San Diego International Law Journal


Teresa Martin

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment argues that the Court's refusal to sidestep the Standing Committee's reinterpretation using either the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation, or the judgments previously rendered clause in the Basic Law, signifies its capitulation to the Standing Committee, and its inability to protect constitutional rights and/or human rights in Hong Kong. This Comment will first give a brief background on the concept of one country, two systems and the drafting of the basic law. Second, it will introduce the Right of Abode cases, and explain the constitutional crisis of 1999. Third, it analyzes Ng Siu Tung & Others v. Director of Immigration, decided on January 10, 2002, and its failure to legitimately sidestep the Standing Committee's reinterpretation in the name of human rights. Finally, this Comment concludes that the independence of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has been irrevocably compromised, constitutional rights are mutable under the Basic Law (Hong Kong Constitution), and human rights will not be meaningfully protected by the courts of Hong Kong.