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The Common Law in Two Voices – Language, Law, and the Postcolonial Dilemma in Hong Kong - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Common Law in Two Voices: Language, Law, and the Postcolonial Dilemma in Hong Kong

Kwai Hang Ng


Hong Kong is one of the very few places in the world where the common law can be practiced in a language other than English. Introduced into the courtroom over a decade ago, Cantonese has significantly altered the everyday working of the common law in China's most Westernized city. This book explores how English and Cantonese respectively reinforce and undermine the practice of legal formalism. This first-ever ethnographic study of Hong Kong's unique legal system in the midst of social and political transition, this book provides important insights into the social nature of language and the wo ... More

Keywords: Hong Kong, legal bilingualism, English, Cantonese, common law, legal formalism, legal system, China, political transition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780804761642
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804761642.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kwai Hang Ng, author