The Emergency Regulations Ordinance (Cap. 241) is a law of Hong Kong that confers on the Chief Executive in Council the power to make regulations on occasions that the Chief Executive believes to be an emergency or public danger. It was first introduced in Colonial Hong Kong in 1922 to combat the seamen’s strikes which had immobilised the city’s ports, and was invoked on several occasions during the colonial rule.
In case of emergency or public danger, it can be invoked by the Chief Executive-in-Council. Under the provisions of the ordinance, the Chief Executive has the power to make “any regulations whatsoever which he may consider desirable in the public interest.” Among the many powers permitting the Chief Executive to exercise upon invoking the ordinance, it also include arrests, property seizures, deportation, control of the ports and transportation, and censorship.
The government invoked the ordinance during the 1967 Hong Kong riots, during the oil crisis in 1973, and during the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
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