The Chief Executive Of Hong Kong Has A Special Legal Position Which Overrides Administrative, Legislative And Judicial Organs And That The Separation Of Powers Is Not Suitable For Hong Kong

1878 words - 8 pages



9 December 2015

Question 1:

“The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has a special legal position which overrides administrative, legislative and judicial organs and that the separation of powers is not suitable for Hong Kong.” With reference to the constitutional arrangement of Hong Kong, to what extent is this statement valid?

In the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law on September 12, the director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming gave a speech entitled “A Correct Understanding of the Characteristics of the Political System of the Hong Kong Special ...view middle of the document...

com, 2015). Moreover, government usually consists three main branches and different branches have vary duties to maintain the function of the government. Executive branch is responsible for the implementation of laws and policies made by the legislature. It extends from the head of government to members of enforcement agencies such as the police. Legislative is the branch to make law through the formal enactment of legislation. The judiciary is the branch that is empowered to decide on the meaning of the law. It ensure all citizens receive fair treatment under the law and that the state is governed by law (Ronald, 2015).

In this statement “The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has a special legal position which overrides administrative, legislative and judicial organs and that the separation of powers is not suitable for Hong Kong”, we have two main arguments to look at. First, we will look at whether the Chief Executive of Hong Kong really has an overriding power of the three main departments. The system of government set out in Hong Kong Basic Law is usually described as “executive-led government” (Gittings, 2013). It means that without the need for approval by either the legislative and judicial branch of Hong Kong’s political structure, the executive branch of Hong Kong’s political structure (i.e., the Chief Executive and the top, or principal, officials and civil servants who report to the Chief Executive) exercise important powers. The executive branch has exclusive control over the formulation and implementation of government policy, and the sole power to appoint most holders of public office. Because of this, the Chief executive of Hong Kong has been sometimes described as having sweeping powers. It controls policymaking and it has the power to reject a bill passed by the Legislative Council and to dismiss the Legislative Council and call fresh elections (Buddle, 2015). It seems that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong does has an overriding powers in some extent. However, not all powers can be exercised by the Chief Executive. For example, the power of passing laws is belongs to the Legislative Council. The resolution of legal disputes if for the courts. In an overall saying, the Chief Executive cannot overrides the law.

But why there are some people support the view of “Chief Executive has an overriding powers over the legislative, executive and judicial organs”. It mainly because they consider the constitutional status of the Chief Executive. The design of Hong Kong’s political structure under Basic Law was aimed to retain the evolution of Hong Kong that inherited from the colonial era. It means that Hong Kong SAR government itself has very large extent of independence in governance, legislative and judicial system (Chan, 2015). In the colonial era, there are two constitutional document for Hong Kong: Letters Patent and Royal Instructions. The Letter Patent was issued in 1843 by Queen Victoria to appoint governor of Hong Kong and set...

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