Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Britain will return sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1997. Britain and the PRC have agreed that Hong Kong law will remain in effect until at least 2047. Using defamation law as an example, this Note explains why this agreement actually offers little protection or reassurance to the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kong law as written and Hong Kong law as enforced by the British differ greatly. Recently actions of the PRC government, particularly the Tienamen Square Massacre, suggest that the PRC is likely to enforce the laws in their stricter, written form. This Note compares the defamation law of Hong Kong and the PRC. Then, the potential conflict between the two is examined. Finally, the Note suggests a method of resolving disputes between the two systems.