Although they are not listed in the ‘Principles of Research Integrity’ (Section 1) in the HKU Policy on Research Integrity, the following principles are recognised in a number of other important documents (including external documents referred to in the HKU Policy on Research Integrity, which are annotated with an asterisk *) and may be of interest to legal researchers.


The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ESF and ALLEA)*, Section 2.2.3:

Independence from commissioning or interested parties, from ideological or political pressure groups, and from economic or financial interests

Research freedom

The European Charter for Researchers:

Researchers should focus their research for the good of mankind and for expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge, while enjoying the freedom of thought and expression, and the freedom to identify methods by which problems are solved, according to recognised ethical principles and practices.

Researchers should, however, recognise the limitations to this freedom that could arise as a result of particular research circumstances (including supervision/guidance/management) or operational constraints, e.g. for budgetary or infrastructural reasons or, especially in the industrial sector, for reasons of intellectual property protection. Such limitations should not, however, contravene recognised ethical principles and practices, to which researchers have to adhere.


Framework of Policies and Procedures (AfRE):

The research must be worthwhile in itself and have beneficial effects that outweigh any risks; it follows that the methodology must be sound so that the best results will be yielded

The European Charter for Researchers:

Researchers should make every effort to ensure that their research is relevant to society and does not duplicate research previously carried out elsewhere.

They must avoid plagiarism of any kind and abide by the principle of intellectual property and joint data ownership in the case of research carried out in collaboration with a supervisor(s) and/or other researchers. The need to validate new observations by showing that experiments are reproducible should not be interpreted as plagiarism, provided that the data to be confirmed are explicitly quoted.

Researchers should ensure, if any aspect of their work is delegated, that the person to whom it is delegated has the competence to carry it out.


Framework of Policies and Procedures (AfRE):

Any possible harm must be avoided or at least mitigated by robust precautions.