LEGISLATORS yesterday defended their right to move private member's bills to overturn government policies, saying they were given the power in the Standing Orders. The fact the administration was executive-led should not in any way affect their right, because an executive-led government was not necessarily an authoritarian one, they said. Executive Councillor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu warned on Wednesday that Hong Kong might face a constitutional crisis if members passed a private member's bill to reverse the policy of allowing expatriate civil servants to switch to local terms. He said the passage of such a bill would set a precedent for the legislature to revoke government policies. Most legislators disapprove of the new policy, which they think is a U-turn on the localisation policy. They have vowed to move a bill to freeze it if the administration refuses to budge. Legco member Chim Pui-chung said it was wrong for Professor Chen to make such comments. ''We [Legco members] have the right to move the bill,'' he said. ''Professor Chen is just threatening us.'' He said if the Government did not want to create a constitutional crisis it could listen to members' views and put off the decision. Mr Hui Yin-fat, who is considering moving a private member's bill to pump more money into the Lotteries Fund, said members only resorted to moving bills when they had exhausted all other means to convince the Government to change. He said the maintenance of an executive-led administration was not a reason for not moving such a bill because the executive was not always right. Fred Li Wah-ming of Meeting Point said it was the legislators' role to vet legislation as well as move private member's bills as they saw fit. Besides, members were seeking to freeze, not to change, the policy. United Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said legislators were prepared to use other means to convey their and the public's views but the administration was unwilling to listen. Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, dean of the humanity and social science faculty at City Polytechnic, said he did not agree that the passage of the bill would lead to a constitutional crisis, because the Government would not be toppled even if its policies were overturned. ''As representative government develops, there will be increasing pressure on the administration to make compromises and change its policies,'' he said. And as political parties became more organised and had more resources, they would be more inclined to initiate policies and move private member's bills to make their proposals become laws. Legco legal adviser Jonathan Daw said that since he took up the post in 1985 there had been a maximum of three private member's bills passed in each session. None of them were controversial nor did they seek to overturn government policies.