LLAW 2005 / BUS 2170 – Principles of Law (2013-14, Semester 2) Questions for Review
Explain the concept of `one country, two systems’. In what ways does the Basic Law support the principles of 1. One country and
2. Two systems
Explain your answers by referring to a number of specific principles included in Basic Law
Hong Kong is formally part of the Peoples' Republic of China. It constitutes a `special administrative region' within the PRC, and is not a separate country. Hong Kong is in a special position and has a high degree of autonomy as well as her own legislative, executive and judicial system.
This is the concept of `one country' (i.e. PRC, including Hong Kong) but two systems (i.e. generally, the socialist system that exists in the Mainland and the capitalist system that exists in Hong Kong). The Basic Law is often referred to as the `constitution' or `mini-constitution' of Hong Kong.
Examples of the distinctions between the two systems
With respect to Hong Kong's laws and legislative function, for example, the Basic Law provides that, generally, the laws that applied in Hong Kong prior to the resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the PRC in mid 1997 should continue to apply thereafter.
The Basic Law also provides that the laws of the Mainland do not apply in Hong Kong (with some minor exceptions such as the Mainland's law dealing with foreign affairs, defense, the national anthem, the national flag, the National Day holiday, the Nationality Law and rules relating to foreign diplomats).
With respect to the government executive function, Hong Kong has her own administration, and Mainland authorities have no power to direct the Hong Kong administration.
With respect to the judicial function, the courts of the Mainland have no authority over Hong Kong court cases. Under the Basic Law, the courts of Hong Kong have `independent judicial power' including the power of `final...
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