Multi-level Governance and Constitutions of ‘Plurality-in-Unity’: ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1997-2019)

38 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2022

See all articles by Nicholas Aroney

Nicholas Aroney

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law; Emory University - Center for the Study of Law and Religion

Albert H. Y. Chen

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2022

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the nature of the constitutional order of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ as practiced in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC in 1997-2019 from global and comparative perspectives. The paper consists of three main parts, followed by a concluding section. Part I develops a theoretical framework for studying constitutions involving multi-level governance of states. The framework amounts to a taxonomy of constitutions and constitutional orders, which include a wide array of constitutional and inter-state arrangements, ranging from alliance, confederation and federation to devolution and decentralisation. Part I also identifies the key aspects of any constitutional system of multilevel governance -- its formation, its institutions, its distribution of power, and its rules of amendment. Part II of this paper then studies the constitutional order of ‘One Country, Two systems’ in the case of the HKSAR of the PRC. It is mainly designed to provide factual details of the case of Hong Kong by focusing on the key aspects of the constitutional order of multi-level governance of the HKSAR. Part III of the paper draws on the theoretical framework in part I in order to analyse the case of the HKSAR. It seeks to understand the extent to which the Hong Kong case conforms to any particular model within the taxonomy developed in part I, as well as the extent to which relatively unique features that may not have counterparts elsewhere are present in the case of Hong Kong. Finally, the concluding section of this paper summarises our analysis of the case of the HKSAR in the light of the theoretical discussion in part I of this paper.

Keywords: Hong Kong; autonomy; devolution

Suggested Citation

Aroney, Nicholas and Chen, Albert H. Y., Multi-level Governance and Constitutions of ‘Plurality-in-Unity’: ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1997-2019) (February 1, 2022). University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2022/07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4025796 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4025796

Nicholas Aroney (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

Brisbane 4072, Queensland
Australia
+61-(0)7-3365 3053 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.uq.edu.au/profile/1098/nicholas-aroney

Emory University - Center for the Study of Law and Religion ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cslr.law.emory.edu/people/senior-fellows/aroney-nicholas.html

Albert H. Y. Chen

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

HOME PAGE: http://hub.hku.hk/rp/rp01240

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