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One Country, Two International Legal Personalities

The Case of Hong Kong

Roda Mushkat

Publication Year: 1997

This book is to examine the key relevant issues within a single framework, highlighting the interconnections in as broad as possible a context.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. vii-viii

China's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong is a unique and important event in world affairs. It has already spawned a large body of literature in China, as well as elsewhere. If handled well, the reintegration of the British colony into the People's Republic will have a strong positive impact upon both international relations and China's modernization Whatever the ...

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pp. ix-xii

Hong Kong, a community traditionally preoccupied with the maximization of economic value and shunning international political attention, has found itself since the early 1980s in the centre of events of a distinctly transnational character. Whether deliberately or unintentionally, China as decided, with Britain's 'active acquiescence', to assert its sovereignty over the territory, ...

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Chapter 1. Hong Kong’s Status in International Law: Hong Kong's claim to 'International Legal personality' 1

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pp. 1-42

Defining Hong Kong’s international legal status poses a daunting challenge to an international lawyer confronted with an entity which is not a ‘state’—yet possessing ‘stately attributes’; not ‘sovereign’—yet ‘highly autonomous’; not a ‘conventional’ member of the international community—yet a most respectable ‘actor’ on the international stage. Further, the ...

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Chapter 2. Issues of Jurisdiction

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pp. 43-84

Hardly astonishing is the fact that international law, which contains few clearly defined rules regarding the jurisdictional competence of states,1 also offers limited guidance in respect of the nature and extent of jurisdiction exercised by non-state entities such as Hong Kong. The argument may nonetheless be made that, given the territory’s ‘international legal personality’...

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Chapter 3. Hong Kong’s International Legal Obligations

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pp. 85-108

As a party to many international agreements and by virtue of treaties extended to the territory, Hong Kong has assumed international legal obligations in a wide range of fields, including civil aviation, communications, conservation, customs, drugs, economics and finance, health, human rights, intellectual property, international crime, labour, marine pollution, merchant shipping, ...

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Chapter 4. Hong Kong and Human Rights

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pp. 109-136

Few issues pertaining to the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong have engendered as much anxiety in the territory as those related to nationality and its perceived offshoots (citizenship, right of abode, permanent residence, passports). Such concern is easily comprehended, given the important attributes of nationality under international law—including the entitlement ...

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Chapter 5. Problems of Treaty Law

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pp. 137-162

Hong Kong affords discussion of several interesting questions in international treaty law, including notably the controversial issue of ‘unequal treaties’. The view propounded under this concept is that treaties concluded between parties of incomparable strength or conferring non-reciprocal obligations are invalid and can be unilaterally abrogated at any time. Hence, treaties between ...

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Chapter 6. Interrelationship Between International Law and Hong Kong Domestic Law

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pp. 163-188

As seen in earlier chapters, notwithstanding the territory’s non-sovereign status, the Hong Kong legal system has had to address several issues in the field of international law, including the scope of local jurisdictional powers, extradition matters, treatment of aliens, obligations under the international laws of human rights and the environment, succession to membership in international...

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pp. 189-190

This book focuses on Hong Kong as a highly autonomous territory from an international legal perspective. The approach is grounded in a broad normative framework which transcends constraints imposed by narrowly-based shifting political configurations. The spirit pervading the text is consistently positive in affirming the vision inspired by the 1984 Sino-...

Appendix A

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pp. 191-194

Appendix B

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pp. 195-214


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pp. 215-220

E-ISBN-13: 9789882202344
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622094277

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 1997

OCLC Number: 654826623
MUSE Marc Record: Download for One Country, Two International Legal Personalities

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Subject Headings

  • Hong Kong (China) -- International status.
  • Constitutional history -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong (China) -- History -- Transfer of Sovereignty from Great Britain, 1997.
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