Cambridge University Press
Published in September 2022
Description: Drawing on archival materials, Michael Ng challenges the widely accepted narrative that freedom of expression in Hong Kong is a legacy of British rule of law. Demonstrating that the media and schools were pervasively censored for much of the colonial period and only liberated at a very late stage of British rule, this book complicates our understanding of how Hong Kong came to be a city that championed free speech by the late 1990s. With extensive use of primary sources, the free press, freedom of speech and judicial independence are all revealed to be products of Britain's China strategy. Ng shows that, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, Hong Kong's legal history was deeply affected by China's relations with world powers. Demonstrating that Hong Kong's freedoms drifted along waves of change in global politics, this book offers a new perspective on the British legal regime in Hong Kong.
- Novel use of archival sources to examine the legal history of Hong Kong, correcting prior narratives of colonial Hong Kong's legal system that were based upon crude understandings of common law ideals
- Offers empirical evidence to outline how Hong Kong transformed from a city of pervasive censorship to one whose freedom of expression was praised globally
- Places Hong Kong's legal history in the context of world history, demonstrating how deeply Hong Kong's development was impacted by geopolitics
To view details of book talk by Michael Ng at Oxford University on Oct 26, 2022, click: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/events/book-talk-political-censorship-british-hong-kong-freedom-expression-and-law-1842-1997-cup