On July 1, 2020, China introduced a National Security Law into Hong Kong partly in an attempt to quell months of civil unrest, as a mechanism to safeguard China’s security. In this new book, China’s National Security: Endangering Hong Kong’s Rule of Law? (Hart, 2020), Cora Chan and Fiona de Londras bring together a host of internationally renowned authors who question whether a national security law will challenge Hong Kong’s rule of law, and the liberal ideals safeguarded in its legal system, which have become a mark of national identity and pride for many Hong Kongers.
The book examines the question in three parts. Firstly, it considers whether national security poses a threat to Hong Kong’s rule of law, in particular, under the unique ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model. In the second part of the book, there is an examination of the sources of resilience in Hong Kong’s politico-legal culture, which may provide resistance to the erosion of the rule of law. In particular, authors examine administrative law, the judiciary, the legislature, and civil society. In the final section of the book, authors examine the limits and scope of national security legislation in Hong Kong, and consider how it should be interpreted in line with Hong Kong’s common law traditions.
To understand the current political unrest in Hong Kong, this book is a must read. It is also essential for understanding China’s security concerns, and what this means for the rest of the world.
Jane Richards is a doctoral candidate in Human Rights Law at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include disability, equality, criminal law and civil disobedience. You can find her on twitter @JaneRichardsHK where she avidly follows the Hong Kong’s protests and its politics.
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