The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, commonly theHong Kong Government, refers to theexecutive authoritiesof theHong KongSAR. The Government is formallyledby the Chief Executiveof the SAR, who nominates itsprincipal officialsfor appointment by the ChineseCentral People's Government(State Council). TheGovernment Secretariatis headed by theChief Secretary of Hong Kong, who is the most senior principal official of the Government. The Chief Secretary and the othersecretariesjointly oversee the administration of the SAR, give advice to the Chief Executive as members of theExecutive Council, and areaccountablefor their actions and policies to the Chief Executive and theLegislative Council. Under the "one country, two systems" constitutional principle, the Government is exclusively in charge of Hong Kong's internal affairs andexternal relations. TheGovernment of the People's Republic of China, of which the Hong Kong government is financially independent, is responsible for Hong Kong'sdefenceandforeign policy. The Chief Executive is the head of Region and head of government of Hong Kong. TheBasic Lawdesignates a system of governance led by a Chief Executive and anExecutive Council, with a two-tiered system of semi-representative government and an independent judiciary. The Chief Executive is responsible for implementing the Basic Law, signing bills and budgets, promulgating laws, making decisions on government policies and issuing Executive Orders. He is assisted in policy making by the Executive Council. As of 1 July 1997, theChief Executive of Hong Kongofficially replaced theGovernor of Hong Kongas the head of the government for Hong Kong following thetransfer of sovereignty. The Chief Executive is assisted by theChief Secretary for Administrationand theFinancial Secretary, and othersecretarieswho heads policy bureau. The secretaries for each government affairs are appointed by the Chief Executive and endorsed by the Central People's Government. TheSecretary for Justice(SJ) is responsible for legal matters of the government and prosecution for criminal cases in the territory. TheExecutive Councildecides on matters of policy, the introduction of bills to theLegislative Counciland the drafting of subordinate legislation. The Council consists of 15 principal officials and 14 non-official members. All members are appointed by the Chief Executive from among the senior officials of the executive authorities, members of the Legislative Council, and other influential public personnel. They serve for a period no longer than the expiry of the Chief Executive's term of office.