“The Origins of Hong Kong’s Basic Law” by Prof. Albert H Y Chen

This seminar reviews the history of the drafting of the Basic Law of the HKSAR and examines the political context of the drafting. It traces the historical origins of the “One country, two systems” policy in the early 1980s, and tells the story of the drafting of the Hong Kong Basic Law, particularly the work of the Basic Law Drafting Committee and the Basic Law Consultative Committee in the period 1985 to 1990. It also considers the influence or input of the British government on the drafting of the Basic Law, and the extent to which activities of Hong Kong’s political elite during the drafting process shaped the content of the Basic Law. Key episodes to be considered include the pressure on “convergence” between the constitutional reform launched by the colonial government and the Basic Law, the colonial government’s review of the political system in 1987, and the impact of the June 4 events in 1989. It also examines how the key provisions of the Basic Law on the relationship between the central government and the HKSAR and on HKSAR’s political system came into existence.

Other Greater China Legal History Seminar Series