Constitutional Societies

Judical Deference in Constitutional Rights in Adjudication: Constructing an Approach for Post-Handover Hong Kong
Principal Investigator: Cora Chan
Project Period: 01/11/2013 - 31/10/2016
Funding Source: Early Career Scheme

Constitutional Dialogue in Common Law Asia
Principal Investigator: Yap Po Jen
Project Period: 01/07/2014 - 30/06/2017
Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund

Constitutional Development in Hong Kong and Rule of Law Education
Principal Investigator: Benny Tai

Public Interest Litigation in Hong Kong: A New Hope for Social Transformation?
Principal Investigator:Karen Kong
Project Period:
Funding Source: Seed Funding for Basic Research
This research project explores the phenomenon of a surge of judicial review cases relating to issues of wide public interest in recent years that are similar to public interest litigation in other jurisdictions. It examines whether and how these cases are constrained by the legal obstacles under the existing judicial review rules and the resistance from the court in adjudicating on the essentially political questions being raised. It will also examine the recent public interest judicial attitude towards public interest cases and the challenges and opportunities in the development of public interest litigation in Hong Kong.


The First Decade of Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal
Principal Investigator: Simon NM Young
Co-Investigator: Yash Ghai
Research Assistant: Antonio Da Roza
Project Period: January 2007 – December 2009
Funding Source: Research Grants Council CERG 2006/2007
Before 1 July 1997, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (PC) in England served as Hong Kong's highest court in all legal disputes. After the resumption of sovereignty by China, Hong Kong established a Court of Final Appeal (CFA) to replace the PC in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitution. Since 1997, as provided for in the Basic Law, distinguished judges from England, Australia and New Zealand have routinely joined local judiciary in the CFA's decision-making processes. The CFA is the most independent final appeal court in China and the only one mandated to maintain and develop the common law. From 1997 to 2005, the CFA delivered close to 300 separate decisions, compared with the 68 decisions handed down by the PC in the eight years prior to the handover. The CFA jurisprudence has been of great social, economic, and political importance to Hong Kong. The proposed research aims to review the first decade of the CFA in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Quantitative data on the operation of the CFA and its decided cases will be collected and compared with similar data in respect of the last decade of appeals to the PC. Comparative analysis will also be done with the Macao Court of Final Appeal since its creation in 1999 and supreme courts from other countries. From the quantitative data, comparative analysis, and a close examination of all the CFA judgments, the goal of the research is to gain original and substantial knowledge of how the CFA has developed the law in Hong Kong since 1997.

Constitutional Reform Project
Principal Investigator: Simon NM Young
Project Period:
Funding Source:
The project will provide information to the public, professionals, the business sector, the government, and academics, with the aim of encouraging a systematic and in-depth discussion of constitutional review in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong's Constitutional Debates

Johannes Chan and Lison Harris (eds)


Functional Constituencies: A Unique Feature of the Hong Kong Legislative Council

Christine Loh and Civic Exchange (eds)

To order please visit the HKU Press website

A Critical Introduction to Hong Kong's Functional Constituencies

By Simon Young and Anthony Law

English Version [PDF]

The Hong Kong Executive Authorities' Monopoly on Legislative Power: Analysis of the Legislative Council's Second Term Voting Records

By Christopher Chaney



Articles and Commentary from the Article 45 Concern Group


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