Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong, where he was Head of the Department of Law from 1986 to 1993. He was previously Professor of Public Law at the University of Natal in Durban. He has lived in Italy since taking early retirement in 2001.
Educated at the University of the Witwatersrand, the London School of Economics, and University College, Oxford, his major areas of expertise are legal theory, and human rights, in particular the protection of privacy on which he is a leading international authority. In 1997 a higher doctorate in law (LLD) was conferred on him by the University of London for his publications on privacy and legal theory.
Professor Wacks has published more than twenty books and numerous articles. His major works include: The Protection of Privacy published in 1980 by Sweet & Maxwell, Personal Information: Privacy and the Law, published in 1989 by Oxford University Press, Privacy, a two-volume collection of essays published in 1993 by Dartmouth, London and New York University Press, and Privacy and Press Freedom published by Blackstone Press, London in 1995. He is a former chairman of the committee of the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong that examined this subject, and was a member of the statutory Personal Data (Privacy) Advisory Committee.
The third edition of his Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory was published by Oxford University Press in February 2012. In 2006, Oxford University Press published his Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (currently being translated into Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Icelandic, and Georgian), in 2008, his second book in this series, Law: A Very Short Introduction appeared, and in 2010, a third, Privacy: A Very Short Introduction was published.
His book Privacy and Media Freedom was published by Oxford University Press on 6 June 2013.
In addition to publishing articles and books on these subjects, he has edited a number of collections of essays on various aspects of Hong Kong law, including Civil Liberties in Hong Kong, The Future of the Law in Hong Kong, The Law in Hong Kong 1969-1989, and Human Rights in Hong Kong (all published by Oxford University Press), Hong Kong, China, and 1997: Essays in Legal Theory, and The New Legal Order in Hong Kong published by Hong Kong University Press. A collection of his writings, Law, Morality, and the Private Domain was published by Hong Kong University Press in 2000.
Professor Wacks has also written numerous articles on aspects of Hong Kong's legal system, including questions raised by the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, especially the judicial function and the problems of legal continuity after 1997. He was for several years editor of the Hong Kong Law Journal, and presented the RTHK television and radio programme, The Week in Politics.
His first novel, White Lies, set in the 1960s in South Africa, was published in November 2010.