Topic 1 Introduction to Hong Kong Legal System

Topic 1 - TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE HONG KONG LEGAL SYSTEM Readings 1.1 Arjunan Majid Business Law in Hong Kong chap 1-5 CLASSIFICATION OF THE

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TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE HONG KONG LEGAL SYSTEM Readings : Arjunan & Majid, Business Law in Hong Kong , chap. 1-5. 1.1 CLASSIFICATION OF THE LAW OF THE HONG KONG SAR The law of the Hong Kong SAR may be classified as in Figure 1 below. The classification is neither complete nor universally accepted. But it does serve to show the breadth of the law, that it extends to all aspects of life. Classification of the Law of the HKSAR Hong Kong Law Public Law Private (Civil) Law Constitutional Criminal Property Family Company Contract Law of Torts and Law Law Law Law Law Administrative Law 1.2 DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW The differences between the two branches of the law are summarized below Civil Law Criminal Law l. C ri m in al 1. To confer legal rights upon individuals to regulate their formal and informal interactions with each other. To provide the mechanism by which they may enforce their rights. 1. To regulate socially unacceptable behaviour. To provide the mechanism by which the State may act against offenders. 2. To obtain compensation for the wronged party. 2. To punish the guilty. 3. The proceedings are initiated by the wronged party. The case may not go to trial even if 3. Normally, the proceedings are initiated by the police. The victim plays no part in the decision to prosecute. 1
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Civil Law Criminal Law proceedings have been commenced. Very often, civil proceedings are settled or abandoned before trial. Many civil cases settled out of court without even the threat of legal action. However, some legislation is enforced by other agencies, e.g., the Health Department or the ICAC. In exceptional cases, a private prosecution may be brought by an individual. 4. The p The proceedings are brought in the name of the wronged party. 4. The proceedings are brought in the name of the State. 5. The proceedings are brought before the District Court or the Court of Fist Instance or specialised tribunals (such as the Small Claims Tribunal, the Labour Tribunal and the Lands Tribunal). 5. The proceedings are brought before the Magistrates Court, the District Court or the Court of First Instance. 6. The plaintiff has to prove his case against the defendant on a balance of probabilities. 6. The prosecution must prove the case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. 7. The normal remedy is an award of damages, i.e., a sum of money paid as compensation by wrongdoer to the party wronged. Exceptionally, relief may take the form of an injunction or other equitable remedy. 7. The normal remedy is the imposition of a punishment or a sanction on the guilty. The punishment may take the form of a fine (a sum of money paid to the State and not the victim) and/or imprisonment. The wronged party or victim does not get
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2010 for the course AFS abs002 taught by Professor Cat during the Summer '09 term at American Indian College.

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Topic 1 - TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE HONG KONG LEGAL SYSTEM Readings 1.1 Arjunan Majid Business Law in Hong Kong chap 1-5 CLASSIFICATION OF THE

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