The Government will ask the Court of Final Appeal to clarify its controversial ruling on the right of abode in a move aimed at ending the constitutional crisis. An urgent hearing is to be held tomorrow before the five judges whose decision prompted criticism from the mainland. Legal experts described the bid as unprecedented and extraordinary. The judges will be asked to clarify the part of the ruling which stated that Hong Kong courts can declare decisions of the National People's Congress invalid. It is not expected to affect the rights given by the court to mainland migrants. A document filed by government lawyers revealed the legal bid was being made on the grounds that the matter was of 'great constitutional, public and general importance'. Ian Wingfield, the Law Officer (Civil Law), said the aim was not to have the ruling overturned or changed. 'What has prompted it is the widespread concern . . . possibly not so much from the terms of the judgment but from the inferences which have been drawn from them,' he said. 'That has led to a considerable amount of controversy and that is potentially not good for Hong Kong or the rule of law. We are not asking the court to change anything in its judgment. We are asking it to deal with matters which have arisen from the judgment. 'The Judiciary, or Court of Final Appeal, is not in a position to hold a press conference. It has to deal with proceedings before the court and it is only in that context it can give clarifications.' The move comes days before the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference convene their annual sessions in Beijing next week. Some local deputies have already indicated they intend to raise the issue and press Beijing to take the initiative to 'correct the mistake'. Information Co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung maintained it was the best way to deal with 'internal affairs' and rejected claims it would enlarge the executive branch's powers. 'It's for the court to decide whether it should become a precedent and how to respond to the application,' he said. 'With the emergence of such unprecedented circumstances, we have to do something unique. It doesn't mean that we would certainly resort to such means in future should we find any [court] judgment to be unacceptable or needing clarification.' Johannes Chan, of the University of Hong Kong, said there was no procedure for the Government to file the motion and it would mean there could be no finality to a Court of Final Appeal decision. It put the integrity of the Judiciary in jeopardy. 'I don't see what there is to clarify. They are effectively asking the court to open the issue again,' Mr Chan said. 'I suspect the real motive is for the sake of Beijing. The Government will expect the court to seize the opportunity to tone down their decision. 'Politically, they are putting the court in an almost impossible position. If it says it has no jurisdiction, then it is seen as not helping in solving the issue. If the court clarifies the issue, it would show that the court is bowing to pressure from Beijing.' Bar Association chairman Ronny Tong SC said he believed the judges might refuse to hear the application. 'It contravenes the basic principle that a court has performed its duty when it has delivered its judgment and it cannot explain the reasoning behind it,' he said. Mr Tong welcomed moves to clear up misunderstanding of the ruling. But it would be more appropriate for the court to follow the normal practice of waiting until it was presented with another case raising the same issues. A Bar Association statement said the procedure would 'create a potentially dangerous precedent' which could lead to unsuccessful litigants using clarification as an excuse for putting forward further arguments.