National People's Congress

Beijing to discuss Law over Congo's immunity

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2011, 12:00am


Beijing will discuss the interpretation of the Basic Law later this month in response to the first such request by a Hong Kong court.

The Court of Final Appeal asked the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on June 8 to interpret the term 'act of state' in the mini-constitution in a case involving the Democratic Republic of Congo. It submitted four questions arising from an attempt by US-based fund FG Hemisphere Associates to force Congo to repay more than US$100 million it owed.

The court ruled that the debt was not enforceable, but the case raised questions about sovereign state immunity in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The Standing Committee would review Articles 13 and 19 in the Basic Law in a meeting from August 24 to 26, it emerged after NPC chairman Wu Bangguo chaired a meeting in Beijing yesterday.

Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung forwarded the court's request to the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.

After the Standing Committee receives the request, it will issue documents to the Basic Law Committee and the Legislative Affairs Commission for discussion and give its interpretation of the Basic Law clauses after consulting the two committees.


The number of Articles in the Basic Law. Since 1997, the Hong Kong government has asked for interpretation of the Law on three occasions