Posted by: rbbadger | March 18, 2010

Opening of the Judicial Year

Here is the judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region gathered for the opening of the judicial year earlier in 2010.  While Hong Kong is no longer a Crown Colony of the UK, the British influence is still in evidence from the double decker buses to the English usage of the region.  “Passengers transferring to the Tsuen Wan Line, please alight at this station”.  We don’t use “alight” much in American English.  Not that I find anything wrong with this!

I wonder if Hong Kong will ever get rid of the British judicial dress.  Singapore, another former colony which is likewise steeped in British colonialism, no longer uses British judicial dress.  Rather, their judges dress quite similarly to those in the USA or to South Korean judges. 

The judges in the black and gold robes are those of the Court of Final Appeal.  However, the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not consitutional under Hong Kong’s Basic Law are not these judges.  Rather, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing is the ultimate arbiter of constitutionality.

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