Thursday, October 3, 2019

Po Jen Yap & Francis Chung on Statutory Rights and De Facto Constitutional Supremacy in Hong Kong? (Int'l J Const L)

"Statutory rights and de facto constitutional supremacy in Hong Kong?"
Po Jen Yap & Francis Chung
International Journal of Constitutional Law
July 2019, , Volume 17, Issue 3, pp. 836–859
Abstract: Fundamental rights in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) are protected in its Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO). The Hong Kong Basic Law enshrines most of the BORO rights, thereby expressly conferring constitutional status on these rights. But there are a number of BORO rights that are not protected in the Basic Law. This article analyzes the cases in which the Hong Kong judiciary has addressed disputes concerning three exclusive BORO rights: (i) the right to participate in public affairs; (ii) the right to a fair hearing in civil cases; and (iii) the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. We will also explain how the courts have conferred de facto constitutional supremacy on all these statutory rights, while simultaneously providing significant leeway and decisional space for the government to craft a considered response in their remedial legislation, thereby promoting a constitutional dialogue between the judiciary and the government on rights-protection in Hong Kong.

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