Environmental Impact Assessment in Hong Kong: An Evaluation of Principles, Procedures and Practice Post-1997

Simon Marsden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The first environmental impact assessment ('EIA') legislation in Hong Kong, the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance ('EIA Ordinance'), was adopted just before the handover of sovereignty of the former British Crown Colony to the People's Republic of China, and its implementation has taken place during a time of considerable change. The EIA Ordinance is a substantial piece of legislation, with comprehensive provisions and detailed guidance that applies to certain strategic proposals ('strategic environmental assessment', or 'SEA') as well as to projects. While there has been analysis of the role of EIA by policy means prior to the EIA Ordinance, and of effectiveness in the early years after its enactment, this article evaluates principles, procedures and practice during the last 10 years in particular. This includes the implications for decision-making following the 2006 Court of Final Appeal ruling in Shiu Wing Steel Ltd v Director of Environmental Protection, and for appeals following the 2001 EIA Appeal Board ruling in KCRC v Director of Environmental Protection. It concludes that EIA and SEA constitute one of the strongest applications of environmental law in Hong Kong. Recommendations for reform of law and policy take account of an increasing application of EIA to transboundary infrastructure projects and advocate an increased application of SEA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-133
    Number of pages19
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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