- Procedures which the Administration has followed in seeking an interpretation of the Basic Law from the NPCSC.
BL48(2) provides that one of CE's powers and functions is to be responsible for the implementation of the BL. BL43 provides that the CE shall be the head of the HKSAR and shall represent the Region. The CE shall be accountable to the CPG and the HKSAR in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law.
In accordance with BL43 and BL48(2), the CE has reported to the State Council the problems he has encountered in the implementation of the Basic Law and sought assistance from the State Council. In accordance with the Standing Order of the NPCSC, the State Council may submit a bill/motion for the deliberation of the NPCSC provided that the bill/motion is within the jurisdiction of the NPCSC.
- NPCSC's procedures for exercising its authority to interpret the Basic Law.
In accordance with Article 12 of the NPCSC's Standing Order, various authorized organs or persons may submit a bill/motion, which falls within the scope of powers and functions of the NPCSC, for deliberation by the NPCSC. These organs include the State Council, Central Military Commission, Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, special committees of the NPC and a joint submission by ten or more members of the NPCSC.
Article 12(2) provides that where the State Council, Central Military Commission, Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate or special committees of the NPC submit a bill/motion to the NPCSC for deliberation, the Chairman's session shall decide whether the bill/motion is to be submitted to the NPCSC for deliberation, or be referred for study by the relevant special committees which will present a report and the Chairman's session will decide whether it should be submitted to the NPCSC for deliberation.
Article 15 of the Standing Order provides that after the bill/motion is heard by the plenary session of the NPCSC, it shall be studied and discussed by sub-committees, and the relevant special committee shall study and discuss the bill/motion.
Article 16(2) of the Standing Order provides that any bill/motion relating to the resolution of legal issues or amendments to laws shall be examined by the Law Committee (which is one of the special committees of the NPC) which may present a report to the current NPCSC meeting or the following/future meeting.
In accordance with Article 30(1) of the Standing Order, bills/motions shall be adopted by a vote of simple majority of the members of the NPCSC.
Apart from the above, BL158(4) provides that the NPCSC shall consult the Committee for the Basic Law of the HKSAR before giving an interpretation of the Basic Law.
- Operation of the Basic Law Committee for consultation by NPCSC under Article 158(4) of the Basic Law.
The Basic Law Committee is a working committee under the NPCSC. Its function is to study questions arising from the implementation of Articles 17, 18, 158 and 159 of the Basic Law and submit its views thereon to the NPCSC.
In accordance with BL 158(4), the NPCSC shall consult the Basic Law Committee before giving an interpretation of the Basic Law.
As to the procedure of how the NPCSC consults the BL Committee, we note that at the CA Panel's special meeting held on 29 May, Professor Albert Chen, Member of the Basic Law Committee, already briefed Members in detail and provided LegCo with a copy of the Standing Order of the Basic Law Committee.
- The Administration's view on a formal mechanism for the Chief Executive to request the Central People's Government to approach NPCSC for an interpretation of provisions of the Basic Law.
The CE has pledged that we would seek such assistance from the CPG only in exceptional circumstances. As stated by SJ in the motion debate at the LegCo meeting held on 26 May, the SARG will consider carefully the issue concerning suggestions of setting up a mechanism. This is a complex issue and at present the SARG is not in a position to make any commitment.
- The Chief Executive's report to the State Council requesting the State Council to approach the NPCSC for an interpretation of Article 22(4) and Article 24(2) of the Basic Law.
CE's report was lodged with the HKMAO on 21 May for submission to the State Council. The State Council is now studying the report. If the State Council accepts the report, it will refer the matter to the NPCSC. We plan to make public the report at that time.