The recently published PRC White Paper and NPC Standing Committee Decisions have put both Hong Kong's democratic development and its rule of law under threat. These reports have emphasized the NPC Standing Committee's ultimate power to interpret and amend the Basic Law as it sees fit with seemingly no constraint. In disregard of China's international legal obligations respecting Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the ICCPR these reports have emphasized the resting of all authority in the PRC Central Government. Great liberty has been taken with regard to critical language in Article 45 of the Basic Law, which contains commitments to universal suffrage. The "umbrella movement" protesters, who attempted to advance an electoral model in conformity with international standards to insure the voters a genuine choice in electing the Chief Executive, have been accused of violating the Basic Law. At the same time the claim that the NPC Standing Committee can interpret the Basic Law as it chooses has left the public with the perception that the government is above the law and not bound by its international commitments.
Michael C. Davis,
The Basic Law, Universal Suffrage and the Rule of Law in Hong Kong,
38 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 275
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_international_comparative_law_review/vol38/iss2/3