Five Reasons to Question the Legality of a National Security Law for Hong Kong

On 28 May 2020, the National People’s Congress (NPC) resolved to authorize its Standing Committee (NPCSC) to enact a piece of national security law for Hong Kong. Would this decision be in contravention of the Basic Law? Some people may say that this is a stupid question. Maybe it is. But if the Central Government still claims to be abide by the rule of law, and if the NPC is not above the law, then whether its decision would contravene the Basic Law is a serious question about the rule of law.

Continue Reading →

Corona Constitutional #30: One Country, One System

Ein Vierteljahrhundert lang hat sich Hong Kong als liberale, rechtsstaatliche Insel in einem autoritären Staat gehalten. Nun plant die chinesische Regierung ein neues Sicherheitsgesetz, das von Liberalität und Grundrechtsschutz wohl nicht viel übrig lassen wird. Im Podcast-Interview mit Max Steinbeis beleuchtet DAVID LAW von der Universität Hong Kong die verfassungsrechtlichen Hintergründe dieser bedrückenden Entwicklung, und stößt auf die dringende Frage: Welche Möglichkeiten und welche Verantwortung haben Wissenschaftler_innen, wenn es brenzlig wird im Kampf um die Freiheit?

Continue Reading →

Hong Kong’s Basic Law at 30: A Constitutional Experiment under Stress

On April 4, 2020, the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HK Basic Law) turned 30. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been and continues to be confronted with many challenges, including those concerned with the implementation of the HK Basic Law. Ultimately, it will depend on the Chinese Central Authorities and the Hong Kong institutions if the HK Basic Law is to remain the centrepiece in the governance of Hong Kong.

Continue Reading →

The Hong Kong Judiciary and Beijing’s Temper Tantrum

On 18 November 2019, Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance held that parts of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, and the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation enacted pursuant to the Ordinance, violate the territory’s Basic Law – its constitutional instrument. Beijing’s response to the ruling was the equivalent of a temper tantrum. Viewed in light of the Court’s judgment and Beijing’s lengthy history of undermining the Hong Kong judiciary, Beijing’s latest outbursts amount to nothing less than a declaration of war on the territory’s common law legal system.

Continue Reading →

Demise of “One Country, Two Systems”?

Hong Kong’s existence as a liberal pocket within a socialist party state has been a risky experiment from the outset. The substance of the dispute about extradition to mainland China does not pertain to the viability of the “one country, two systems” governing model. The way in which the saga unfolded, however, reveals flaws in Hong Kong’s political system that, if unrectified, may prove fatal to the model.

Continue Reading →

A Perfect Storm

On 9 June 2019, Hong Kong became the focus of international attention as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched on Hong Kong Island to oppose the imminent enactment of a bill that would introduce a rendition arrangement, inter alia, as between Hong Kong and other parts of China (including mainland China, Taiwan and Macau). This legislative proposal has not only led to the largest protests in the history of postcolonial Hong Kong but has also brought about one of the greatest crises of governance in post-1997 Hong Kong.

Continue Reading →