From May 31 to June 13, 1999, the Joseph R. Crowley Program in International Human Rights (or “delegation”) conducted a mission in Hong Kong in conjunction with the Committee on International Human Rights of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (‘Association‘ or ‘ABCNY ‘). The purpose of the mission was to examine the status of the rule of law in Hong Kong two years after the transition from British to Chinese rule. This Special Report documents the delegation's investigation, summarizes its findings, and sets forth its conclusions and recommendations. Part I considers the rule of law as a foundation of international human rights and China's obligations under international law to protect the rule of law in Hong Kong. After recounting the right of abode decisions themselves, it examines both the legality and prudence of the HKSAR administration's request for a reinterpretation, including the alternatives that it could have pursued. This Part concludes by analyzing the reinterpretation that Beijing issued and the effect it has had, or is likely to have, on subsequent related cases. Part II examines Hong Kong's progress towards full democracy, measuring that progress against the Basic Law and international law. It begins by reviewing the relevant international obligations applicable to the PRC and the HKSAR. Next, this part details the electoral system and limits on legislative power, including the composition of LegCo, Hong's Kong's legislature, the selection of the Chief Executive, and the separation of powers within the HKSAR government. Finally, this Part assesses the development of democratization in Hong Kong in light of the international standards previously discussed. The third and final part of this Special Report explores the status and implementation of Hong Kong's basic international human rights obligations under its domestic law. It then focuses on two areas, labor rights and anti-discrimination protection, as case studies in which fundamental rights protected under international law have been eroded or underenforced by the HKSAR administration.
Joseph R. Crowley Program,
One Country, Two Legal Systems?,
23 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol23/iss1/1