Thursday, February 23, 2023

Hualing Fu & Michael Hor on Introduction: Re-balancing Freedom and Security in Post-NSL Hong Kong (new book chapter)

"Introduction: Re-balancing Freedom and Security in Post-NSL Hong Kong"
Hualing Fu & Michael Hor 
in The National Security Law of Hong Kong: Restoration and Transformation,
Edited by Hualing Fu Michael Hor (Hong Kong University Press, July 2022),
Chapter 1, pp. 1-19
Introduction: This book offers a dialogic study of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security Law (NSL) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).  It examines the text and the context of the NSL, what caused it and what it has caused, and highlights the changes - real, potential or merely imagined - that the NSL has brought and is likely to bring to Hong Kong.  Constitutional development is not brought about by isolated events but by a series of connected episodes that have taken place over a long duration with each act done in response to an earlier one and, in turn, generating future dialectical reactions in multiple fields, some contemplated and others unforeseen, or perhaps, still unforeseeable.  It is a complicated process and emotions may run high, but there is always a logic to be discovered and explained to make sense of what, at first sight, appear to be chaotic, random occurrences.  This book studies the political and constitutional roots of the NSL as well as its practical operation in Hong Kong.  The book also attempts to view the NSL in the larger Chinese, and comparative law, perspectives.  
         This introductory chapter first situates the enactment of the NSL in the context of Hong Kong's own constitutional context and in particular, the failed attempt to enact Hong Kong national security law in 2003 as required by the Basic Law (BL), and the tortuous path of democratic pursuit that Hong Kong had trodden.  The chapter then explores the constitutional and political roots of the NSL in the Chinese constitutional order.  Part Three addresses several key issues on the impact of the NSL on the legal system, academic freedom, business, and media among others.  Finally, part four assesses the future prospects of Hong Kong's one country two systems doctrine (OCTS) and Hong Kong's freedoms under rule of law in the post NSL era, assessed from a comparative perspective by referencing the development in national security law in mainland China, Singapore and liberal democracies.

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