The HKSAR’s legal system has the same roots and applies many of the same principles as other common law jurisdictions around the world. Just as lawyers in the HKSAR refer to case law from diverse common law jurisdictions such as England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, so decisions of HKSAR courts can assist lawyers researching overseas. Besides, in cases concerning human rights, references were often made by lawyers and courts of the HKSAR to European jurisprudence on similar issues.
Since 1997, the HKSAR’s status as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has meant that, in addition to continuing to foster strong links with the common law world, mutual understanding with the Mainland of our two legal systems is also important.
The sharing of experience with lawyers in other jurisdictions plays an important role in legal life, a fact reflected in the composition of the HKSAR’s Court of Final Appeal, which at every full hearing has included one judge from another common law jurisdiction. In short, given the HKSAR’s status as an international financial and commercial centre and as the pace of globalisation continues, it becomes more and more important to maintain close ties with other jurisdictions.