ARTICLE: The Interpretation of the Basic Law -- Common Law and Mainland Chinese Perspectives Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright (c) 2000 Hong Kong Journal Ltd.
Hong Kong Law Journal

ARTICLE: The Interpretation of the Basic Law -- Common Law and Mainland Chinese Perspectives


30 Hong Kong L.J. 380


Albert H Y Chen*



In Lau Kong-yung and 16 others v The Director of Immigration, 1 the case in which the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) considered the effect of the interpretation of the Basic Law issued by the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) in June 1999, Sir Anthony Mason, Non-Permanent Judge of the Court, said:
The Standing Committee's power to interpret laws is necessarily exercised from time to time otherwise than in the adjudication of cases. So the expression 'in adjudicating cases' [in article 158 of the Basic Law] makes it clear that the power of interpretation enjoyed by the courts of the Region is limited in that way and differs from the general and free-standing power of interpretation enjoyed by the Standing Committee under Article 67(4) of the PRC Constitution and Article 158(1) of the Basic Law. This conclusion may seem strange to a common lawyer but, in my view, it follows inevitably from a consideration of the text and structure of Article 158, viewed in the light of the context of the Basic Law as the constitution for the HKSAR embodied in a national law enacted by the PRC. 2 (emphasis supplied)

The paradox of 'one country, two systems' is that special administrative regions -- Hong Kong and Macau -- within China are allowed to practise market capitalism 3 by a Chinese government that is committed to Marxism-Leninism. 4 And the paradox of the Basic Law lies in its dual nature. It is ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities