Hong Kong Royal Instructions

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The Hong Kong Royal Instructions, formally the Instructions Passed under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet to the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of Hong Kong and Its Dependencies, was one of the two principal constitutional instruments of Hong Kong during the period of its administration as a colony under British administration. (The other principal instrument was the Hong Kong Letters Patent).

Originally issued on 6 April 1843, the royal instructions were reissued or amended many times. The royal instructions issued on 14 February 1917 (as amended from time to time) formed part of the basis for Hong Kong's system of government until the formal transfer of sovereignty on 1 July 1997 to the People's Republic of China.

Issued under the royal prerogative, and subordinated to the letters patent, the royal instructions set out such matters as the constitution of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council, and in particular made provision for the latter's procedures, and for the enactment of laws.

After the transfer of sovereignty to China, the royal instructions ceased to have effect, being superseded by the coming into force of the new Basic Law.

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