The Right to Equality in the Public Sector: An Assessment of Post-Colonial Hong Kong
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 103, 2002
Posted: 28 Aug 2006
The Bill of Rights Ordinance established an enforceable right to equality in Hong Kong's public sector. This right was further developed in 1995 when the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance were enacted. This legislation should have spurred a comprehensive review of government policies. However, recent cases demonstrate that the government has failed to conduct such a review and that it has actively resisted the Equal Opportunities Commission's (EOC's) efforts to enforce the laws. The government's failure to comply with its own legislation sets a poor example for the private sector and undermines the entire enforcement model, which is supposed to be based largely upon conciliation and public education. In light of this record, the author argues that the EOC should be given stronger enforcement powers and broader jurisdiction over discriminatory acts by the government and public authorities.
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