The search for test cases to decide the fate of mainland-born children seeking the right to remain in Hong Kong will target those raising the most legal issues. Lawyers will be looking for two or three cases to put at the forefront of the challenge to the Government's immigration policy. Legal aid has already been granted in 72 court actions which provide a series of different issues to be resolved. All of them concentrate on rights which it is claimed are enshrined in Article 24 of the Basic Law. The children concerned, however, fall into many different categories. The judge who gives the landmark ruling must decide which of these groups, if any, should be allowed to remain in Hong Kong. Solicitor William Clarke, whose firm has been assigned 32 cases, outlined some of the different issues to be resolved. The manner in which the children came to be in Hong Kong in the first place will be one of the factors to be considered. Some were born here and others came on two-way permits which were still valid after the handover. Many sneaked into Hong Kong as illegal immigrants before July 1. Another question the judge must decide is whether a distinction should be made between children whose parents are married and those who are born outside of marriage. Mr Clarke said there was a case where a parent with the right of abode in Hong Kong died before the child came here. Another issue is whether it matters if a child was born before the parent or parents became permanent residents. The issue should go before the Court of First Instance by September. However, it is expected to be taken all the way to the Court of Final Appeal.