Losing the argument

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 July, 2000, 12:00am

Applicant claim: The NPC Standing Committee excluded the applicants from the effects of its reinterpretation of the Basic Law.

Mr Justice Frank Stock: Exclusion only applies to people directly involved in the cases ruled on by the Court of Final Appeal in January last year.

Applicant claim: We should be able to rely on rights established in the Court of Final Appeal's rulings because the Basic Law says prior judgments should not be affected by an interpretation.

Mr Justice Stock: Again, this only applies to those actually concerned in the earlier cases.

Applicant claim: The Court of Final Appeal's rulings were in relation to test cases representing the interests of the applicants.

Mr Justice Stock: The test cases only represented specific claimants who had entered into agreements with the SAR.

Applicant claim: The Government is legally bound by statements made by its officials that it would respect the Court of Final Appeal's judgments.

Mr Justice Stock: Even if the statements did create that expectation among the applicants, they would not be binding, since they contradicted laws then in force.

Applicant claim: The promise by the Government to allow certain migrants to stay should include the applicants.

Mr Justice Stock: The Government is entitled to insist that only those present in Hong Kong before the judgment and who made a claim recorded by the Director of Immigration qualify.

Applicant claim: Abode-seekers who arrived before the handover were not subject to the Basic Law and as such did not require permission to leave the mainland.

Mr Justice Stock: Exit permission was required for such applicants as a result of the reinterpretation.


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