Basic Law

The Basic Law was drafted as part of the Sino-British Joint Declaration covering Hong Kong after its handover to China on July 1, 1997. The joint declaration stated that Hong Kong would be governed under the principle of ‘one country-two systems’ and would continue to enjoy its capitalist system and individual freedoms for 50 years after the handover.

Beijing won’t waver in its approach to Hong Kong's democratic development, says NPC chief Zhang Dejiang

Zhang said the central government's approach would gradually push for democratic development. Photo: Xinhua

The head of the national legislature has told a Hong Kong business delegation that Beijing's policies towards Hong Kong will remain "unswerving" as it gradually advances the city's democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law.

Wednesday, 22 July, 2015, 10:58am 3 comments

Legco president defends Hong Kong’s role in China after students burn copy of Basic Law

Legco president defends Hong Kong’s role in China after students burn copy of Basic Law

Hong Kong’s “unique role” in China depends on the Basic Law, Jasper Tsang said, after student leaders burned a copy of the city’s mini-constitution at the annual June 4 vigil.

5 Jun 2015 - 7:03pm 13 comments

Under national security law, Hongkongers free to call for an end to 'Communist Party's dictatorship': Elsie Leung

Under national security law, Hongkongers free to call for an end to 'Communist Party's dictatorship': Elsie Leung

Hongkongers would be free to call for an end to "the Communist Party's dictatorship" or write in support of independence for the city if a national security law were introduced in Hong Kong, former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie said.

12 May 2015 - 12:32pm 39 comments

Hong Kong justice department distances itself from Basic Law teaching kit controversy

Eddie Ng defended the teaching materials. Photo: Dickson Lee

The Department of Justice yesterday moved to distance itself from a political dispute sparked by a new Education Bureau teaching kit on the Basic Law.

1 May 2015 - 7:11pm 4 comments

Why young people need a history lesson on the Basic Law

Laurence Tang Yat-long says the central government has the power to revise its national policy.

Does teaching young Hongkongers how the Basic Law was drafted in the 1980s hold the key to helping people understand why Beijing has a role in the political reform debate? One young member of a government steering committee thinks it might.

15 Apr 2015 - 1:48pm 3 comments

Legal experts ponder Hong Kong 25 years after promulgation of Basic Law

Illustration: Henry Wong

Some 25 years after the Basic Law was endorsed, three lawyers who helped to shape it reflect on whether their hopes and fears were realised.

15 Apr 2015 - 1:48pm 7 comments

Basic Law never gave Hong Kong citizens the right to choose election candidates: CY Leung

Leung Chun- ying at yesterday's seminar. Photo: May Tse

The authors of the Basic Law never intended candidates for the city's leadership elections to be put forward by the Hong Kong public, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said.

15 Apr 2015 - 1:48pm 125 comments

Hong Kong Basic Law turns 25 - and ex-Beijing negotiator hints at some of its implications for today

Zhou Nan says the political system in Hong Kong does not - and will not - copy directly from the ones in the US and UK. Photo: Edward Wong

When Deng Xiaoping had the concept of "balanced participation" enshrined in Hong Kong's Basic Law, he implied that functional constituencies would be a long-term part of the political system, Beijing's former top man in the city said.

15 Apr 2015 - 2:00pm 14 comments

The thumb rule of rule of law

It seems Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li may not quite appreciate the distinction between the obligation of citizens to obey the law and the obligation of government to abide by the constitution. Photo: Sam Tsang

“Overwhelmingly, most people respect the rule of law. They respected the rule of law before the Occupy movement and they respect the rule of law after the Occupy movement. I do not believe that there was any contrary view that people thought somehow the rule of law was something not to be respected.”

14 Jan 2015 - 6:15pm 13 comments

Joshua Wong confronts Carrie Lam over election reform proposal

Joshua Wong confronts Carrie Lam over election reform proposal

In a rare face-to-face encounter, student activist Joshua Wong confronted Chief Secretary Carrie Lam over the government’s proposal on electoral reform as she was on her way to a radio show.

9 Jan 2015 - 12:58pm

Beijing, not Occupy, threatens the rule of law, says Canadian think tank

Under the Basic Law, judges are appointed by the chief executive on the recommendation of a commission, whose members are chosen by the government.

The erosion of Hong Kong's rule of law in the face of Beijing's growing influence could harm the city's competitiveness and impinge on its status as the world's freest economy, a prestigious Canadian think tank says.

7 Nov 2014 - 6:30am 20 comments

Protesters want a rethink of Basic Law bargain between Communist Party and big business

The protests have shone a light on the injustices of the Basic Law bargain. Photo: AFP

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's comments in the international media implying that government in Hong Kong must be protected from populism is a timely reminder of the bargain the Chinese Communist Party struck with big business in the 1980s.

29 Oct 2014 - 9:11am 8 comments

Beijing's ruling will be final word on Hong Kong's 'ultimate aim' of universal suffrage

Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying and Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the NPC Standing Committee, explaining Beijing's stance. Photo: Dickson Lee

For well over a decade, Hong Kong society has been torn by the lure of democracy or, as the Basic Law puts it, universal suffrage. The August 31 decision by the NPC is likely to indefinitely prolong dissension within the community.

24 Sep 2014 - 4:34am 5 comments

Democracy is no escape from a ruling elite

Lam Woon-kwong is convenor of the Executive Council. Photo: Nora Tam

British writer Joseph Conrad, remembered for great novels such as Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, said: "Man is amazing, but he is not a masterpiece."

12 Sep 2014 - 3:38am 8 comments

Beijing has failed to honour its promise to Hong Kong

The liberty of interpretation that Beijing claims puts in doubts the city's cherished rule of law.

Beijing's decision on universal suffrage marks a dark day in Hong Kong history. The shortcutting of its firm commitments in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law signals a broken trust.

4 Sep 2014 - 4:51am 10 comments