Changing Expectations: How the Rule of Law Fared in the First Decade of the Hong Kong SAR
7 Hong Kong Journal
11 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2014
Date Written: July 2007
Widespread predictions that Hong Kong's return to China on July 1, 1997 would mark the beginning of the end of its separate legal system proved far off the mark during the first decade after that date.
Instead the rule of law in Hong Kong — at least when considered strictly in terms of respect for judicial independence and the legal process — survived the 10 years from 1997-2007 far better than many had expected.
But real threats did emerge during that decade, especially due to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee repeated use of its power to interpret the Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong's main constitutional document.
Changing expectations also played a part in that generally rosy picture, transforming some issues that had been denounced as outrageous affronts to the rule of law during the late 1990s into widely accepted facts of life a decade later.
Keywords: Hong Kong, Constitutional Law
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