Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law

By Dr Danny Gittings

Dr Danny Gittings has taught and examined thousands of students in courses on the Hong Kong Basic Law as an Associate Professor at the College of Humanities and Law in the University of Hong Kong’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE). He graduated from the Faculty of Law in July 2022 with a PhD in Separation of Powers, which is expected to form the basis of his next book.



“Danny Gittings’s Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law makes a significant contribution to an important subject. It is expressed in reader-friendly terms. My favourable opinion of the first edition of this book is vindicated by the fact that it has gone into a second edition. The latest edition picks up on what has occurred since the previous one, including the worrying matters which have made it necessary to give the concluding chapter a wholly new orientation.”
—The Hon. Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary, Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (1997–2012), Non-Permanent Judge (2012– )

 “This well-researched and very readable introduction is suitable for a wide range of readers. Building on the success of the book’s first edition, this new edition offers fresh insights into the long-term impact of Hong Kong’s constitutional developments that have recently captured worldwide attention. Students of Hong Kong law at all levels and anyone interested in how Hong Kong’s future may unfold will find it essential reading.”
—Professor Fu Hualing, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong

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Further Reviews of Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law

“Danny Gittings’ Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law fills a gap in this area of literature and provides an excellent text for students of law and politics in Hong Kong and China. Mr Gittings is unremitting in his efforts to synthesise, critique and reconceptualise various aspects of the subject … the book provides an overall treatment of the Basic Law that is balanced, astute and well-researched. A delightful feature of the book is the ease with which the author guides the reader through some of the very complex issues of law and politics with its smooth, clear and concise writing.” (Book review by Professor Bing Ling in (2015) The China Quarterly 258-259)

“As a respected journalist turned legal scholar, Gittings is well qualified to explain the Basic Law, to place it in a historical context, and to chart its progress. Although he modestly describes his text as a “simple introduction”, it is, in reality, much more than that. The Introduction should be read not only by law students, but also by anyone who is interested in how Hong Kong is being run after 1997. … Whilst any book discussing a sophisticated constitutional document might be forgiven for being somewhat dry and arcane, the Introduction is, fortunately, both interesting and readable, and explains things in a logical way. Gittings, moreover, with his telling prose and perceptive comments, carries the reader with him, from start to finish, which is a definite bonus.” (Book review by Honorary Professor Grenville Cross in (2014) 44 Hong Kong Law Journal 961)

“Many of us approach law books with trepidation. But Gittings, a legal academic, used to be a journalist and this shows in his ability to make the book accessible to the general reader. Amid the often technical legal arguments about the Basic Law it is easy to forget what a good story lies behind it.” (Book review in South China Morning Post, 1 December 2013)

“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.” (Book Review in Hong Kong Lawyer, October 2013)

“Knows how to use simple and easily understandable language to explain complex issues” (Book review by Kevin Lau in Ming Pao, 22 July 2013)