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Hong Kong's Conflict of Contract Laws: Quo Vadis?

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After more than 150 years as a British colony, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China in 1997. Under the concept 'one country, two systems' Hong Kong has maintained its former legal system which is based on English law. Hong Kong has, however, not followed developments in England, where - as a result of EU-wide unification efforts - statutory conflict of laws systems have been enacted since 1990. In contrast, Hong Kong's conflicts rules are still largely based on case law developed by English courts over the past centuries. This article demonstrates the numerous problems arising out of the application of these rules in Hong Kong. It explores how the SAR can best develop a modern conflict of contract laws system that is catered to its special needs. The article concludes that unification at the substantive contract law level should be pursued by way of applying the CISG also in Hong Kong. As far as the conflict of laws level is concerned the article shows that there are important reasons to consider the unification of Hong Kong's conflict of contract laws rules and the private international contract law of mainland China.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/174410410792166494

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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