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Hong Kong Law – Global Legal Collection Highlights

The following is a guest post by Shi Qiu, a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress.

July 1, 2015 marked the 18th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. On this anniversary we published a post about the Basic Law of Hong Kong. For non-legal information on Hong Kong, you can read an article published in the Library of Congress Information Bulletin, titled Hong Kong: From Fishing Village to Financial Center.

Backdrop and Primary Sources of Hong Kong Law

Hong Kong-- Supreme Court, between 1900-1925. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98507146/.  The building later became the Legislative Council Building and there are plans to make it the home of the Court of Final Appeal.

Hong Kong — Supreme Court, between 1900-1925. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98507146/. The building later became the Legislative Council Building and there are plans to make it the home of the Court of Final Appeal.

Having been a British colony for more than 150 years, Hong Kong inherited the English common law system and is considered to have “strong traditions of rule of law, low levels of corruption, and high levels of public safety.”

The first colonial legislature was set up by the Letters Patent of Her Majesty the Queen Victoria in 1843, and the system remained in effect until the transfer of sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997. The Law Library of Congress collection of Hong Kong laws enacted in the colonial era dates back to the 19th century.

The first Legislative Council after the transfer of sovereignty was elected in 1998. Under the Hong Kong Basic Law, the judiciary remained largely the same as during the colonial era, and the body of law was not significantly changed. We track the latest updates of Hong Kong law and continuously develop our collection of the Hong Kong government gazette.

In addition to the official gazette, the Law Library holds primary sources of Hong Kong law including:

Business and Finance Law

Hong Kong is an important international business hub and one of the most developed regions of the world. Therefore, our collection of Hong Kong commercial and business law will be very helpful if you’re interested in the city’s highly globalized economy. Among the titles in our collection are:

Law and Culture

Statue of Justice represented by Themis, the Greek Goddess of Justice and Law, on top of the former Legislative Council Building.  Photo by Flickr user Ivan C, Nov. 18, 2009. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Statue of Justice represented by Themis, the Greek Goddess of Justice and Law, on top of the former Legislative Council Building. Photo by Flickr user Ivan C, Nov. 18, 2009. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Hong Kong’s background of mixing Chinese tradition and long lasting British influence has had a strong impact on Hong Kong’s legal system as well as on its unique culture. It is amazing to see how the eastern customary law has survived within the common law system and keeps reshaping the community of one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Our collection of Hong Kong legal history features information on Chinese customary law, how it works in practice, and its impact on the society. For example, we hold the following titles in our collection:

More Secondary Sources

Our collection also includes secondary sources covering various legal areas, through which you can gain an insight into almost every subject matter of Hong Kong law. These sources include:

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