Hong Kong Basic Law Handbook, Second Edition


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Hong Kong Basic Law Handbook, Second Edition
Mar 2019

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“What is having a copy of this book like? Essentially, it is like having a copy of the Basic Law plus a good working knowledge of the jurisprudence on its provisions. If more can reasonably be expected of a handbook on the Basic Law, I do not know what that might be.”

The Honourable Mr Justice Bokhary GBM, NPJ


Hong Kong Basic Law Handbook continues to be the definitive work for anyone interested in understanding the operation of the Basic Law. A number of significant developments in constitutional law have taken place since the publication of the first edition in 2015. These include the interpretive power of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress under Article 158, the oath-taking requirement under Article 104, freedom of expression, the rights of prisoners, the ability of same-sex partners in civil relationships recognised in other jurisdictions to obtain a dependent visa, and more.

Included are useful appendices on cases: (a) declaring legislation unconstitutional; (b) suspending declaration of unconstitutionality; and (c) cited from other jurisdictions.


Notable cases discussed in this edition include:

Hysan Development Co Ltd v Town Planning Board (2016) 19 HKCFAR 372 — Human rights; proportionality test; fourth step added; whether pursuit of societal interest resulted in unacceptably harsh burden on individual.

Yau Wai Ching v Chief Executive of HKSAR (2017) 20 HKCFAR 390 — constitutional requirement of oathtaking in Article 104; interpretation of Basic Law Article 158.

Comilang Milagros Tecson v Director of Immigration [2018] 2 HKLRD 534 — Human rights; right to family; legislative intent of art.37; immigration reservation under s.11.

Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for Civil Service [2018] 3 HKLRD 84 — denial of “spousal” benefits of civil servants in samesex marriages.

QT v Director of Immigration (2018) 21 HKCFAR 324 —  refusal to grant dependent visa as dependent of same-sex civil partner.