Regional Autonomy, Judicial Criticism and the 2005 Interpretation: Judicial Independence in Hong Kong Compromised Again?
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 36, p. 117, 2006
Posted: 18 Aug 2006
This article analyses challenges to judicial independence in the lead-up to the 2005 interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. It argues that because the Chief Executive is accountable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as well as to the Central People's Government, (enhanced by a legitimate expectation of universal suffrage for the future election of the Chief Executive), the interpretation potentially concerned a matter of "regional autonomy", which was therefore within the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts. The criticisms made by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government of judicial review and of a lack of experience with constitutional law suggests that legitimate avenues of public challenge to inappropriate government action are not respected, which in the current absence of democratic alternatives is a cause for concern with respect to the rule of law, the separation of powers and the future development of Basic Law jurisprudence.
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