Government lawyers could have given more evidence to the court that last week granted more mainland children right of abode in the SAR, a Basic Law Committee member said yesterday. Maria Tam Wai-chu said they could have supplied more details to the Court of Final Appeal on the need for the children to apply for certificates of their abode rights before coming to Hong Kong. But she stressed she was not suggesting the Government had failed to do its job, adding that the more evidence given to the judges the better the Government's case. The court ruled that children of permanent residents had the right of abode in Hong Kong even if they were born before their parents obtained residency. Ms Tam, a former Basic Law drafter, said the Government should have cited the spirit of the Joint Declaration and Basic Law and convinced the court that requiring mainland children to come to Hong Kong in an orderly manner was not trespassing on human rights. She said there had been fears on whether Hong Kong would be able to accept the mainlanders without affecting the economy. 'The lack of such proof therefore made the ruling deviate from the Basic Law's spirit.' Meanwhile, Executive Councillor Antony Leung Kam-chung - speaking in a private capacity - questioned whether the court should use the common law approach to interpret the Basic Law. 'The Basic Law is a constitution and hence it should be written in a relatively general and loose manner.'