Constitutional Societies

The Language and Ideology of Constitutions: A Computational Linguistics Analysis
Principal Investigator: David Law
Project Period: 01/07/2017 – 30/06/2020
Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund

Courts and Democracies in Asia
Principal Investigator: Po Jen Yap
Project Period: 01/07/2017 – 30/06/2020
Funding Source: RGC General Research Fund

Constitutionalism in Context
Principal Investigator: David Law
Project Period: 15/03/2017 – 31/12/2018
Funding Source: Global Partnership Seed Fund

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

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 Development in Hong Kong and Rule of Law Education and Rule of Law Education
Principal Investigator: Benny Tai
Project Period: 2013 – 31/10/2016
Funding Source: General Research Fund 

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.