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Colonial penality : a case study of Hong Kong's penal policy and programmes under British administration (1945-1997)

Chan, Samson


Samson Chan


Peter, 1950 Young


Penal policies and programmes for the control and management of offenders have always been essential in maintaining law and order in the colonial setting. Hong Kong, being one of the few remaining British crown colonies in the twentieth century, is used as an example in this thesis to illustrate how colonial penality was developed after the Second World War.

Penal policies and programmes in Hong Kong divorced gradually from the British practices after the Second World War and ended with significant differences in 1997 when Hong Kong was handed back to China. This thesis explores in detail how penal policies and programmes were developed in Hong Kong from 1945 to 1997. Roles of the British administrators in London and Hong Kong, local elites and the community at large in the policy making process are studied and suggestions given to explain why Hong Kong only transported certain penal policies and programmes from England after the War. The differences in timing for the implementation of these adopted policies as well as penal policies and programmes which were developed entirely locally are examined.

This former British colony is claimed to be one the safest cities in Asia. Penal policies and programmes in Hong Kong are used to explain how they contributed towards the maintenance of law and order in Hong Kong and their relationship with the interwoven political, social, cultural and economical factors and social institutions which helped transforming Hong Kong into a world class city whilst under the British administration.

This case study of colonial penality in post-War penal policy and programme development in Hong Kong would provide insights and contributions in the fields of historical and comparative penology.


Chan, S. (2012). Colonial penality : a case study of Hong Kong's penal policy and programmes under British administration (1945-1997). (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2013
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Criminology; Social sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Apr 1, 2012


Thesis (6.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Chan, Samson. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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