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HKU Faculty of Law's Contribution to Human Rights Knowledge
Research on Article 23

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Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law provides that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”

The SAR Government released its Proposals to Implement Article 23 of the Basic Law in September 2002, and introduced a National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill to the Legislative Council in February 2003. These developments sparked intense debate in Hong Kong over the potential impact of the new national security provisions on human rights, especially the right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Following a massive demonstration by Hong Kong people on 1 July 2003, the Government withdrew its proposed bill.
















Freedom and National Security – Has the Right Balance been Struck? 14-15 June 2003

Preserving Civil Liberties in Hong Kong: The Potential Impact of Proposals to Implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, 23 November 2002


National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong's Article 23 Under Scrutiny   

Edited by Fu Hualing, Carole J. Petersen & Simon N.M. Young, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, c2005. 

Read more:

Guide to Basic Law Article 23: Hong Kong's Unresolved National Security Issue, by Simon N.M. Young, 15 March 2015

"Knock, knock. Who's there?" – Warrantless Searches for Article 23 Offences, by Simon Young, June 2003

Submission to government

Group Submission to the Legislative Council, the Department of Justice, and the Security Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR on the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill, by Fu Hualing, Kelley Loper, Carole Petersen & Simon N.M. Young, May 2003 

Submission on the Proposals to Implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, by Carole Petersen & Kelley Loper, 17 December 2002

Other Relevant Documents

The Basic Law of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill 2003

Hong Kong Bar Association's Views on the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill 2003