Law and Compliance in Hong Kong SAR

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
It is necessary to establish a contract when an agreement is reached, whichever it is. Hong Kong companies use the services of lawyers very extensively so that the document is made out properly.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Contract Code
Advisable Incoterms
It is preferable to choose FOB incoterms.
Language of Domestic Contract
English, Mandarin and Cantonese. It is common practice to have contracts in English + Cantonese.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
English Law

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
The Language of Justice
English or Cantonese, or in both the languages at the same time.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Legal Similarities
Hong Kong's judicial system continues to be based on the English Common Law and the Rules of Natural Justice of Great Britain. In order to maintain a strong autonomy on the judicial system, HK-SAR shows its attachement to the primacy of the "rule of law" as the fundamental law. The judicial system works independently of the system of mainland China.

The Different Legal Codes

Constitution of the State, Rights of individuals, Right of occupation Basic law (considered as the constitution)
Criminal cases and criminal procedures Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China
Contract Law, Right of occupation, Civil procedure code Civil procedure code
Rights of trade agents, rights of managers etc. Commercial code
Checking National Laws Online
Bilingual Laws Information Database
Basi Law full text
Other Useful Resources
Legislative Council
Department of Justice

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The Jurisdictions

The Court of Final Appeal The highest appellate authority in HK to safeguard the principle of "sovereignity of law" ("rule of law")
The High Court which includes the Court of Appeal and the Trial Court It handles criminal and civil cases.
The District Court It handles criminal and civil trial cases.
The Coroner's Court It deals with investigations on the causes and circumstances of certain deaths.
The Juvenile Court Deals with cases of charges brought against juveniles except for homicides.
Lands Tribunal, Labour Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal and the Obscene Articles Tribunal. Tribunals which have a jurisdiction to judge disputes pertaining to specific regions or defined precincts (districts).
Magistrates Court Criminal cases.

Court Officials

Hong Kong lawyers can be barristers or attorneys but cannot combine both the functions. The term Barrister(practising barrister) designates a lawyer whose main function is to represents parties in a Court. Attorneys (legal advisor) represent and advise their clients.
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