There was a warning of a constitutional crisis last night, after mainland legal experts described the court ruling on right of abode as a challenge to the NPC. The experts' criticism, reported by Xinhua late on Saturday, would erode public confidence in 'one country, two systems' and judicial independence, lawyers and legislators said. The experts, all former Basic Law drafters, said last month's landmark ruling was an attempt by the Court of Final Appeal to extend its jurisdiction to Beijing and turn Hong Kong into an independent political entity. It also violated the Basic Law. The National People's Congress was the supreme state power organ according to the Chinese constitution 'and no organisation or department can challenge or deny NPC legislation and decisions', Beijing University Professor Xiao Weiyun said. The ruling was 'in direct opposition to the interest of Hong Kong residents and has hindered efforts to maintain stability and prosperity'. Last night, Bar Association chairman Ronny Tong rejected the criticism, saying it was dangerous to try to interpret the intentions of those who drafted the Basic Law. 'It's a dangerous route to take,' he said. 'It'll be a great disaster if the rule of law turns out to be the rule of man.' Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, the legislator representing the legal profession, said the criticism was wrong, subjective, an over-reaction and disadvantageous to the implementation of the 'one country, two systems' policy. 'They got it wrong and took it out of context,' she said after a discussion with the legal profession. Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming urged Beijing not to accept the experts' advice. 'If the central Government overrules the ruling or becomes angered by it, it will lead to a constitutional crisis. 'What Hong Kong has to think is whether we want to have the rule of law any more. 'If so, we have to try every means to get the problems fixed, not veto the ruling and ask the court to consider political reasons in future.' Party colleague James To Kun-sun said international confidence in the judicial independence of Hong Kong would be shaken. 'Do we throw the Court of Final Appeal's reputation into the litter bin simply because of one ruling they [mainland officials] dislike? If so, the price we have to pay will be extremely high, to the extent we can't afford it.' Society for Community Organisation director Ho Hei-wah, who helped the mainland children win the appeal, said the courts' authority would be harmed. 'They are putting our judicial independence in question. How can people be convinced there will not be political intervention in our judicial system?' However, Executive Councillor Tam Yiu-chung of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said the court's ruling could be challenged. 'It gave people an impression the Court of Final Appeal has gone beyond its jurisdiction, even the NPC. It is a big problem,' he said, adding that Hong Kong had come to a test of the 'one country, two systems' policy. Another Exco member, Leung Chun-ying, denied the central Government was meddling in SAR affairs or that the Court of Final Appeal and the administration were at odds. Basic Law Committee member Maria Tam Wai-chu said it might be difficult to implement the ruling in the mainland. 'The Court of Final Appeal does not have jurisdiction on the mainland. The ruling may be unsuccessful if the mainland authority sticks to its policy enshrined in the Basic Law,' she said. The court ruling granted right of abode to illegitimate children of permanent residents, greatly increasing the number of mainlanders allowed into Hong Kong. Tung Chee-hwa has said the ruling will put great pressure on education, social services and housing. Last night, a government spokesman said it had taken note of the views expressed. 'We will study these views and details but have no particular comment to make at this stage. We should not overreact,' he said.