Effective since China's resumption of sovereignty on July 1, 1997, the Hong Kong Basic Law lays down the general policies and system of government for Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" formula. It guarantees Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, enshrines the rights and freedoms of residents, and preserves a separate common law system with an independent judiciary. This introduction traces the origins of the Basic Law and the concepts and legal issues that surround it. Drawing on the experience of the first fifteen years, it then analyzes the content of the Basic Law, especially in relation to Hong Kong's political system, the judiciary, and human rights. Intended primarily for students in law, politics, and other disciplines, this book - the only short introduction to the subject - will also appeal to the general reader interested in Hong Kong's experience under "one country, two systems."