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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Hong Kong

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on Hong Kong's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

The criminal justice system of Hong Kong suffers from too much bureaucratization and a lack of coordination. Generally, departments and agencies are administered by the executive, with the governor as its head. The decision to prosecute is made by the attorney general, and corrections are administered by the Departments of Correctional Services and Social Welfare. The judiciary has apparent independence; however, the powers of the governor to appoint both judges and magistrates, as delegated by the Queen, may be viewed as impeding true independence. The structure of the government and criminal justice system is the same as other British colonies. Like other colonies, early priorities of the criminal justice system focused on the control of the indigenous population and protection of borders. This approach is still followed today. The police have the power to randomly stop people and request production of identity cards. In addition, the powers of the Hong Kong Police are more extensive than their British counterparts. This report's section on crime considers the classification of crime and crime statistics on murder, rape, robbery with firearms, and serious drug offenses. A section on crime victims addresses the groups most victimized by crime, victims' assistance agencies, the role of victims in prosecution and sentencing, and victims' rights legislation. A report on the Hong Kong police describes its administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, discretion, and accountability. Other sections of the report focus on prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, prisons, and extradition and treaties. 7 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993