Depoliticising Contentious Politics by Law: A critical evaluation of legal politics in Post-colonial Hong Kong

This paper evaluates the different tactics of hybrid regime to cope with contentious politics by legal means. The author suggests that hybrid regimes can repress political opposition by legal instruments without creating political instability. By using a method of triangulation between history, media and case law, the author traces the institutional setting of post-colonial Hong Kong and evaluates the tensions and struggles between the judiciary, the state and political opposition before and after the Umbrella Movement. Rather than simply criminalising protests, the government is able to suppress the opposition camp by a strategy of “depoliticisation and neutralisation” by local laws. The success of such tactics can be attributed to the colonial history, its conflicting legal culture, and geopolitics between Hong Kong and China. Instead of doctrinal study, the interplay between history, culture and geopolitics contributes to the research on law and politics in hybrid regime.