A mainland Basic Law drafter says it is up to Beijing, as legislators demand notice if an NPC interpretation is sought A mainland drafter of the Basic Law said yesterday that Hong Kong's courts should not hear any legal challenge mounted to the term of the next chief executive. Xu Chongde , a law professor at People's University in Beijing, told the South China Morning Post it was up to the central government to determine how long the next chief executive served. His remarks came as the Legco constitutional affairs panel passed a motion urging the Hong Kong government to report to the legislature before seeking a ruling from the central government on the length of term. Professor Xu said State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan had made it clear that the new chief executive would serve out the remaining two years of the term of Tung Chee-hwa, who resigned on March 10. 'If there is any lawsuit, I believe that Hong Kong's courts would resolve the legal dispute in accordance with the views of the central government,' the professor said. 'If somebody in Hong Kong lodges a judicial review of the term of the new chief executive, Hong Kong's courts should tell him that there is no need for them to hear the case because it is a matter purely for the central government.' Professor Xu said the Court of Final Appeal had accumulated lots of experience in recent years and it was impossible for the court to challenge the central government again. 'I'm confident that there would not be a repeat of the saga surrounding the Court of Final Appeal in 1999,' he said. In an interpretation of the Basic Law in June 1999, the National People's Congress Standing Committee overturned a ruling on right of abode by the Court of Final Appeal. The committee said the court had been wrong not to ask it for an interpretation of the Basic Law before passing judgment. Tsang Hin-chi, a Hong Kong member of the standing committee, warned that it would be forced to interpret the Basic Law if there was a risk that a legal challenge would prevent the chief executive election from taking place as scheduled on July 10. 'There are some people who like to stir up trouble in Hong Kong and are bent on lodging a judicial review [on the term of the new chief executive] in an attempt to prevent the election from taking place as scheduled.' He said he would brief the standing committee about the latest developments in Hong Kong when he attended its next meeting at the end of next month. At the constitutional affairs panel meeting, pro-democracy lawmakers questioned any government intention to seek an NPC interpretation of the Basic Law, saying it would damage Hong Kong's autonomy. They passed a motion calling on the administration to report to the legislature before making such a decision. Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung repeated his earlier comment that the government would 'act according to the situation' if there was a court challenge over the term's length. The meeting was held up for more than an hour after Mr Lam demanded a ruling from panel chairman Lui Ming-wah on an accusation by democrat Albert Chan Wai-yip, who said Mr Lam had twisted the truth in the row on the term of the chief executive. Mr Lui ruled that Mr Chan had acted inappropriately.