The Secretary for Justice faced a fresh round of criticism from lawmakers yesterday after she failed to attend a hearing on the Court of Final Appeal's right of abode judgment. House Committee chairman Dr Leong Che-hung said Elsie Leung Oi-sie could not attend because she was at an Executive Council meeting. She apologised through Director of Administration Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai. Legislators have repeatedly urged Miss Leung to brief them about her recent trip to Beijing and her contacts with Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang before the Government requested clarification from the court. Ian Wingfield, Law Officer (Civil Law), who represented the Department of Justice at yesterday's special meeting, offered only to provide legislators with the transcript of Miss Leung's press statement at the airport last month. Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier said: 'We are not only disappointed at Miss Leung's absence, but we are also very angry about it. 'How can it be possible for Miss Leung to be absent here? It's blatant disrespect on the part of the Government towards the legislature.' Mr Wingfield said he would be happy to answer questions on the court application, but was not in a position to expand on what Miss Leung had said about her trip to Beijing. Ms Lau proposed that Mr Wingfield brief them first on the clarification request. But legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, representing the legal profession, said it was a matter of principle for the legislature that Miss Leung attend at the first available time. 'I don't think somebody else can speak on her behalf,' Ms Ng said. 'She shouldn't have given us a date and said she could not turn up to explain. That's farcical.' Cheung Man-kwong, of the Democrats, said: 'What's most important is that we should send a message - Miss Leung should no longer have any 'Legco phobia'. 'Last time, she only appeared before the legislature on the Sally Aw saga after repeatedly dragging it out. Now she is absent again. I find this state of affairs totally unacceptable.' Members reluctantly postponed the discussion to a date to be fixed.