The courts may need to adjourn any hearing on a judicial review of the chief executive's term while an interpretation by the nation's top legislature is awaited, legal experts suggested yesterday. But the Bar Association argued that the government's decision to seek a Basic Law interpretation from the National People's Congress Standing Committee should not affect judicial review proceedings in local courts. The comments came as independent lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip launched the second legal challenge to a planned amendment to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance stipulating a successor will serve only the remainder of Tung Chee-hwa's term. He applied to the High Court for a judicial review, just two hours before acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced the decision to ask the State Council to make a request to the NPC Standing Committee to interpret Article 53 of the Basic Law. Simon Young, associate law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said a court might not want to make a ruling before the Standing Committee's decision. 'We can't totally import common law tradition and principle because the Basic Law clearly states that the power of interpretation is vested in the NPC Standing Committee.' The court might also have to wait as the amendment to the Chief Executive Ordinance had yet to be passed in the legislature. University of Hong Kong law professor and Basic Law Committee member Albert Chen Hung-yee said the best way for the court was to act 'according to law procedures' as time restrictions might make it impossible to handle the case before the interpretation. Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes SC said it was up to the courts whether to adjourn proceedings pending the NPC ruling. Making his application, Mr Chan said the Basic Law clearly stated that the next chief executive should serve a five-year term, and 'any distortion of the law is in contravention of the legislative intent and the spirit of the law'. He hoped the judicial review could be heard before the NPC Standing Committee met at the end of this month and the Court of Final Appeal could deliver its ruling early next month. Mr Chan, who confirmed that Mr Dykes helped him draft the application, is seeking two court declarations. One is to state that the term of the chief executive shall be five years according to Article 46 of the Basic Law when a vacancy arises. The other is to declare it would be unlawful for the Legislative Council to pass the planned amendment. Mr Chan, a lawyer, is bearing his own costs and may represent himself in court. The other challenger, Grassroots Democratic Society president Carl Ching Lok-suen, said he had only a slim chance of getting legal aid for the application for judicial review that he filed on Monday.