With Hong Kong’s unique history and special political status, many people wonder where Hong Kong’s laws come from. How did Hong Kong transition from a British colony to a Special Administrative Region, and what areas of law are relevant in Hong Kong today? This article provides a brief summary of Hong Kong’s modern legal history as well as a bite-size guide to the different areas of law in Hong Kong with related examples from daily life.
Employment law is relevant if you are in an employer/employee relationship with another person. Common employment disputes involve unlawful dismissal and compensation for workplace injuries.
Criminal law is relevant if you have committed an act that is liable to criminal punishment, ranging from traffic offences to murder.
Land law becomes relevant when a person’s right to use or supply property is affected. Common land law cases involve tenancy or lease agreements, conveyancing, land title disputes, and indigenous/customary land rights.
Family law is relevant if you are getting a divorce or looking to deal with legal issues on family related issues including child custody, adoption and family dispute resolution. You may also consult a family lawyer on issues regarding pre- and post-nuptial agreements, civil union, same-sex marriage and family mediation.
Tort law is a wide field of law that becomes relevant when a person suffers loss or harm due to another person’s actions or failure to act. Common tort actions involve negligence, personal injury (such as slip and fall injury and employment injury), medical negligence, trespass to person/land, or defamation.
Corporate law covers a wide range of business matters and is relevant to everyone in the corporate world, whether a shareholder, director or employee. Corporate lawyers may deal with various questions on the formation, organization, taxation and dissolution of a company, as well as the rights for all parties involved.
Constitutional law is relevant if you believe that the actions of another person (public authority or ordinary citizen) infringed your constitutional rights, such as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or right to equality. The Constitutional document for the HKSAR is the Basic Law.
Contract law becomes relevant if you have entered into some “contractual relationship” with another person; that is, both sides agree to give each other an item or service that would benefit the other person...