The Gateway Opens Wide

Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 41, pp. 385-391, 2011

7 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2011

See all articles by P. Y. Lo

P. Y. Lo

The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: September 12, 2011


The Court of Final Appeal's decision to make a judicial reference of questions of interpretation of the Basic Law of the HKSAR in the Congo case may be a watershed event in the legal history of the HKSAR. This is because of the majority judges deciding to engage with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and submitting to it for interpretation, among others, the question, controlled by statute, that the common law be applied "subject to such modifications, adaptations, limitations or exceptions as are necessary so as to bring [it] into conformity with the status of Hong Kong after resumption by the People's Republic of China of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong." The judicial system of the HKSAR and the legal system of mainland China become conjoined as the result of the opened gateway.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Court of Final Appeal, Standing Committee of National People's Congress, Interpretation of Basic Law

JEL Classification: K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Lo, P. Y., The Gateway Opens Wide (September 12, 2011). Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 41, pp. 385-391, 2011, Available at SSRN:

P. Y. Lo (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK

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