Syllabus for Hong Kong Legal System

  1. 1.                 Development of the Hong Kong Legal System 1842-1997

 

Reception of English Law – Captain Elliot’s Proclamation – Supreme Court Ordinance 1843 – Application of English Law Ordinance – Joint Declaration and the Resumption of Sovereignty – Localization and Adaptation Exercises – Continuity of Previous International Treaties – Reunification Ordinance – Application of legislation to “State” – Impact of the change of sovereignty on the legal system – continuation and development of the previous legal system after 1997;

 

  1. 2.                 Sources of Hong Kong Law

 

Laws previously in force in Hong Kong – Legislation, common law and equity, customary law – Special position in New Territories land – Imperial enactments – Prerogative power – Legislation and restriction on law making powers – National Laws – NPCSC’s interpretation – PRC Constitution;

 

  1. 3.                 Doctrine of Stare Decisis

 

Doctrine of precedent in Hong Kong – Full Court – Pre- and Post-1997 Privy Council Decisions – Status of House of Lords Decisions;

 

  1. 4.                 Hong Kong Court System

 

Hierarchy of courts – Jurisdiction and its constitutional limits – Role of the Court of Final Appeal – Appointment and tenure of judges – Judicial independence under the Basic Law – Judicial immunity and judicial accountability - Jury system;

 

  1. 5.                 Access to Justice

 

Forms of legal aid – Operation of legal aid – Characteristics of legal aid services in Hong Kong – Legal aid and resources – current controversies – Independence of Legal Aid Authority – Legal profession;

 

  1. 6.                 The Common law System and the PRC Legal System: A Comparative Overview

 

The essential differences between the common law system and the PRC legal system;

 

  1. 7.                 Interface between the two systems

 

Concurrent jurisdictions – Mutual judicial assistance – enforcement of judgments – extradition – cross-border crimes and jurisdiction – cross-border insolvency – Conflicts between the two systems – Admissibility of documents issued in the Mainland – Taking evidence in the PRC;

 

  1. 8.                 Introduction to Legal Research: Sources and Skills. 


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