This study investigates the effect of political orientation on public trust in Hong Kong’s courts. In measuring institutional legitimacy, the prior literature, predominantly written in the US context, largely focuses on the police force and demographic factors. Building on previous studies of the role of procedural fairness in determining the degree of institutional trust, this article contributes to a strand of developing literature which highlights how political ideology may color one’s views of legal authorities. Based on a 2020 survey on public trust in Hong Kong’s courts, this article presents a sobering portrayal of a hitherto “most trustworthy institution” in Hong Kong’s deeply polarized and rapidly changing political environment.

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