The Basic Law of Hong Kong at 25 vs the Singapore Constitution at 50

This year there have been several ads around Hong Kong commemorating 25 years since the Basic Law was drafted in 1990.  In case the term sounds strange, the “Basic Law” is basically Hong Kong’s equivalent of a constitution, and is the foundation of the legal system here.  Unlike Singapore, which is a sovereign nation whose 1965 constitution turns 50 this year, Hong Kong is an undisputed territory of the People’s Republic of China and so has some differences in how government officials are elected/selected and how the military is financed, but in practice Hong Kong law seems far more similar to Singapore’s than to Shanghai’s.  The CIA WFB has a great list of constitutions by country here.

I might certainly show myself as a legal geek when I get excited talking about the Basic Law, or the current exhibit on its 25th anniversary at the Hong Kong History Museum, but I have written before on how to quantify the relative trust in legal systems by simply comparing Hong Kong property prices with those only a few meters across the border in Shenzhen.

The below video is one of the ones being shown at the exhibit, and the only one with over 1,000 views I found on YouTube when I searched for “Basic Law of Hong Kong”.  Happy Friday!

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