Lai Bo and Other 'Procedural Kills': A Study of Discontent in the Legislative Council
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 42, pp. 287-303, 2012
18 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013
Date Written: August 26, 2012
Between May and July 2012, a handful of members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region executed procedural manoeuvres to delay the passing of principally two government legislative proposals, dragging their colleagues in the Council, public officers and concerned citizens, as well as the rest of the Government's legislative programme into the realm of 'lai bo' or filibuster. Attempts to break this consuming imbroglio achieved mixed success but brought into focus the role of the President of the Legislative Council in curtailing debate, the relationship between the executive authorities and the legislature in Hong Kong, and the extent of intervention of the courts into the rules and business of the Council. As the Fourth Term Legislative Council drew to a close, it is useful to reflect upon the position of the President as the first among equals in the Council, the function of the opposition in the legislature, the importance of freedom of speech of individual members of the legislature on its floor, and the deliberate but constitutionally principled restraint of the courts against interfering with the legislature.
Keywords: Hong Kong, Legislative Council, rules and procedures, Filibuster, President of Legislative Council, judicial review
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation