Using the ICESCR in Hong Kong Courts

Michael Ramsden

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law


Hong Kong Law Journal, 2012

This article will examine the extent to which the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) should play a role in the adjudication of public law disputes in Hong Kong. It will consider possible usages of the ICESCR as a source of constitutional rights, as an aid to constitutional and statutory interpretation, and its potential influence on development of the common law. Despite not being directly incorporated into domestic legislation, it will be argued that the ICESCR enjoys constitutional status under the Basic Law. The view that the ICESCR is merely 'progressive' or 'aspirational' will also be challenged as a mischaracterization of the legal nature of the covenant, which unduly hinders its enforcement in Hong Kong courts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

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Date posted: October 13, 2012 ; Last revised: October 24, 2015

Suggested Citation

Ramsden, Michael, Using the ICESCR in Hong Kong Courts (2012). Hong Kong Law Journal, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2160777

Contact Information

Michael Ramsden (Contact Author)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

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