Prof Albert Chen, member of CCPL Board of Management and CCPL Fellow, published a book chapter “The History of the Drafting and Implementation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” in Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law in Greater China (Routledge, 2023).

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1997 upon the termination of British colonial rule in Hong Kong. The Basic Law of the HKSAR is the constitutional instrument of post-colonial Hong Kong. This chapter discusses the history of the drafting and implementation of the Basic Law. The Chinese government never recognised publicly that the British or the colonial Hong Kong government had any role to play in the drafting of the Basic Law. The Chinese government considered the making of the Basic Law a purely domestic affair of the PRC. The political elite and public opinion in Hong Kong had divided views on certain fundamental issues arising from the drafting of the Basic Law, particularly as regards the degree of Hong Kong’s democratisation that should be codified in the Basic Law.

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