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postgraduate thesis: The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion: a study of its role, powers andfunctions in Hong Kong's political system

TitleThe Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion: a study of its role, powers andfunctions in Hong Kong's political system
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Chen, AHY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Gu, Y. [顾瑜]. (2013). The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region : a study of its role, powers and functions in Hong Kong's political system. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053412
Abstract The dissertation assesses the level of autonomy of the Legislative Council (Legco) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and examines how the Legco exercises its legislative power, scrutinizes public finance and checks the executive in Hong Kong’s changing political system. After the return of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China, the initiation power of the legislature of the HKSAR receives more extensive restrictions under the Basic Law than the colonial time. The idea of an executive-led system becomes an official statement in Hong Kong’s political system, by stressing which the executive intends to strengthen its authority and to achieve its dominance over the legislature. To provide the basic framework for answering the “how” question, this dissertation first assesses the potential of the Legco by structuring indicators for autonomy of the Legco in two dimensions: external environment and internal characteristics. This dissertation argues that the Legco has structured the institutional framework to underpin legislative autonomy, particulary in the aspects of exclusive authority over internal rules and committee autonomy. In the context, despite the restrictions on its initiation power and stricter agenda control by the executive over time, the Legco since 1998 has played a more active role over time and developed a variety of means by which it can make a difference in public policy and checking the executive. Based on its power to veto or amend legislation and financial proposals, the Legco follows a bargaining model of “anticipated reactions”, that is, forcing the executive to proactively make concessions in order to avoid anticipated opposition in the Legco. The Legco also acts as a deterrent body when performing functions without legislative effects. Thus, an accurate description of the executive-legislative relation in the HKSAR is that there are a proactive executive and a reactive legislature, with their relationship oscillating between conflict and cooperation, rather than an executive-led system. In its concluding section, this study suggests that on one hand the representation system and the partisan factor are the most influential indicators which affect the way the Legco makes a difference in public policy and exercises scrutiny of the executive, on the other hand the actual impact of the Legco depends on the development of party politics and whether the Legco can shape clear public expectations and build up effective communication with the citizens. The components unfavourable to these purposes, such as the Functional Constituencies, need to be reformed or dismantled. This study structures the indicators for autonomy of the Legco based on the comparative legislative studies. To assess the actual impact of the Legco, this study uses a mixture of several methods, including quantitative analysis of Hansard and other documents regarding the Legco, case studies of major bills and events, and qualitative interviews with legislators. Using these methods, this dissertation portrays the real picture of the executive-legislative relation in Hong Kong’s political system and characterizes the trend of the impact of the Legco from a longitudinal dimension.
DegreeDoctor of Legal Studies
Dept/ProgramLaw
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188293

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChen, AHY-
dc.contributor.authorGu, Yu-
dc.contributor.author顾瑜-
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-27T08:03:21Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-27T08:03:21Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationGu, Y. [顾瑜]. (2013). The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region : a study of its role, powers and functions in Hong Kong's political system. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053412-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188293-
dc.description.abstract The dissertation assesses the level of autonomy of the Legislative Council (Legco) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and examines how the Legco exercises its legislative power, scrutinizes public finance and checks the executive in Hong Kong’s changing political system. After the return of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China, the initiation power of the legislature of the HKSAR receives more extensive restrictions under the Basic Law than the colonial time. The idea of an executive-led system becomes an official statement in Hong Kong’s political system, by stressing which the executive intends to strengthen its authority and to achieve its dominance over the legislature. To provide the basic framework for answering the “how” question, this dissertation first assesses the potential of the Legco by structuring indicators for autonomy of the Legco in two dimensions: external environment and internal characteristics. This dissertation argues that the Legco has structured the institutional framework to underpin legislative autonomy, particulary in the aspects of exclusive authority over internal rules and committee autonomy. In the context, despite the restrictions on its initiation power and stricter agenda control by the executive over time, the Legco since 1998 has played a more active role over time and developed a variety of means by which it can make a difference in public policy and checking the executive. Based on its power to veto or amend legislation and financial proposals, the Legco follows a bargaining model of “anticipated reactions”, that is, forcing the executive to proactively make concessions in order to avoid anticipated opposition in the Legco. The Legco also acts as a deterrent body when performing functions without legislative effects. Thus, an accurate description of the executive-legislative relation in the HKSAR is that there are a proactive executive and a reactive legislature, with their relationship oscillating between conflict and cooperation, rather than an executive-led system. In its concluding section, this study suggests that on one hand the representation system and the partisan factor are the most influential indicators which affect the way the Legco makes a difference in public policy and exercises scrutiny of the executive, on the other hand the actual impact of the Legco depends on the development of party politics and whether the Legco can shape clear public expectations and build up effective communication with the citizens. The components unfavourable to these purposes, such as the Functional Constituencies, need to be reformed or dismantled. This study structures the indicators for autonomy of the Legco based on the comparative legislative studies. To assess the actual impact of the Legco, this study uses a mixture of several methods, including quantitative analysis of Hansard and other documents regarding the Legco, case studies of major bills and events, and qualitative interviews with legislators. Using these methods, this dissertation portrays the real picture of the executive-legislative relation in Hong Kong’s political system and characterizes the trend of the impact of the Legco from a longitudinal dimension.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50534129-
dc.titleThe Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion: a study of its role, powers andfunctions in Hong Kong's political system-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5053412-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Legal Studies-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLaw-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5053412-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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