1st Edition

Criminal Justice in Hong Kong

By Carol Jones, Jon Vagg Copyright 2007
    672 Pages
    by Routledge-Cavendish

    Containing a wealth of archival material and statistical data on crime and criminal justice, Criminal Justice in Hong Kong presents a detailed evaluation of Hong Kong’s criminal justice system, both past and present. Exploring the justice system and the perceptions of popular culture, this book demonstrates how the current criminal justice system has been influenced and shaped over time by Hong Kong’s historical position between ‘East’ and ‘West’.

    Jones and Vagg’s examination of the justice system not only takes into account geographical changes, like the erection of the border with communist China in 1950 but also insists that any deep understanding of the current system requires a dialogue with the rich and complex narratives of Hong Kong’s history.

    It explores a range of questions, including:

    • How were Hong Kong's criminal justice institutions and practices formed?
    • What has been its experience of law and order?
    • How has Hong Kong's status as between 'East' and 'West' affected its social, political and legal institutions?

    Careful and detailed, this analysis of one of the most economically successful, politically stable and safe yet frequently misrepresented cities, is a valuable addition to the bookshelves of all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Asian law.


    Crime in the Colonial Narratives of Hong Kong.  Crime Data 1842-2002.  Hong Kong Crime Figures and the Changing Perception of the 'Crime Problem'.  The Formation of the Hong Kong Police, Prison Service, Prosecution, Courts and Judiciary.  Shifts in Law and Order Policy.  'Native Policing'.  Labour Unrest, Political Agitation and Public Order 1841-2001.  The 'China' Factor in the Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries.  Crime, Corruption and the Hong Kong Identity


    Carol Jones is Professor of Law at the University of Glamorgan. She previously worked in Hong Kong, is currently engaged in an empirical socio-legal study of crime and justice in China, and remains a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong.

    Jon Vagg previously taught at the University of Hong Kong. He has written widely on crime and criminal justice in Hong Kong, as well as crime in the UK, Europe and the Asian region.

    'The book injects a much-needed historical and socio-political dimension into current thinking about crime and criminal justice in Hong Kong. Jones maintains an aptly sceptical stance throughout, deftly and meticulously appraising conceptualisations about the crime problem and the changing landscape of criminal justice, and paves the way for a critical indigenous criminological project. Overall, this book makes an important contribution to Asian criminology and a valuable resource for scholars interested in colonial and postcolonial criminal justice studies.' - Maggy Lee, Asian Journal of Criminology, December 2008

    'Jones and Vagg's meaty tome is well researched, written, and argued. It describes fairly the official narratives that British rule of law and criminal justice tamed "lawless" Hong Kong and that Hong Kongers are politically apathetic wealth seekers...It is hoped that Criminal Justice in Hong Kong will stimulate more discussion and scholarship on class in Asia's world city' - Roy L. Sturgeon, International Journal of Legal Information, Vol 36.3, 2009