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Imprint of the Times

 An individual’s fate is often not in his / her own hands in the torrent of the times.  For laymen, legal proceedings seem to have nothing to do with them.  But in fact, every detail of the legal provisions is closely related to everyone's life.

After the reunification, by law, the interpretation of the identity of Hong Kong people and the right of abode in Hong Kong are based on Article 24 of the Basic Law.  Back then, like the other  statelesschildren who were born in the Mainland, Agnes, still a junior secondary school student, was waiting for the court’s ruling.  In 1999, the Court of Final Appeal ruled on the first case of right of abode in Hong Kong (the NG Ka-ling Case) that children of Chinese nationality born in the Mainland to Hong Kong people had the right of abode in Hong Kong, and the SAR Government had lost the case that had caused intense discussion and polarisation in the society. 

At the end, the Chief Executive requested an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), and the ruling of the Court of Final Appeal was overturned, creating a big impact on the legal system of Hong Kong.  The incident had also caused an identity crisis of Hong Kong people and a great controversy in the interpretation of the right of abode.

In the atmosphere of a legal controversy over the issue in China and Hong Kong, in 2001, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that under the Basic Law, Mainland children adopted by Hong Kong people have no right of abode in Hong Kong, and Agnes had lost her case.  However, as the public opinion and the Hong Kong people  sympathized with Agnes at that time, the Director of Immigration exercised his discretionary power to suspend her repatriation.  In October of the same year, the Mainland granted Agnes a one-way permit and finally she was allowed to legally stay in Hong Kong.

After many years, the girl, who was not aware of her situation back then, was admitted to the Faculty of Law of The University of Hong Kong. She studied animal protection law in the Law School, and she took up voluntarily works at SPCA and provided legal support for it, which made her understand that if the law is outdated and cannot protect the disadvantaged, amendments should be made.  As such, she followed the  professors in the university to work on matters relating to animal protection law.

A Legal Journey 2019 (English Version)

The rule of law is a core value of Hong Kong as well as a cornerstone of the city’s prosperity. To uphold this value and safeguard our system, HKU Faculty of Law is instrumental by nurturing not only members of the legal profession but also committed community leaders.

Through the 6-episode TV docudrama “A Legal Journey”, let us trace the journey of local legal education in the past five decades and how it contributes to the legal system and the rule of law in Hong Kong when meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.

“A Legal Journey” will be aired on Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 5:30pm on RTHK31 for six consecutive weeks.
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