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Article: Interpretive Violence and the 'Nationalization' of Hong Kong Law: Notes on the Oath-taking Controversy

TitleInterpretive Violence and the 'Nationalization' of Hong Kong Law: Notes on the Oath-taking Controversy
Authors
Keywordsoath
Hong Kong
Robert Cover
legal interpretation
violence
Issue Date2019
PublisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rlal20
Citation
Law and Literature, 2019, Epub How to Cite?
AbstractRecently, six elected pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong were stripped of their office for not having sworn their oath of office ‘properly’. In this paper I examine the incident through a law and humanities perspective, being concerned not only with the legality of the disqualification, but also with the people who experience the violence of the law – including the lawmakers who have been ousted and the wider Hong Kong society as a whole. Robert Cover has famously said that legal interpretation takes place in a field of pain and death. Through a close reading of the legal texts produced in the oath-taking controversy, I dissect the interpretive moves made by Hong Kong courts as well as by the legislative body of the central Chinese government, which issued an interpretation of the Hong Kong Basic Law (Article 104). I tease out the layers of violence that were exercised in these moves, with respect to the current political situation in Hong Kong. I argue that the most violent aspect of these interpretative moves is that they were made within legal bounds, and are legitimated by the constitutional structure of Hong Kong. The pain that is felt comes from just one cut of a larger operation of ‘nationalizing’ the common law legal system in Hong Kong, not through legal reforms but through legal interpretation. The study sheds light on discourse-based strategies that China uses in managing and controlling its regional governments that enjoy some devolved powers.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/272675
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.100

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLeung, JHC-
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-06T09:14:25Z-
dc.date.available2019-08-06T09:14:25Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationLaw and Literature, 2019, Epub-
dc.identifier.issn1535-685X-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/272675-
dc.description.abstractRecently, six elected pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong were stripped of their office for not having sworn their oath of office ‘properly’. In this paper I examine the incident through a law and humanities perspective, being concerned not only with the legality of the disqualification, but also with the people who experience the violence of the law – including the lawmakers who have been ousted and the wider Hong Kong society as a whole. Robert Cover has famously said that legal interpretation takes place in a field of pain and death. Through a close reading of the legal texts produced in the oath-taking controversy, I dissect the interpretive moves made by Hong Kong courts as well as by the legislative body of the central Chinese government, which issued an interpretation of the Hong Kong Basic Law (Article 104). I tease out the layers of violence that were exercised in these moves, with respect to the current political situation in Hong Kong. I argue that the most violent aspect of these interpretative moves is that they were made within legal bounds, and are legitimated by the constitutional structure of Hong Kong. The pain that is felt comes from just one cut of a larger operation of ‘nationalizing’ the common law legal system in Hong Kong, not through legal reforms but through legal interpretation. The study sheds light on discourse-based strategies that China uses in managing and controlling its regional governments that enjoy some devolved powers.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rlal20-
dc.relation.ispartofLaw and Literature-
dc.rightsPreprint: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/[Article DOI]. Postprint: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/[Article DOI].-
dc.subjectoath-
dc.subjectHong Kong-
dc.subjectRobert Cover-
dc.subjectlegal interpretation-
dc.subjectviolence-
dc.titleInterpretive Violence and the 'Nationalization' of Hong Kong Law: Notes on the Oath-taking Controversy-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailLeung, JHC: hiuchi@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityLeung, JHC=rp01168-
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/1535685X.2018.1506408-
dc.identifier.hkuros300821-
dc.identifier.volume31-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-

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