Chair: Professor Albert Chen
- Hybrid Constitutionalism
The Politics of Constitutional Review in the Chinese Special Administrative Regions
Author: Dr. Eric C Ip
Commentator: Professor Po Jen Yap
- Transparency Challenges Facing China
Editors: Professor Hualing Fu, Professor Michael Palmer, Professor Xianchu Zhang
Commentator: Professor Michael Dowdle
Date: September 27, 2019 (Friday)
Time: 3:30pm -5:00pm
Venue: University Bookstore, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Hybrid Constitutionalism The Politics of Constitutional Review in the Chinese Special Administrative Regions
This is the first book that focuses on the entrenched, fundamental divergence between the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and Macau's Tribunal de Última Instância over their constitutional jurisprudence, with the former repeatedly invalidating unconstitutional legislation with finality and the latter having never challenged the constitutionality of legislation at all. This divergence is all the more remarkable when considered in the light of the fact that the two Regions, commonly subject to oversight by China's authoritarian Party-state, possess constitutional frameworks that are nearly identical; feature similar hybrid regimes; and share a lot in history, ethnicity, culture, and language. Informed by political science and economics, this book breaks new ground by locating the cause of this anomaly, studied within the universe of authoritarian constitutionalism, not in the common law-civil law differences between these two former European dependencies, but the disparate levels of political transaction costs therein.
Transparency Challenges Facing China
The concept of transparency has grown exponentially in importance around the world as a principle of good governance over the past two decades. Openness in the manner in which governments, social institutions and business corporations conduct themselves, and their willingness to disclose important information about themselves or about other actors in which they have an interest, are important features of this growth. However, greater commitment to transparency may present difficulties for an authoritarian system’s political leadership. Such reform is likely to lead also to demands for political and governance change and similarly radical ideas that foster stability problems for an authoritarian political and legal system, as they enable civil society to scrutinize better the conduct of that authoritarian leadership and its institutions. On the other hand, when transparency is only partial, the government might use it as an instrument of propaganda, shaping public opinion and forestalling structural reform. The chapters in this book address the situation in mainland China where economic reform policies and a drive to gain a stronger place in the global economy have encouraged a complex and sometimes ambiguous approach to transparency. The essays explore the manner in which, and the degree to which, greater transparency in governance has emerged in the PRC. They also assess the impact of greater transparency in terms of accountability, decision-making processes, and responsiveness in the Chinese governance system.