The legal system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is based on the principles of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The constitutional framework for the legal system is provided by the Basic Law enacted by the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the PRC. Under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, the HKSAR legal system, which is different from that of Mainland China, is based on the common law, supplemented by statutes. All legislation in force in the HKSAR is accessible on the Hong Kong e-Legislation website.
The Chief Executive is the head of the HKSAR and is accountable to the Central People's Government and the HKSAR. The Chief Executive is assisted in policy making by the Executive Council of the HKSAR. The Chief Executive presides over the Executive Council and appoints its members.
The main powers and functions of the Government of the HKSAR (which is headed by the Chief Executive) include the formulation and implementation of policies, the conduct of administrative affairs and the drawing up and introduction of budgets and bills.
The HKSAR's legislature is the Legislative Council, and the Basic Law prescribes the specific method for forming the Legislative Council and its procedures for voting on bills and motions. Under the Basic Law, the Legislative Council's functions include the making of laws, approving budgets and public expenditure and monitoring the work of the government in general.
The Judiciary is responsible for the administration of justice in Hong Kong. It hears all prosecutions and civil disputes. It is completely independent of the executive authorities and the legislature.