The Legal System
Continuation of the Legal System
Law in the HKSAR
Court Challenges Under the Basic Law
Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Secretary for Justice
The Law Reform Commission
The Legal Profession
The Judiciary
Legal Aid
Director of Intellectual Property
Rights of the Individual
Equal Opportunities Commission
Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
Home Pages

"It is fundamental to the rule of law that
the Judiciary is and must be seen to be
independent. Judicial independence is
essential to enable judges to perform their
constitutional role of adjudicating disputes
between citizens and between citizen and
government fairly and impartially. In
approaching the discharge of their duties,
judges do so in a spirit of humility," said the
Chief Justice, Mr Andrew Li Kwok-nang,
at the opening of the Legal Year.

The legal system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is based on the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary. Under the principle of 'one country, two systems', the HKSAR's legal system differs from that of the Mainland, and is based on the common law.

The constitutional framework for the legal system is provided at the international level by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which was signed in December 1984. It is provided at the domestic level by the Basic Law — a law enacted by the National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) under Article 31 of the Chinese Constitution. Both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law guarantee the continuance of the legal system that was in place before China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997.