By Michael C. Davis

An exam of China's lodging of Western constitutional values, within the mild of the pending go back of British Hong Kong to China. The Joint assertion which governs the go back promises a continuance of those values, and this research appears to be like on the ensuing tensions among East and West.

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Additional resources for Constitutional Confrontation in Hong Kong: Issues and Implications of the Basic Law

Sample text

This statement sha,ll be binding on the courts. Before issuing such a statement, the Chief Executive shall obtain a certificate from the Central People's Government. 8 This contrasts with the alternative suggested herein of simply declining to exercise jurisdiction on grounds of justicability when political questions or questions inappropriate to local judicial determination arise. It is noteworthy that the subgroup of the Drafting Committee concerned with political structure had recommended a political system based on separation of powers with 'checks and balances'.

Members of the electoral college would be elected from 11 functional constituencies representing various industry, labour and public sectors. The 'Group of 76' wanted to have 80 legislators selected, 50 per cent by functional constituencies, 25 per cent by the electoral college, and 25 per cent by direct election. The more liberal 'Group of 190' wanted the future Chief Executive candidates nominated by no less than 10 per cent of the legislature, then directly elected by universal franchise. The legislature would be constituted 50 per cent by direct election, 25 per cent by functional constituencies and 25 per cent by district organizations.

This may mean that in order to continue the same institutional, legal, and political order, a greater and more theoretically sound institutionalization of the rights and political guarantees of liberal democracy than is provided under British paternalistic colonial leadership may be necessary. The Chinese have tended to recognize this in the Joint Declaration. In the draft Basic Law, however, one senses a slight recoiling from this acknowledgement. If it leaves too many of the fundamental political and rights levers subject to its own control and manipulation, the Beijing government may tend to overpoliticize future constitutional questions, thereby increasing the risk that they will undermine the confidence they seek to establish.

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