Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony and became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997. This brought changes but there were also continuities. Three major institutional forces shaped the operation of criminal justice post-1997. The first was the 1991 Bill of Rights. At a stroke, this had forced criminal justice agencies to adjust their procedures so as not to contravene its human rights/due process provisions. The second was the new post-1997 court structure. The Privy Council in London, once the highest court of appeal for the territory, was replaced by a new Court of Final Appeal staffed by Hong Kong judges aided, at any sitting, by one overseas judge. The third main influence on criminal justice after 1997 was economic constraint which, though it had begun to make itself felt in the early 1990s, was exacerbated by the Asian financial crisis of 1997.