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Hsu, Barry Fong-Chung (1989) Law and Opinion in Hong Kong in 1988. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Many jurisprudential researchers have developed generalized theories but these theories have seldom been subject to empirical verification. Theoretical jurists also make assumptions and conjectures as to why and how the law functions and how the law should function based on observations and historical analysis. Each of their theses is usually biased towards the economic, social, political and religious environment of a particular era, and it may appear appropriate for that era. In the absence of verification based on scientific methods, these theses are merely conjectures which cannot be proved, and are often difficult to measure objectively. The use of information technology and statistical techniques should alleviate some of these problems. The reception of the Common Law in Hong Kong and Singapore and the successful adoption of the German Civil Code in Japan are evidence of supranational adaptability. The experiences of Hong Kong and Singapore can provide some useful information and data in analyzing the degree of success of the application of the Common Law in a different cultural setting. As schools of jurisprudence seldom explain the outcome of transplanting a dominant legal system to a society whose culture is foreign to it, it is submitted that information technology and statistical techniques can provide a better solution. This thesis consists of nine chapters. The first three chapters provide the cultural, historical and jurisprudential background relevant to the investigation of the application of English Common Law in contemporary Hong Kong. It is believed that an understanding of the cultural and historical past is the key to contemporary issues. The writer does not hold himself out as an expert in traditional Chinese jurisprudence and legal history, nor of Chinese law and custom in Hong Kong. Much of the information presented in the first three chapters was derived from published works. Chapters IV and V discuss the methodology in investigating the acceptance of the Common Law judicial system in Hong Kong, and Chapters VI and VII analyse the results of the investigations. The confidence of the people in the Common Law judicial system is directly correlated to the degree of success of transplanting a Common Law culture into Hong Kong as a dominant legal culture. Using selected methodologies, empirical data is analysed to determine the attitudes and values of the people towards the Common Law judicial system in Hong Kong. For the Common Law judicial system to be successfully maintained in Hong Kong after it becomes a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on 1st July, 1997, the confidence of the Chinese population in its fairness and reasonableness is vital. Chapters VIII and IX are concerned with the future of the Common Law judicial system in Hong Kong after 30th June, 1997, and the recommendations for judicial development in the meantime. As this is a law thesis, the writer does not attempt to forecast the political developments of Hong Kong at that time, but relies on published works based on well established forecasting techniques. The law is stated as at 31st December, 1988.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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