Legislation in Hong Kong is enacted by the Legislative Council ("Legco"). Legco has a membership of 60 of which 18 are directly elected, 21 are indirectly elected from functional constituencies, 18, including the deputy president, are appointed by the Governor and 3 are ex-officio members. A bill passed by Legco only becomes law when the Governor gives his assent. Statutes enacted by Legco are called Ordinances. Hong Kong Ordinances are often based on U.K. statutes and some U.K. statutes are adopted in their entirety.

Hong Kong has a common law system and, because of the similarity between Hong Kong Ordinances and U.K. statutes and the relative shortage of local case law, U.K. judicial rulings are often more than persuasive. Hong Kong has its own High Court and Court of Appeal, (which are together referred to as the Supreme Court) but further appeals go to the Privy Council in London. After 1997, a new court of final appeal will be established in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the details of which are being negotiated with the PRC. However, the current legal system is to remain intact.

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