[JURIST] The Hong Kong Bar Association [official website] Friday criticized the Hong Kong regional government's recent declaration that under the Hong Kong Basic Law the successor of a chief executive who steps down early shall serve out only the remainder of the unexpired term, calling it the first time that mainland China's interpretative approach to the regional constitution had been preferred over the territorys established common law tradition. The debate was sparked after chief executive Tung Chee-hwa announced plans to resign [JURIST report]. Tung took over as leader of the former British colony when it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. His term was due to end in 2007. His deputy, Donald Tsang has taken over temporarily and has announced that elections to choose a successor who will serve out Tung's term will take place in July. Read the HKBA press release [PDF]. The Financial Times has more.