Judicial Protection of Social Rights in Hong Kong

The recognition of socio-economic rights in constitutions, legislation and policies, and the recent growth in jurisprudence in SER in different countries, is partly due to the rising interests in adopting a right-based approach to socio-economic issues and the increased demands in equality in government allocative decision making. This trend can also be seen in Hong Kong’s jurisprudential development. There were important social rights cases decided by the local courts in recent years. This paper analyses the courts’ approach in adjudicating social rights, to see how they view themselves as part of the mechanics in political deliberation and social engineering, the methodology and references they adopt in developing understanding of the content, scope and application of social rights in particular situations. It also looks at the dynamics between the courts and other branches of the government in tackling social rights issues in Hong Kong.