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  • Aug 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:59am
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong

Legal sector plans march to protest against Beijing’s ‘worrying’ white paper

Silent protest planned as show of support for independent judiciary and rule of law

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 8:55am

Legal professionals will march next week, for only the third time in Hong Kong's history, in opposition to Beijing's white paper outlining its "comprehensive jurisdiction" over the city.

This emerged yesterday as a member of the Law Society proposed a vote of no confidence in society president Ambrose Lam San-keung after he praised the document.

Beijing stated in the paper that judges were administrators and as such had a "basic political requirement" to love the country. It also suggested that judges had a responsibility of "correctly understanding and implementing the Basic Law".

Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok said the legal sector, which he represents, was worried about the paper because it was "against the principles of rule of law".

The party's leader, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, said the silent march would demonstrate support for an independent judiciary as the foundation for the "one country, two systems" principle. Senior pan-democrat Martin Lee Chu-ming SC said it was critical to maintain the impartiality of the judiciary.

"I am sure every member of the legal sector - who is not being brainwashed - will join the silent protest," he said.

Solicitor Kevin Yam, a member of the Law Society's Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Committee, said he planned to file at least 75 signatures collected from solicitors to call for a special meeting on the document.

He proposed a vote of no confidence in Lam and a statement to defend the rule of law and judicial independence.

He said he would also table a motion urging Lam to retract his comment that the paper was a "positive document" that reiterated the special administrative region's judicial independence and high degree of autonomy.

Kwok called on participants to dress in black for the march, which will travel from the High Court to the Court of Final Appeal.

There have been two similar protests by members of the legal sector before, both prompted by reinterpretations of the Basic Law. Lawyers marched in 1999, when the government asked the National People's Congress to reinterpret the Basic Law on the issue of right of abode in Hong Kong.

The other protest came in 2005, over the term length of the new chief executive after the resignation of Tung Chee-hwa.


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This article is now closed to comments

Ant may utter no more or consider calling himerself Anne
an english moniker might help himer better understand the law!
Like most ex-colonial copycat jurists
ant misunderstands what law is really about
Take life sentence for example
the ultimate penalty in many jurisdictions
does it mean the convicted is imprisoned for good?
do most cases of parole or commutation require a court order?
How to apply copycat dogmas of RoL and JI
on such practical discrepancy between sentence and practice?
One of the more “innovative” ideas of HK’s copycat jurists
is the promotion of one-way judicialization of social issues
not knowing that the law which they copy
evolves with the socio-politicalisation of judicial issues

I’m thrilled
The last circus in town was foreign and too long ago
This will be a local production
I’ve great hope this will replace Michaelmas
and become HK legal year’s commencement
in between solstice and equinox
no more August break
With summer sun radiating justice on the parade
show us the profession’s true, full and rational colors
feet wrapped in thick woolen stockings encapsulated in buckled shoes
swollen heads under yellow scalps
Harry Potter robes and what not
absurdities to be passed sensibly into history
but not before a public enactment of those blatant fooleries
for a good laugh in lieu of a regretless farewell
To lead the possession
my suggestion is the bar head reenacting Bao the Honest Judge
with a blackened face decorated with
a crescent on the forehead
and a goatee
Ant Lee
what sort of **** is the above?
Thank goodness we have the profession barristers who retain their independence and integrity while the Law Society sell out Hong Kong.
This dichotomy is a good illustration of the value of retaining two branches to the profession. Barristers, because they are unable to form partnerships or incorporate, operate as sole practitioners and as such retain a high degree of independence of thought and are not easily swayed by outside influences. Solicitors, on the other hand, have to operate as businesspeople generally do, protecting their bottom line, pursuing clients and profits, not to mention meeting substantial overheads and payrolls. Inevitably, most solicitors' firms in Hong Kong now earn a large slice of their living from mainland-connected activities, directly or indirectly, and we can easily understand why they have become increasingly sheepish about standing in the way of the CCP on any issue as the years roll by. So that now, regrettably, the Law Society's leader has reached this shameful ebb of defending what is legally indefensible - Beijing's White Paper - for the sake of the economics of his profession. Or, put it simply, he's done a deal with the Devil.
What are the basis of all democracy in the world? There must be three preamble : Patriot to the nation is one of them! All judges in the US must be patriotic to the country. The root of the debat is that some people in HK still do not believe th fact that CCP is the ruling party in China! We can't waste another 17 years and we must accept th political reality and HK just needs to move on as we have been lagging behind for so long.
You are so ignorant it is sad to see.
the sun also rises
Agree with Audrey Yu that once our rule of law and independent judiciary is gone, everything in Hong Kong will go with them ! So the planned march of our law practitioners against the White Paper can be understood and fully supported by Hongkongers with conscience and really love this city !
legal practitioners, by their very nature, are fond of playing around with words, people of HK are just confused and being totally carried away...we have HK lawyers against HK lawyers over the same set of documents, a white paper...
XYZ , another way to put it is CPP is the law. Period.




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