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Basic Law and Hong Kong

The rights protected by the Basic Law become more specific in the latter Articles. For instance, Hong Kong residents also enjoy the right to free movement and travel (Article 31), the right to choose an occupation (Article 33) and the right to marry and raise a family as they choose (Article 37).

In addition, Article 39 incorporates by reference several other rights not specifically listed in Chapter III of the Basic Law. By incorporating the ICCPR and the ICESCR, the Basic Law grants Hong Kong residents rights included in those covenants that were not specifically excluded by the United Kingdom when it ratified the covenants and drafted the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance in 1991. Rights incorporated by reference to the ICCPR include the right not to be imprisoned for breach of contract (see Article 11 of ICCPR) as well as, among others, the right not to be punished through retroactive legislation (Article 15 of the ICCPR). Notably, many of the rights expressly granted by the Basic Law or incorporated by reference to the ICCPR and the ICESR exceed those provided even by the United States Constitution, which would suggest an expansive respect for human rights among Hong KongĂs authorities. As will be demonstrated, however, these ˘rights÷ granted by the Basic Law are, in fact, closer to


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Basic Law and Hong Kong. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:16, October 24, 2014, from
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