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Hong Kong

On 1 July 1997, the British government relinquished control over Hong Kong and the territory became a special administrative region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), after a century and a half of British administration. The Basic Law, which is the Constitution of the HKSAR, is intended to maintain the HKSAR and the PRC as separate governmental, economic and legal systems. Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy, as well as enjoying executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including the right of final adjudication.

STEP Hong Kong branch page

1. Introduction

a. History and background

On 1 July 1997, the British government relinquished control over Hong Kong and the territory became a special administrative region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), after a century and a half of British administration. The Basic Law, which is the Constitution of the HKSAR, is intended to maintain the HKSAR and the PRC as separate governmental, economic and legal systems. Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy, as well as enjoying executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including the right of final adjudication.

The currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).

b. Legal system

Hong Kong law is based on the English common law system. The Court of Final Appeal, established on 1 July 1997, is the final appellate court and ultimate arbiter for administration of the common law in Hong Kong. Civil rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are founded on the rule of law, an independent judiciary, comprehensive system of legal aid, independent ombudsman and free press.

Editorial board
Mark Lea
Lea & White, Hong Kong, China SAR

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