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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2011

2 - Hong Kong

Summary

Introduction

Situated at the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong has a territory size of only 1104 square kilometres but there are 6.98 million people living in it. The vast majority of the population is of Chinese descent, with foreign nationals comprising 5 per cent of the population. The official languages are Chinese and English. People are now expected to be able to speak English, Cantonese (a local dialect) and Putonghua (the official Chinese language). Hong Kong people enjoy freedom of religion and varieties of religion including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Taoism are practised in the territory. Confucianism also has an important influence on the local culture.

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC) following 150 years of British colonial rule, from 1842 to 1997. Free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention are the main characteristics of Hong Kong's economy. With the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner, Hong Kong is the world's 12th largest trading economy. Hong Kong maintains strong links to mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region through its service economy.

In studying the law and legal institutions in Hong Kong, a central theme that emerges is how a common law legal system was established, is maintained and will develop in a non-Western or Chinese society.

As Sir Anthony Mason said, the common law may mean many things.

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References
Articles/Books/Reports
Chan, F, Fu, L and Ghai, Y (eds), Hong Kong's Constitutional Debate: Conflict over Interpretation, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2000
Chan, J, ‘Judicial Independence: A Reply to the Comments of the Mainland Legal Experts on the Constitutional Jurisdiction of the Court of Final Appeal,’ in Chan, F, Fu, L and Ghai, Y (eds), Hong Kong's Constitutional Debate: Conflict over Interpretation, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2000
Fu, H, Petersen, C and Young, S N M (eds), National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong's Article 23 under Scrutiny, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2005
Ghai, Y, Hong Kong's New Constitutional Order: The Resumption of Chinese Sovereignty and the Basic Law, 2nd ed, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 1999
Ghai, Y, ‘Litigating the Basic Law: Jurisdiction, Interpretation and Procedure,’ in Chan, J, Fu, H L and Ghai, Y (eds), Hong Kong's Constitutional Debate: Conflict over Interpretation, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2000
Hsu, B, The Common Law in Chinese Context, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 1992
Kuan, H, ‘Support for the Rule of Law in Hong Kong,’ Hong Kong Law Journal, vol. 27, no. 2, 1997, p. 187
Kuan, H, ‘Popular Attitudes Towards the Rule of Law,’ in Siu-kai, L, Kwan, L M, Po-san, W and Siu-lun, W (eds), Indicators of Social Development: Hong Kong 2004, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2004
Mason, A, ‘The Role of the Common Law in Hong Kong’, in Young, J and Lee, R (eds), The Common Law Lecture Series 2005, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2006
Mason, A, ‘The Place of Comparative Law in Developing the Jurisprudence on the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Hong Kong’, Hong Kong Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 2, 2007, p. 299
Ng, S T and Kuan, H, ‘Legal Culture,’ in Sai-wing, L, Po-san, W and Siu-lun, W (eds), Indicators of Social Development: Hong Kong 2006, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2008
Tai, B, ‘Chapter One of Hong Kong's New Constitution: Constitutional Positioning and Repositioning’, in Chan, M and So, A Y (eds), Crisis and Transformation of China's Hong Kong, M E Sharpe, Armonk, NY, 2002
Wesley-Smith, P, An Introduction to the Hong Kong Legal System, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, Hong Kong, 1993
Wesley-Smith, P, Constitutional and Administrative Law in Hong Kong, 2nd ed, Longman Asia Ltd, Hong Kong, 1994
Young, S and Law, A, A Critical Introduction to Hong Kong's Functional Constituencies, Civic Exchange, Hong Kong, 2004
Youyu, Z, ‘The Reasons for and Basic Principles in Formulating the HKSAR Basic Law and its Essential Contents and Mode of Expression’, Journal of Chinese Law, vol. 2, no. 1, 1988, p. 5
Cases
Albert Cheng and Lam Yuk Wah v Tse Wai Chun [2000] HKCFA 35; FACV000012/2000, 13 November 2000
Director of Immigration v Master Chong Fung Yuen [2001] HKCFA 48; FACV000026/2000, 20 July 2001
Gurung Kesh Bahadur v Director of Immigration [2002] HKCFA 30; FACV000017/2001, 30 July 2002
HKSAR v Ng Kung-siu [1999] HKCFA 10; FACC000004/1999, 15 December 1999
Lam Siu Po v Commissioner of Police [2009] HKCFA 24; FACV000009/2008, 26 March 2009
Lau Kong-yung and 16 Others v Director of Immigration [1999] HKCFA 4; FACV000010/1999, 3 December 1999
Leung Kwok Hung v HKSAR [2005] HKCFA 41; FACC000001/2005, 8 July 2005
Ng Ka-Ling v HKSAR [1999] HKCFA 72; FACV000014/1998, 29 January 1999
Ng Ka-Ling v HKSAR [1999] HKCFA 81; FACV000014A/1998, 26 February 1999
Secretary for Justice v Chan Wah [2000] HKCFA 88; FACV000011/2000, 22 December 2000
Solicitor, A v The Law Society of Hong Kong [2008] HKCFA 15; FACV000024/2007, 13 March 2008
Town Planning Board v Society for Protection of the Harbour Limited [2004] HKCFA 27; FACV000014/2003, 9 January 2004
Web materials
Final Report of Working Party on Solicitors' Rights of Audience (November 2007) Judiciary of the HKSAR <http://www.judiciary.gov.hk/en/publications/fr_solicitors_rights_of_audience_en.pdf>
Statement of Prosecution Policy and Practice – Code for Prosecutors (2004) DOJ <http://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/pubsoppapcon.htm>