Elsie Leung backed in rule of law row

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 5:31am

An outspoken member of the Basic Law Committee has backed former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie, who caused a storm last week when she said Beijing's guarantee that Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years did not extend to the legal system.

Lau Nai-keung, appointed to the committee by Beijing, said: "What does judicial independence mean? It means judges are not under any interference when making judgments."

Leung told the Global Times, a tabloid published by the party-run People's Daily, that "unchanged for 50 years" referred to the central government's basic principles and policies towards Hong Kong, but the city's legal system "is ever changing".

Lawmakers have accused Leung of challenging the judiciary's independence. But Lau told ATV: "What trials are we talking about here? Which judges is she interfering with?"