Functional Constituencies

A Unique Feature of the Hong Kong Legislative Council


Edited by Christine Loh and Civic Exchange

ISBN : 978-962-209-790-2

Politics, Government, Public Administration

July 2006

412 pages, 7.5″ x 10.5″

  • HK$295.00

Functional Constituencies: A Unique Feature of the Hong Kong Legislative Council provides detailed information on: the relevant law of functional constituencies, their place in the Basic Law and with respect to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, their history, a full list of functional constituencies and the size and make-up of their electorates including how certain major companies may control large numbers of votes. Another chapter reports on a pioneering study which polled individual functional constituency voters to build up the first comprehensive picture of such electors. Then the impacts of the functional constituency members on social policy-making and on economic policy are examined, and deleterious effects on economic efficiency of its entrenchment of vested interests argued. An enclosed CD provides a rich resource of additional data on the functional constituencies.

In a concluding chapter, Christine Loh explores the constraints for reform of LegCo, the various reform proposals that have been made and suggests how the democratic legitimacy of the Hong Kong system could be enhanced within the current constraints.

Christine Loh stepped down from the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2000 in order to co-found Civic Exchange, a non-profit public policy think tank. Christine Loh’s work on public policy is well-known in Hong Kong and she writes extensively for local and international publications. More information about Civic Exchange is available at

“The functional constituencies for all their perceived shortcomings are deeply embedded in the Hong Kong system of representative government. A proper understanding of them, their value and shortcomings is essential to examining how a broadly representative system of government is to be further developed. These chapters are a truly invaluable source of information and assistance to anyone formulating proposals for the next ‘gradual and orderly’ steps towards the ultimate goal of universal suffrage, myself included.” —Sir David Akers-Jones

“This is the only serious study on functional constituencies in Hong Kong that I know of. The authors have done an admirable job and the result is balanced, insightful and informative. Functional Constituencies should be designated a handbook for anyone who supports or opposes universal suffrage which in effect means the abolition of functional constituencies.” —The Hon. Margaret Ng, Legislative Council Member