The University of Hong Kong law school should have a 'sense of mission' towards upholding the rule of law in the city and should contribute towards legal reform on the mainland, says its dean, Johannes Chan Man-mun. Professor Chan's term as dean is due to expire next year, and he is the subject of a review regarding a possible extension of three years rather than the usual five. The review process involves presentations to university members and consultation with lawyers and judges outside the university, and is expected to be completed at the end of this month. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Professor Chan, who has been at the centre of many key constitutional debates as a member of both the Article 23 and Article 45 concern groups, stressed that the law faculty in the city's oldest university had an important role to play in the community. 'Law is a very important institution in Hong Kong, and the law school is a pillar for that.' He said that while the basic requirement for a dean was good administration of a quality law school, the post of dean of law at HKU was 'more than just an administrative job'. 'Beyond that I think there is always a sense of mission in Hong Kong. We have the duty to contribute to the upholding of the rule of law in Hong Kong and contribute to the development of the rule of law in China. We are more than just a teaching institution. We have a peculiar role to play, and we would be failing our duty not to meet those challenges.' In February, Professor Chan was denied entry to Macau, a move believed to have been linked to his outspoken stance against Hong Kong's controversial national security bill in 2003. He noted that many in his department were outspoken over policy issues related to their field. 'Some of the most outspoken people come from our faculty. I encourage all of this. That's what makes our research and HKU relevant to the community,' he said. Professor Chan has been dean since 2002 and, should his tenure be extended by three years beyond 2010, he will have led the law school for more than a decade - something he regards as problematic. 'No one should be in a leadership position for too long. You start to become less sensitive and run out of ideas. Certainly, you do not want a rule of man.' He said he was originally inclined to step down after this term but felt obliged to continue because the faculty was facing major changes in 2012, such as relocation to a new building, as well as curriculum changes to adapt to education reforms. Professor Chan said that in addition to instilling a sense of civic duty and public service in his students, he hoped to establish the faculty on the international map. 'There's no point being top in Hong Kong or top in China. The world is much larger than that.' However, Professor Chan said he fully intended this to be his last stint as dean should he be successfully reappointed, since he wanted to return to research. 'Inevitably, my research has suffered because I simply do not have time.'