Inconsistency between Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic Law

Degree of Autonomy

Sino-British Joint Declaration

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be directly under the authority of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government. (s3(2))

Basic Law

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress may add to or delete from the list of laws in Annex III after consulting its Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the government of the Region. Laws listed in Annex III to this Law shall be confined to those relating to defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region as specified by this Law. (Art 18 para 3)

The courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have no jurisdiction over acts of state such as defence and foreign affairs. The courts of the Region shall obtain a certificate from the Chief Executive on questions of fact concerning acts of state such as defence and foreign affairs whenever such questions arise in the adjudication of cases. This certificate shall be binding on the courts. Before issuing such a certificate, the Chief Executive shall obtain a certifying document from the Central People’s Government. (Art 19 para 3)

Public Order

Sino-British Joint Declaration

The maintenance of public order in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be the responsibility of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (s3(11))

Basic Law

In the event that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress decides to declare a state of war or, by reason of turmoil within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which endangers national unity or security and is beyond the control of the government of the Region, decides that the Region is in a state of emergency, the Central People’s Government may issue an order applying the relevant national laws in the Region. (Art 18 para 4)

Chief Executive

Sino-British Joint Declaration

The government and legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be composed of local inhabitants. The chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government. Principal officials (equivalent to Secretaries) shall be nominated by the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and appointed by the Central People’s Government. The legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be constituted by elections. The executive authorities shall abide by the law and shall be accountable to the legislature. (Annex I)

Basic Law

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be the head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and shall represent the Region.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be accountable to the Central People’s Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the provisions of this law. (Art 43)

 

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