chapter  1
The changing landscapes of the criminal justice system
Pages 20

Since the publication of the first edition of this book, a number of events have emerged to increasingly ‘politicise’ issues relating to law and order, and crime and justice in Hong Kong. Not only the events themselves, but also how the lawmakers and law enforcers respond to them are too. There are numerous real-case examples to illustrate the controversies surrounding the administration of justice. For example, protests from civil society, evident in the case of the ‘Occupy Central’ movement (Erni, 2015; Lee, 2015), and governance over locale-transnational criminal activities, evident in the case of the five missing booksellers (South China Morning Post (SCMP) 2016). Reflections on the complexities of these events necessitate a renewed understanding of the criminal justice system. The traditional approach to studying the criminal justice system, that is, the functional approach, needs to be superseded by the accommodation of a more critical, if not radical, lens (Taylor et al., 1973; Ugwudike, 2015). An understanding of the power relations, structural constraints and complexities of how Hong Kong should be administered would prove fruitful to any present-day discussion of the criminal justice system within the larger society. This chapter will be divided into two parts. The first part of the chapter will

draw on secondary data from local newspapers and government statistics to highlight the recent controversial issues relating to criminal justice in Hong Kong. The second part of the chapter will provide readers with an overall structure of the book and brief summaries of the chapters included in this second edition. This edition will feature 19 chapters, covering the basic concepts relating to crime and victimisation, pre-trial (police and corruption), trial (court, prosecution and the legal professionals), and post-trial (probation, prison and crime prevention). It is beyond the scope of this book to offer any concrete solutions to current socio-political problems. Moreover, it is also beyond the scope to cover the full range of issues and controversies surrounding the administration of justice in the past and today. Rather, this book intends to

raise some of the issues that are or will be relevant to the study of the criminal justice system in Hong Kong.