Characteristics of Common Law

Topics: Law, Jury, Judge Pages: 4 (1063 words) Published: September 24, 2007
1.Rule of LawThe rule of law, upheld by an independent judiciary, is one of Hong Kongs greatest strengths. This refers to some of the fundamental principles of law that govern the way in which power is exercised in Hong Kong.

The rule of law has several different meanings and corollaries. Its principal meaning is that the power of the Government and all of its servants shall be derived from law as expressed in legislation and the judicial decisions made by independent courts.

At the heart of Hong Kong's system of government lies the principle that no one, including the Chief Executive, can do an act which would otherwise constitute a legal wrong or affect a person's liberty unless he can point to a legal justification for that action. If he cannot do so, the affected person can resort to a court which may rule that the act is invalid and of no legal effect. Compensation may be ordered in the affected person's favour. This aspect of the rule of law is referred to as the principle of legality.

Everyone in Hong Kong is equal before the law. Everyone has access to the justice system.

2. The right of silence and presumption of innocence:At Common Law, such right is limited. Some statutory offenses now require the defendant to perform certain acts or else he can be found guilty for not doing so. That means that an accused person has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law. Although innocence is presumed at Common Law, the onus of proof is on the defendant in certain offenses as enacted by statutes.

3. Already understood of Statutes:In the view of the existing case law and custom, the Statutes may leave a number of things unsaid. They may seems as already understood.

This happened in the area of the Criminal Law as follows:Criminal Law:1. A man is innocent until proven guilty. (C.C. sec. 11(d)). (France takes the opposite view).

2. A man's home is his castle. (Entry can only be obtained against the will of the owner by...

Bibliography: -City University of Hong Kon, School of Law-
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