Vote in Bar debate

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 August, 1996, 12:00am

The Bar Council last night unanimously decided to hold an extraordinary general meeting next month to vote on whether barristers should join the Selection Committee.

Following the meeting, council member Johannes Chan Man-man said: 'This is a very important principle. It's impossible for us not to seek members' views.' The extraordinary general meeting was tentatively fixed for September 6, when its 600 or so members would decide whether to join the 400-member body which would elect the Chief Executive and the provisional legislature.

One proposal was not to take part, while two others were based on participation in the 400-member body. One was that the association should verify the identity of the candidates and submit them to the Preparatory Committee, the other that there should be an election among members to select candidates.

Mr Chan said: 'If members are in favour of joining, it would be up to them to decide in what ways they will join and whether pre-conditions have to be set, for instance, whether participants had to represent or agree with the Bar Association's stance.' He said members were free to amend the resolution moved by the council. Members would be notified by circular about the date and the agenda of the meeting 21 days in advance.

Mr Chan said the council would draft a document, including the pros and cons of joining the Selection Committee, for members' reference in mid-August, following next week's plenary session of the Preparatory Committee. By that time more concrete details on the formation method of the Selection Committee would be ironed out, he said.

'We would then be able to advise members as to the deadline of the nomination,' he said.

He said the council would maintain its opposition to the provisional legislature and outlined the reasons for questioning its legality in the document.

Asked about the disadvantages of not joining the Selection Committee, Mr Chan said: 'The Preparatory Committee has stipulated that names have to be nominated by an organisation. If we do not participate in it, there would be no way for members who hold a dissenting view to join.' So far, no members have put forward their names.