A Worthy Predecessor? The Privy Council on Appeal from Hong Kong, 1853 to 1997
Chapter 4 in Y Ghai and S Young (ed.s), Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal: The Development of the Law in China's Hong Kong, Cambridge, CUP, 2014
26 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2014
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was the final appellate court for the colony of Hong Kong for almost 150 years. There were a substantial number of appeals, with a sharp uptake shortly before the People's Republic of China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997. At a time when 15 years of Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal, under the stellar leadership of Chief Justice Andrew Li, warrants academic commentary, it is worth appraising the work of the JCPC on appeal from Hong Kong. It is possible simply to analyse the JCPC cases specific to Hong Kong, in a piecemeal fashion. However, it is preferable, as this chapter does for the first time, to place the JCPC cases from Hong Kong in the context of broader academic debates over the nature of the JCPC as an imperial court, an umpire in constitutional law and a court of final appeal in criminal cases. Despite criticisms of the JCPC on appeal from other jurisdictions, its work on appeal from Hong Kong is largely praiseworthy, if a little humdrum in comparison with the sometimes electric atmosphere of the Andrew Li Court.
Keywords: People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Court of Final Appeal, Privy Council, British Empire, judicial institutions, jurisprudence
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation