Chapter

The Constitutional Framework

Ian Scott

in The Public Sector in Hong Kong

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9789622091726
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622091726.003.0014
The Constitutional Framework

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A constitution is defined as the definitive and legally-binding rules and principles governing a state or a country. Constitution is significant as it describes the power and functions of government bodies and outlines the relationship existing between these government bodies. In addition, constitution provides the authority for the decisions of the government and assures the government of the legitimacy of its rule. Constitution also specifies the limitations and the accountability of the government as well as reflecting the aspirations and values of the people. Constitution also serves as a staunch guard of civil liberties when the country and its freedom are threatened by encroachments. This chapter is mainly concerned with the degree to which the Basic Law establishes a framework of political accountability. In this chapter, the extent of accountability of the government for its actions and issues regarding the legitimacy of its exercised power are discussed and analysed. The chapter also discusses whether the Basic Law precisely describes the manner with which the political and administrative system actually operates. Discussed herein are issues regarding the accurate description of the relationship and powers of various governmental institutions. The chapter also tackles the capacity of the Basic Law to safeguard and uphold civil liberties as well as controversies and problems on the interpretation and implementation of the Basic Law.

Keywords: constitution; legally-binding rules; government; Basic Law; political accountability; legitimacy; power; authority; civil liberties

Chapter.  12071 words. 

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