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Exterior of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Vancouver, in November, 2010.
Exterior of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Vancouver, in November, 2010.

Tony Wilson

Why cuts to courts are bad for business Add to ...

Around 1996, I had lunch with a client who had moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong, but he still had a significant business presence in the soon-to-be-former British colony.

I asked him whether he was worried about Hong Kong being ruled by China instead of Britain.

His answer surprised me. He wasn’t as concerned about who had “political sovereignty” over Hong Kong as much as he was worried about a functioning judicial system, operated on the basis of the Rule of Law, which allowed litigants (in his case businesses like his) to obtain speedy justice in fair and unbiased courts. Its something I’ve written about before. But to my client, it was the lasting hallmark of British rule in Hong Kong.

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