Constitutional Dilemmas in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  • Peter Wesley-Smith


The courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) have operated only since 3 July 1997, and in that time only a handful of cases of much constitutional significance have been decided. The first, and arguably the most significant so far, was HKSAR v. David Ma Wai-kwan [1997] HKLRD 761. In that case the Court of Appeal (sitting to determine questions of law reserved by the Court of First Instance) discussed the continuity of the British Hong Kong legal system into the HKSAR period and the constitutional validity of the provisional legislature. It is proposed in this paper to consider these primary questions. (On other aspects of the case, see Chan 1997b and Watson-Brown 1998.)


Legal System Legislative Council Joint Declaration Hong Kong Special Administrative Region South China Morning 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Peter Wesley-Smith

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