Law Reform Commission

Rape victims' pursuit of justice fraught with fear

Raped, but too scared to seek justice

The majority of sex-crime victims never tell the police. Only about half of such reports result in a case going to court. And, in all but one of the past 12 years, the majority of rape cases that have been tried by courts resulted in acquittal.

Sunday, 24 February, 2013, 5:02am 1 comment

Filling in the gaps on squatter's title

A residential building located at 107 Ma Tau Kok Road in Ma Tau Wai. A tenant on first floor successfully claim the ownership of the flat by adverse possession, after the owner has been missing for 26 years. Photo: Oliver Tsang

What is adverse possession?

Adverse possession allows a squatter to obtain a right to possess land by occupying it long enough under the Limitation Ordinance (Cap. 347) to "extinguish" the original owner's title.

30 Jan 2013 - 3:44am

Law task force seeks crackdown on squatters

Edward Chan King-sang. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The Law Reform Commission wants to make it harder for squatters to take legal possession of an unused property, as part of ongoing amendments to a land registration system for Hong Kong.

11 Dec 2012 - 3:43am 1 comment

Law Reform Commission calls for change to squatters policy

A squatter's structure in Causeway Bay in a 2009 adverse possession case. Photo: Sam Tsang

Squatters’ right to possess land should be more limited in Hong Kong in light of a sweeping change to be made to the land registration system, the Law Reform Commission said on Monday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Modernise Hong Kong law on sexual offences

Hong Kong does not stand out as an unsafe city. But apparently sexual offences are not uncommon. Hardly a day goes by without news of someone landing in court for rape, indecent assault or exposure in public places, and they touch on a broader issue of public concern. Are these offences adequately covered by our law? Is justice being served?

22 Sep 2012 - 3:12am 1 comment

Rape law outdated, Law Reform Commission says

Panel chairman Peter Duncan SC.  Photo: May Tse

It is time Hong Kong brought its decades-old rape law into line with the English model, to include offences between two males, the Law Reform Commission recommended yesterday.

The definition of rape should be broadened to include anal and oral penetration of people of both sexes, it said in a consultation paper about reviewing sexual offences.

18 Sep 2012 - 6:05pm

Reform commission calls for revisions to rape law

Hong Kong should revise its rape law to follow the British model – in which rape is not limited to offences involving a man and a woman – the Law Reform Commission recommended on Monday.

The definition of rape should be broadened to include anal and oral penetration, it says in a consultation paper that reviews the law on rape and other sexual offences.

17 Sep 2012 - 3:40pm

Class actions can be potent weapon

Hong Kong people are equal before the law, which implies equal access to justice. Sadly, for many, that is not the case. People may be effectively denied the right to seek a legal remedy for loss or grievance because they cannot afford the cost yet are not poor enough to qualify for legal aid, or because the loss is too small to justify the cost of seeking compensation.

6 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Law reform commission backs class action suits

The Law Reform Commission is proposing that Hong Kong allow class action lawsuits, which permit a large group of people to bring a single suit.

29 May 2012 - 12:00am

Balancing privacy and press freedom

Mobile phones and the internet have long widened the scope for stalking. If this form of harassment poses a bigger problem now than a decade ago, the various technological developments would be a contributing factor. For all of that time the government has been in possession of a report from the Law Reform Commission proposing that stalking be made a criminal offence.

4 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Divorce law update open for discussion

A long-awaited proposal to improve children's rights in divorce cases will be open for public consultation, six years after it was raised by the Law Reform Commission.

21 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Delays to reform of old laws attacked

The government should follow new guidelines pressing it to enact calls for legal reform more swiftly, lawmakers said yesterday.

Their calls came after the government proposed an anti-stalking law 11 years after the issue was raised by the Law Reform Commission.

One legislator said the slow response to updating old laws was threatening the city's development.

20 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

All for a common cause

All it took was a short summertime walk in Central for Bernard Chan to see that charity fund-raising - the cheerful appeals to buy raffle tickets, the guilt-laden entreaties to dig for change - had veered out of control.

23 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Moving our charities on from Elizabethan times

In mid-June, the Law Reform Commission published its proposals for the reform of Hong Kong's charity law. Most of the existing law is case law rather than statute law and, incredibly, derives from an Act of Parliament passed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1601.

27 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Give and take for charity watchdog

Hong Kong has a well-deserved reputation for charitable giving. Our 6,000-odd charities raised an admirable HK$8 billion in the fiscal year 2008-09. But this generosity has not been accompanied by transparency and public accountability for how the money is used because we lack a legal framework for the regulation of charities.

20 Jun 2011 - 12:00am