊，不一定等 於忘記。感謝回憶，讓我還能在歌聲中找到最純粹的你，找到 那些已被滄海遺忘的角落。 剪碎光陰，融進我那旖旎的記憶裡。就算我只剩下空城一座， 滿身悲愴，還是能在那某首歌曲中尋找溫存。 黃色楓葉又一年落下。朦朧中，我好像在哪見過你。 黃海垚
What Are You Telling M Democracy is built on our choices; our choices built on information we have. But what determines what information we get? In this blog post, we look at 3 ways how the information we receive become increasingly one-sided and unreliable A lost of faith in experts Tom Nichols highlights how the population has lost faith in experts, preferring their own ideas and pre-existing beliefs and rejecting anything on the contrary, even if coming from a more knowledgeable source. The threat to democracy he notes is that if the population becomes so stubborn won’t accept new points then can never evolve politically and will be led astray, not considering what knowledgeable people are telling them, so blind-voting etc.
“We’re moving toward a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based collapse of any division between professionals and laypeople”. People are so close to information that they feel can they discard expert views. Guess, Nyhan and Reifler considered the issue of people in “echo chambers” and being subjected to misinformation, focusing specifically on 2016 US election. They find that many people are exposed to fake news. Using unique data combining survey responses with individual-level web track histories, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 4 Americans visited a fake news website from October 7-November 14, 2016. Trump supporters visited the most fake news websites, which were overwhelmingly pro-Trump.
Me? Misinformed Choices. However, fake news consumption was heavily concentrated among a small group — almost 6 in 10 visits to fake news websites came from the 10% of people with the most conservative online information diets. Fake news can have the significant effect of reinforcing existing beliefs and misinforming people.
However, our tailored experiences mean that we barely share a common reality with people who disagree with us: we see different products, political views and even facts.
“For democracy to work, free and well-informed citizens must actively engage in civic discourse. Digital disinformation is destroying the prospect of democratic engagement by well-informed citizens.”
Facebook and Google have a monopoly on digital advertisements. They take up almost 80% of all digital advertisement revenues. Fake accounts, likely operated out of Russia, spent about $100,000 on Facebook ads ahead of the 2016 election, yet Facebook hasn’t released the data or sources. Additionally, Donald Trump's team reportedly planted Facebook posts as part of an operation to suppress the African American vote.
A tailored online experience narrows our political conception The way that search engines present results will influence voter opinions. Data collected from our online behaviour generates a tailored experience.
Of Unions... And Separations
Tube strikes, university staff strikes… striking has long been regarded as one of the most effective ways for unions to voice out their oppositions to harsh/ unreasonable treatment imposed on their sector in the United Kingdom, but what about the union forces in Hong Kong? The writer of “Union Force in Hong Kong” argues that Hong Kong unions are weak in collective bargaining. The strong work ethic of individualist employees in Hong Kong makes collective action even more difficult to achieve. With Easter vacation (and subsequently examinations) fast approaching, it is easy for one to start thinking about returning to Hong Kong, where good food and old friends await. As the Chinese saying goes: 天下無 不散之筵席. Farewells carry the inherent notion of sadness. The most heart-wrenching farewells are often those that go unsaid. The writer of “落日故人情” attempts to decipher the sorrow that accompanies farewells. It has been 65 years since the end of the Korean War. 65 years have gone by since the divided Korean families last saw each other. With time fast running out, is reunion still possible? Read “Separation… with little hope of union” to see for yourself the haunting statistics that remind us of the plight of the divided families. When have you last spoken to your own family? The doctrine of separation of powers is one ingrained into law students’ minds from the very first year of reading law. Governments around the world strike a different balance between union and separation of powers of the State. “Formalising the ‘fusion of powers’” provides a brief introduction to these legal concepts with a focus on the British constitution.
落日故人情 式微，式微，胡不歸。 大抵，這世界上最悲愴的不過離別二字；而最美的，不過是久別後的重逢。凡間萬物， 終須一別；紅塵一醉，離別俯拾皆是。人生路上，不管你願不願意承認，難得是歡聚， 唯有別離多。 「桃李春風一杯酒，江湖夜雨十年燈。」 離別，是為了更深的懷念。 父母子女，離別最剜人。因此遊子出門，母親密密縫起新衣，把一腔不捨盡寄於手中的 一針一線，日日心中盼望遊子早日歸家。又因為父母送子女離開之痛，龍應台歷盡滄桑 後才能道出這一句：「你站立在小路的這一端，看著他逐漸消失在小路轉彎的地方，而 且，他用背影默默告訴你：不必追。」一次次的目送，伴隨著日益漸長的掛念，豈是一 種愁情了得？ 「明月易低人易散，歸來呼酒更重看。」 離別，是為了更好的記憶。 戀人間的離別最難耐：「若說沒奇緣，今生偏又遇著他。若說有奇緣，如何心事終虛化 。」縱然賈寶玉在通靈寶玉上刻的字，說的是莫失莫忘，可到底他還是不能與薛寶釵比 翼雙飛、結為連理。沒有人說過愛了就會一生一世，世界上太多未知，要說我們最後能 與誰走到一起現在為時尚早。愛過、珍重過，來日再見或許不能成為密友，但還是會感 謝你陪我走過了那一段路。那時的肝腸寸斷，今日的雲淡風輕。
「峰回路轉不見君，雪上空留馬行處。」 離別，是為了更美的盼望。 最瀟灑的離別莫過於古人的君子之交。長亭外的對飲餞行，古道邊的折柳相送，萋萋芳草都盡 是是離情，分別時卻從不拖泥帶水。汪倫送李白，不期而至，人未到而先聞踏歌聲，這樣的送 別不拘俗禮、快樂自由。輕舟伴好酒，全在桃花潭水間，兄弟我作揖拜別。哪怕通訊艱難，次 此一別不知道何時能夠再聚首一堂，這兄弟情世世不假。 「門外若無南北路，人間應免別離愁。」 離別，是為了下一次的相遇。 離別凄苦，但所有的分離只不過是為了他日的重聚。世界上沒有不散的筵席，離別是肯定的， 只是時間的事，而未知的時光讓我們且行且珍惜。不管我走到甚麼地方，與那些人相遇，與那 些人分離，與那些人重逢，其實都是一樣的。這些都是我們人生的組成。每一次分開，固然要 追憶，但不必追人。離別會痛，卻也不用那麼多矯情。婆娑淚眼，無語凝噎，太過矯情就成了 濫情。離別並不代表人生失衡，而是使我們成長的一堂課。地球是圓的，也許，今日說了再見 ，走遠些，又能在他方遇見了。 「人生如逆旅，我亦是行人。」 直至下一次的相會，念茲在茲。
SEPARATION... The division of the Korean peninsula is one of the last remaining relics of the Cold War. The historical episode played out as follows: between 1910 and 1945 Korea lost sovereignty and was colonized by Japan, which caused millions of Koreans to disperse. Around one-third of the Koreans were already separated after the liberation, which occurred just before the Korean War. The vast majority of the divided families were separated by the start of the Korean War on and around 25 June,1950. Seoul, the capital, was taken in 3 days. Millions were uprooted from their homes in a matter of days and fled as refugees to avoid the calamities of war, while others lost all communication with their relatives, due to the iron curtain that dropped upon the northern half of the peninsula, leaving them in complete darkness regarding the whereabouts and well-being of their loved ones who happened to live in the south. In many cases, there were fathers and brothers who left their mothers behind, thinking they would be able to return in a few days, only to lose their relatives for a lifetime. In some other cases, mothers who left their children behind, never able to see them again. There were also children who became lost in the mad scramble of huge crowds of people flooding the paths to escape. The United Nations Command included a provision in the armistice regarding the â€˜voluntaryâ€™ repatriation of displaced persons. But after the armistice, the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), at the 38th parallel between North and South Korea, has now become the most heavily militarized border in the world. This diminished all hope for any form of repatriation for the displaced.
with little hope of union Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, there has been virtually no contact between the citizens of the two countries, including the many families who were divided during the turmoil that engulfed Korea after liberation from Japanese rule and during the three-year Korean War. Many people in both North Korea and South Korea have lost contact with the rest of their family, and are unable to communicate with them due to strict regulations across borders. In the 1980s, South Korea held special programs to reunite divided families. For many of the first generation, divided families' time is running out, as many may soon pass away before seeing their relatives again. This is demonstrated by the following report: “By 28 June 2001, a mere 11 months after the first round of reunions in August 2000, 12,664 of the 116,460 original applicants for reunion had died. These figures clearly underline the pressing need for a solution to be found to this issue before the first generation of divided families finally disappear from the two Koreas’ societies, and the infringement of their fundamental human rights they have endured for so long becomes irreversible. Clearly the most stressful psychological factor in their predicament is the uncertainty surrounding their loved ones’ fates. 83% had no idea of the whereabouts or status of their relatives. Although a small percentage of respondents (3%) said they had no desire to contact family members in the North, 88% said that they would like to contact their relatives.” Marcus Liang
Formalising the “F People are products of their times. The despotism under the monarchy of Louis XIV in the 17th century had ignited Montesquieu’s conviction that dictatorship would always ensue from a centralisation of powers. Since there would be a loss of liberty on the part of the people, what was left was all doom and gloom. Absolute ‘union of powers’, on this account, is said to be impossible. As acknowledged by Saunders, every constitutional system that is founded on the principle of the ‘separation of powers’ will always aim for ‘a system of checks and balances under which each institution impinges upon another and in turn is impinged upon’. Assuming that each limb of a government is self-interested, a lack of intermingling between these limbs would then result in a constitutional cul-de-sac. Theoretically speaking, the bare minimum for checks and balances to be in place is a reciprocal review. On a practical level, the everyday governance of such a constitutional system is almost immune to administrative efficiency. Hence, absolute ‘separation of powers’ is impossible in practice.
A layer of nuance kicks in when the ‘union of powers’ is intertwined with the ‘separation of powers’. Although different limbs of a government should be divided so that no individual could have powers spanning all these limbs, there ought to be enough dependence between them to allow checks and balances to take place. In fact, an interface between different limbs of a government is known as a ‘fusion of powers’. Coined by a British essayist, Walter Bagehot, in the mid 19th century, ‘fusion of powers’ is a distinguishing feature of parliamentary democracies – which is best contrasted with the stricter ‘separation of powers’ found in presidential democracies.
The ‘separation of powers’, for instance, is almost parasitic on the United States Constitution: Article I grants powers to the legislature; Article II endows the President with executive power; and Article III creates an independent judiciary. As for parliamentary democracies, the ‘fusion of powers’ had been the quintessence of the British constitution up until 2005 when there was a shift to a stricter ‘separation of powers’.
Fusion of Powers” Prior to 2005, the Lord Chancellor was upholding a tripartite identity as the Speaker of the House of Lords (legislative) and a senior cabinet minister heading both his own Department (executive) and the judiciary (judicial). Since both the independence and impartiality required by Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 could potentially be vitiated by a close connection between one’s legislative, executive and indeed judicial role (as in the case of McDonnell v. UK ), the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 has defused the power of the Lord Chancellor.
Thus, the Lord Chancellor is now only heading the Ministry of Justice (then the Department of Constitutional Affairs which had replaced the Lord Chancellor’s Department in 2003).
All in all, the three limbs of the government are akin to a production line (from implementation, execution to enforcement); suggesting that they cannot each be evaluated in a vacuum. However, the individuality of each government demands a unique formula when calculating its trade-off between the ‘union of powers’ and the ‘separation of powers’ Regina Lai
Letter From the Editor So, it took me five issues to actually sit down and write something for PASS-On despite being the chief editor (not very proud of this, but better late than never right?). The reason why I have been holding off from contributing articles is as unglamorous as you may have guessed – Judging from my Instagram stories, I spend way too much time procrastinating, travelling, cooking and not studying... Anyhow, the aim of this article would be to reflect on my year as the Publications Officer of the LSESU HKPASS, and as a second year student at the LSE in general. Bear with me! I have been told by many people that contrary to what one might think, university is actually a really short period of time. And I have to say I do agree with them. From the day you move into student halls, you become overwhelmed with posters detailing careers fairs, adverts of parties (the best one ever!), promotion of societies (and why you definitely must join them!), and of course – all the while struggling to attend your lectures and classes whilst adjusting to living in a new country. Before you know it, it is already the Easter vacation and you realise your readings have been largely untouched and you have no idea what the past exam papers are asking. This was my experience as a first year law student, and I truly hope this is not what you are currently facing. Setting aside my semi-disastrous academic career, I can say that I have definitely enjoyed my first year at the LSE. In particular, joining HKPASS as a sub-committee member was one of the best decisions I made. I would like to think that it was my passion for writing, or just the feeling that you’re contributing to something, a part of something bigger, that allowed me to stay on board as an executive committee member. I was fortunately blessed with eight other committee members who were just as enthusiastic about doing something as I was. Despite my inaptitude for design, I was given a huge amount of encouragement and useful advice so that I could improve. Special shout out to Damian for tolerating my pessimism towards all things new – I am especially happy that we managed to establish not just one, but two new initiatives: Moment In Time and Humans of HKPASS! Before I sign off, I would like to give just one small piece of advice: do what you like, and make sure you like what you are doing. I consider university as the last safe haven before we venture into society. These three or four years will be the last chance for you to learn a new sport, try running for a committee position, organise events… all without the fear of failure. Looking back, it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. We have all had nights of deadline-fighting, of questioning the choices we made and the commitments we signed up for, but the fulfillment you get from accomplishing something you never thought you could pull off, the applause you receive, or just words of acknowledgement – that is what keeps us going. Jennifer Lau Publications Officer 2017-2018
The ďŹ rst step towards change is awareness. - Nathaniel Branden
LSESU HKPASS is a politically neutral society and any views expressed belong entirely to the author themselves.