The Policy Address 2000

The Judiciary

117. In Hong Kong, courts at all levels exercise judicial power independently. The Government respects and upholds judicial independence, and acts in accordance with the rulings of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) and the lower courts. As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong enjoys the power of final adjudication - a unique constitutional arrangement. By comparison, the state or provincial courts of the United States, Canada and Australia are bound by the decisions of their supreme courts under their federal systems. The CFA of Hong Kong, however, has the power of final adjudication on all cases within the SAR's jurisdiction, and the power of interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong legislation and the common law. Our legal system is functioning effectively. Judges from other common law jurisdictions serve in the CFA as non-permanent judges. This signifies full confidence of the international judicial community in our rule of law.

118. It has been ten years since the promulgation of the Basic Law. After three years of implementation, the people of Hong Kong have a much deeper understanding of the new constitutional system. The Government will continue to strengthen our legal system and uphold the rule of law in every aspect of its administration. We will continue to promote the Basic Law and the concept of the rule of law as well as encouraging our citizens to exercise their rights and fulfil their obligations in accordance with the law.

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