This study intends to examine, from a socio-legal perspective, the different ways of individual rights protection in the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong. The common misperception is that as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is allowed to maintain its legal system inherited from the British colonial times, its residents enjoy more and wider individual freedoms than their Mainland compatriots. However, a comparison of relevant individual rights provisions of both Chinese Constitution and Hong Kong Basic Law finds that there is virtually no significant difference between them. The true differences of individual rights protection lie in various non-judicial mechanisms rooted in the different socio-economic-political environments. In the Chinese Mainland, those non-judicial mechanisms are usually related with social networks of the individuals. In Hong Kong, more likely they are found in various means of public pressure.
Yue, R. (2003). The role of non-judicial mechanisms in protecting individual rights : the China and Hong Kong experiences (CAPS Working Paper Series No.137). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/capswp/18