As Professor Gittings points out in his book, which includes a chapter on what might happen after Hong Kong’s 50-year autonomy ends, readability was a key aim. Acronyms are kept to a minimum and details set up neatly and comprehensively in footnotes so that the main text is kept as clean as possible.
It also means that this tome reads more easily than a typical text; students, practitioners or layman readers interested in the “one country, two systems” regime can pick it up over a morning coffee, rather than feel compelled to first assemble pens, highlighters and a note pad before opening these pages.
A former journalist who reported on many of the events in the book, Prof. Gittings analyses here the content of the Basic Law based on experiences in the first 15 years following the 1997 handover to Chinese sovereignty, particularly in the areas of Hong Kong’s political system, judiciary and human rights.
Indeed, as Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary, Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, noted, Introduction “makes a significant contribution to an important subject”.
Hong Kong University Press 2013