Conference Final Comments
The conference has dealt with the intriguing issue of one country, two systems and three legal orders. While such a situation is not entirely unique, at least as concerns the existence of multiple legal orders in one country, the particularities of the Chinese context are extraordinary. Due to extensive treatment of a number of issues in this volume, only a few thoughts need to be presented in this context.
It is an inherent feature of legal orders that they tend towards stability. This is tangible in relation to Macau (and Hong Kong), which received a European legal tradition, has kept with that civil law tradition and purports to do so in the future. Macau (and Hong Kong) is a stable legal order with legal concepts that have prevailed through centuries. During the past century, China has been different. The legal order of China is characterized by instability, breaches of tradition and constant change. The change is taking place even today. It is to be hoped that the legal order of China will, at some point, find itself positioned in a stable environment instead of upheaval. It may, I hope, be entered on the account of my private speculative thought, but the raw form of capitalism currently practiced in China in combination with the one-child policy of the country could result in a population characterized by near extreme individualism in a manner which will not succeed in supporting and sustaining the current political and legal system. There will be further changes in the future to the legal order of China, hopefully of the peaceful kind and without negative consequences for Macau (or Hong Kong). The indication of a continued existence of the two autonomy arrangements even after the lapse of the 50-year period serves as an encouragement. At the same time, that indication should initiate activities towards a domestic entrenchment of the autonomy arrangement.