Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 2:
The Legal System
Continuation of the Legal System
Law in the HKSAR
International Treaties and Agreements applying to 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
United Nations Human Rights Treaties
Race Relations
Children's Rights
Equal Opportunities Commission
The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
Home Pages
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Table of Contents Constitution and Administration The Legal System The Economy Financial and Monetary Affairs Commerce and Industry Employment Education Health Food Safety, Environmental Hygiene, Agriculture and Fisheries Social Welfare Housing Land, Public Works and Utilities Transport The Environment Travel and Tourism Public Order Communications, the Media and Information Technology Religion and Custom Recreation, Sport and the Arts Population and Immigration History Appendices PRINT

'The core values on which the governance of Hong Kong is based include the rule of law, an open and free society, an impartial administration, a level playing field, and the maintenance of international links. Hong Kong is fortunate also to possess a tried and tested legal system, which has its roots in the English common law, as this is crucial to the preservation of confidence in the way in which we conduct our affairs,' said the Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung, at the Third ICAC Symposium.

The legal system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 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 and at the domestic level by the Basic 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 existing legal system after China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997.


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