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Legal Experts on Hong Kong Court Ruling

  Legal experts from inland areas note that last week's ruling, by the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal on the right of abode of Hong Kong residents' children born on the mainland, poses a serious challenge to the status of the National People's Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee and the "one country, two systems" principle.

  Law experts attending a meeting of the economic and legal groups of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Preparatory Committee expressed strong indignation over the court ruling that it has the right to examine legislation passed by the NPC and its Standing Committee and pronounce legislative items invalid. The experts noted that the ruling violates the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

  Peking University Professor Xiao Weiyun said that the "court's constitutional jurisdiction" in the ruling violates the "one country, two systems" principle. He noted that the NPC is the supreme state power organ according to the Chinese Constitution and no organization or department can challenge or deny NPC legislation and decisions.

  The jurisdiction of the Court of Final Appeal is limited, said Xiao.

  Professor Wu Jianfan, with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said that authority to interpret the Basic Law rests with the NPC Standing Committee. Nonetheless, the recent ruling willfully expanded the court's right to partially interpret the Basic Law, said Wu.

  Professor Xu Chongde from the People's University said the opinions of the Preparatory Committee on implementing the second clause of Article 24 of the Basic Law and legislation of the HKSAR focus on preventing a rapid population increase which would put pressure on all sectors of the HKSAR.

  Related regulations have played a positive role in easing the pressure of population increase in Hong Kong over the past year and have been in the best interests of the HKSAR, according to the experts.

  The close coordination between the entry and exit management departments on both sides since 1994 has enabled more 78,000 mainland children with parents residing in Hong Kong to gain residence in the region. Some 40,000 children arrived in the HKSAR after July 1997

  "Management procedures have effectively avoided the excessive influx of immigrants into Hong Kong," said the experts.

  Events since the January 29 ruling by the Court of Final Appeal, as well as public opinion indicate that the ruling has had a negative impact on Hong Kong society. Experts noted that the resulting negative impact has been in direct opposition to the interests of Hong Kong residents and has hindered efforts to maintain stability and prosperity in the HKSAR.

HomeNews 1999-02-08 Page4

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