Hong Kong 2003
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The System of Government - Executive Council

The Executive Council is an organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy making. Under Article 56 of the Basic Law, except for the appointment, removal and disciplining of officials and the adoption of measures in emergencies, the Chief Executive shall consult the Executive Council before making important policy decisions, introducing bills into the Legislative Council, making subordinate legislation, or dissolving the Legislative Council. The Chief Executive in Council also determines appeals, petitions and objections under those ordinances which confer a statutory right of appeal. If the Chief Executive does not accept a majority opinion of the Executive Council, he shall put the specific reasons on record.

The Executive Council has 19 members. As provided for in Article 55 of the Basic Law, Members of the Executive Council are appointed by the Chief Executive from among the principal officials of the executive authorities, Members of the Legislative Council and public figures. They are Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of the HKSAR with no right of abode in any foreign country. With the implementation of the Accountability System for Principal Officials from July 1, 2002, the membership of the Executive Council now comprises 14 Principal Officials appointed under the Accountability System and five Non-Officials. Their appointment or removal is decided by the Chief Executive. The term of office of Members of the Executive Council shall not extend beyond the expiry of the term of office of the Chief Executive who appoints them.

The Executive Council normally meets once a week, and its proceedings are confidential, although many of its decisions are made public. The Chief Executive presides at its meetings. During the year, the Executive Council held a total of 48 meetings.

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