Secondary sources analyze, describe, discuss and/or comment upon the law; they synthesize the law for you and place it in an analytical context. Using secondary resources first can not only help you gain a quick overview of your research topic, but also help you locate key primary sources of law.
Treatise is one of the most important type of secondary resources. They are generally referred by librarians as scholarly works written by legal experts that provide in-depth analysis and critical commentary on different subjects. You may find treatises by searching MLaw Catalog by keyword or subject. For example, if you are trying to find books on family law of HKSAR, you can search by keywords: family law hongkong or by subject: Domestic Relations -- China -- Hong Kong .
Important factors to keep in mind when it comes to select/evaluate a treatise for your research purpose:
The most popular and comreprehensive encyclopedic statement on Hong Kong Law would be the Halsbury Laws of Hong Kong (1995-). It is a commercial looseleaf service published by Butterworth, which contains statements of Hong Kong law on over 80 subjects with extensive references to primary laws of Hong Kong.
Law review, journal articles and newsletters are important secondary resources too. They are usually much shorter, narrowly-focused, and more current than treatises. There are generally four types of periodical publications:
There are three major ways to locate relevant articles related to Hong Kong Law
Factors to evaluate/select a journal article remains largely the same as the factors you should consider for selecting treatises. See above under Treatises.
Looseleaf service is another popular type of publication for legal research especially in the areas that are heavily regulated and involve many types of primary sources of law such as tax. It is popular because it brings together both primary and secondary resources in one place with cross-references, which allows you to gain better understanding of relevant primary law sections without searching in multiple places and secondly, it is generally more frequently updated with weekly or monthly updates. Please note that since superseded pages are replaced by current pages, looseleaf services may not be good for historical research. The two main looseleaf services in Hong Kong law that we have are:
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