THE legal aid system must be removed from the Government's control to ensure impartiality, Amnesty International said yesterday. The agency and staff determining which cases qualify for legal aid should be made independent, the head of the human rights group, Robyn Kilpatrick, said. 'It's still a government department making decisions, so Amnesty feels legal aid would be better to be independent, and we will be reiterating this call with the United Nations,' she said. 'People have faith in the legal system, but if we have a government department making the decisions, it's perceived as impartiality,' she added. An Amnesty report on Hong Kong, also calling for an independent human rights commission and listing shortcomings of the Bill of Rights, is to be examined by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The organisation will detail concerns that the Bill of Rights does not provide for international monitoring to ensure the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stays in force. It also fears the bill may not adequately protect against the detention of prisoners of conscience after 1997. The Bill of Rights does not provide safeguards against the reintroduction of the death penalty, the group says, and dissatisfaction with the growing number of complaints of human rights violations concerning the police is also being voiced. The Amnesty representative raising concerns, Pierre Robert, said the Preliminary Working Committee's bid to dilute the Bill of Rights was being taken as advice only. 'We see this as a piece of advice which in our view doesn't tally with Hong Kong's obligations under international human rights standards. 'It's going to reinforce our concerns about the Bill of Rights. If it's watered down even more, we are more concerned,' he said. 'We are not happy with the Bill of Rights as it is because it does not go as far as the international covenant,' said Mr Robert. The main problem was uncertainty, he said. THE PRESSURE GROUPS AND WHAT THEY WANT THESE are the agendas of the seven Hong Kong groups pressing the UN to continue monitoring freedoms in Hong Kong after 1997. Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor: accuses the British Government of being in breach of the covenant because of the 'absence of adequate consultation' of people in the territory over the handover. It claims the Bill of Rights fails to meet Hong Kong's obligations under the convention and is also concerned about the future of ethnic minorities, along with 'racism' in immigration law. Hong Kong Bar Association: presses for reporting obligations in future and urges the British Government to reach agreement with China. It expresses concern over the composition of the Court of Final Appeal and the number of common law judges. It calls for the Bill of Rights to be widened, strengthening the system of complaints against the police and more public accountability over telephone tapping and electronic surveillance. Justice: claims that under international law the SAR government will have the right to report on human rights. It believes asking China to report might be in conflict with the Joint Declaration. Centre for Comparative and Public Law, University of Hong Kong: concentrates on discrimination on the basis of sex, age, sexual orientation and ethnicity, stressing the Government has not yet brought into force the Sexual Discrimination Ordinance. It attacks discrimination in the criminal justice system against women in rape and sexual assault cases. United Ants: claims the functional constituencies are a breach of the convention because they do not amount to universal suffrage. It wants the legal aid system to be improved so people can make greater use of the Bill of Rights. Hong Kong Journalists' Association: stresses the dangers of keeping elements of the existing Official Secrets Act and Crimes Ordinance after 1997. It claims they will be an 'open invitation' for abuse by the Government. It wants a freedom of information act or equivalent, believing the current code of access to information is inadequate. Hong Kong Human Rights Commission: concentrates on present police powers, claiming they are excessive. It points out there is existing concern over human rights under the present Government, not just after the handover. It says complaints against the police are running high.