Rule of Law Database

Introduction of the Database

Whilst the elements of the rule of law are plentiful and generally recognised internationally, there exists no universally accepted system for its assessment. There has been contention that methodology based mainly on the perception of the rule of law cannot truly or accurately reflect the actual practice of the rule of law. In contrast, analysis of the relevant objective data would assist in reviewing the rule of law and facilitating research and capacity building for the future in this region and beyond.

Therefore, one of the important projects of Vision 2030 for Rule of Law is the collection of objective data with a view to setting up a database, starting with Hong Kong, on information pertinent to the development and practice of the rule of law. This will enable us to conduct research and better understand, through these objective data, together with the influence of socio-economic and cultural factors of the region (including both social and legal cultures), how the rule of law is practised and hence to improve on it as necessary.

With the guidance of the Task Force on Vision 2030 for Rule of Law, efforts have been made to collect the relevant objective data in Hong Kong and the Rule of Law Database of Hong Kong was launched on 5 November 2021. For information about the launch, please see the PowerPoint for the Launch of the Rule of Law Database.

Cover - PowerPoint for the Launch of the Rule of Law Database

Introduction of the Database - Image 1

In the initial preparation of the Rule of Law Database, publicly available data, largely scattered and fragmented in the form of statistics, figures and other form of information, relating to the rule of law in Hong Kong, have been collected from over 100 local data sources. The Database will be continuously updated so as to promote and facilitate continuous in-depth and focused research and analysis of the use of the data with a view to objectively reviewing the practice of the rule of law. The objective data are being analysed pending the formulation of a comprehensive objective methodology for assessment of the practice of the rule of law, subject to the Department of Justice’s further study and upon the advice of the Task Force on Vision 2030 for Rule of Law. The collection of the relevant objective data and the use of such methodology may be shared with other jurisdictions with a view to jointly promoting the rule of law.

At the moment, we propose to broadly categorise the objective data and information into three categories:

  1. Infrastructure Information
  2. Resources Data
  3. Quality Data (efficacy, efficiency, effectiveness, etc.)

In considering the correlation between the objective data and the rule of law, we have noticed the existence of upward or downward spikes in the trend of data due to, for instance, specific circumstances occurred in particular years. The data variations would affect how the particular data is perceived. Further study and analysis of the data need to be conducted as such.

A dedicated webpage for the Rule of Law Database is at here.