A survey of the legal and policy framework for controlling, compensating and criminalizing ship-source pollution in Hong Kong

Ling Zhu, Ruixuan Zhuo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Being acquainted with this legal and policy framework is of beneficial interest for the maritime industry in HK. This article first summarizes the existing general legal framework, and later presents the results of an empirical study to determine what repercussions there could be within the HK maritime industry as a result of these laws and policies being applied in cases that result in civil liability compensation and criminal charges. The empirical research demonstrates that the laws and policies are in general sufficient and effective, but that flaws still remain in the limitation of liability scheme, as well as uncertainties as to which particular kinds of environmental violations should result in either civil or criminal enforcement. To address these concerns, it is first suggested that HK should impose greater liability in areas where prior law provided insufficient liability, as this will act as a more potent deterrent; and second, that HK should clearly delineate an appropriate role for criminal enforcement in the environmental regulatory scheme, so as to lessen concerns about over-criminalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Civil liabilities
  • Criminal penalties
  • Environmental legislation
  • Pollution prevention and control
  • Ship-source pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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