Ever since the trauma caused by the right of abode issue, lawyers have stressed the difficulty of trying to reconcile two legal systems. It is vital that research is conducted to examine problems so that rows of the kind caused by the reinterpretation of the Basic Law might be avoided in future. The 'one country, two systems' arrangement has no precedent, so it is to be expected that years of academic research are needed before it can be assumed that every possible hurdle has been addressed. Yet Hong Kong faces a severe shortfall in the number of constitutional legal experts it can call upon. The replacement of the two professorial posts at the University of Hong Kong does not appear to be likely following cuts in university funding. Soon the SAR will be without much of the expertise needed to plot a course through a potentially destabilising legal period. In his Policy Address, the Chief Executive called for better understanding of the Basic Law. Yet less than a week later, with the poor timing that seems to dog this administration, comes news that the Information Services Department will pour even more money into public relations, hiring an outside firm to enhance its image abroad. But if that image has been tarnished, it is through events of the kind not even the craftiest spin-doctor could camouflage or deflect. Bird flu, red tide, and pollution may be considered 'natural' disasters. But the upset caused by the legal wrangles that grabbed global headlines was certainly avoidable. Public money would be spent better on hiring constitutional experts to avoid further damage, rather than spin-doctors to mop up after each new blunder. There is no reason to think more recruits to the PR army will win the battle for hearts and minds. Only the Government can help restore much of the public confidence that has been lost.