According to the Basic Law, Hong Kong courts enjoy independence. Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal has final adjudication in Hong Kong cases. Judges from other common law jurisdictions like England and Australia serve as non-permanent judges on the Court of Final Appeal.

Business disputes are frequently referred to the courts of Hong Kong for resolution, and the courts are widely respected for the integrity and expertise with which they handle commercial matters. Common law injunctions, like the Mareva injunction (interim freezing order), are available in Hong Kong. This means that an aggrieved party may be able to safeguard his or her commercial interests at the outset of a dispute.

Commercial arbitration is also widely available in Hong Kong. Parties tend to refer disputes to established arbitration institutes, like the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, rather than relying on ad hoc arbitration. The 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (also known as the New York Convention) applies to Hong Kong arbitral awards. This means that a Hong Kong arbitration award is enforceable in a large number of countries around the world.

Arrangements are in place for the mutual recognition of arbitral awards between Hong Kong and mainland China. In addition, the two jurisdictions are in the process of enacting a framework for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.