Certainty in Judiciary 'increased'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 June, 1999, 12:00am

Seeking Beijing's reinterpretation of the Basic Law has increased certainty in the judicial system, a government lawyer said yesterday.

Judicial independence was intact as there was no interference with the Court of Final Appeal while it was considering the right of abode issue, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Arthur Luk Yee-shun said.

'Judicial independence means that when the judicial processing is ongoing and the court is adjudicating a case, there should not be any external influence,' Mr Luk said.

'If the National People's Congress [Standing Committee] makes an interpretation under Article 158 after the process is over, it is impossible to influence the independence of the Judiciary.' He said there had been much debate and uncertainty since the court's judgment, but asking the NPC to reinterpret the Basic Law would clarify the situation.

He saw no need to amend the Basic Law 'because the law was correct but the Court of Final Appeal had failed to reflect the spirit of the law'.

But there was no need to lay down more concrete guidelines as to when the court should refer a case to the NPC under Article 158.