A group representing 2.5 million lawyers worldwide has told Tung Chee-hwa that reinterpreting the Basic Law will undermine the Court of Final Appeal's authority. The International Bar Association (IBA), which has 171 member organisations, wrote to the Chief Executive urging him to uphold the rule of law. 'The IBA is concerned that the HKSAR Government is considering reversing a recent decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. 'The IBA is concerned such action would set a precedent for judgments of the Court of Final Appeal interpreting the Basic Law to be subject to interpretation from the NPC Standing Committee and the effect . . . would undermine the authority of the Court of Final Appeal as the court of final adjudication. '[We] hope this matter can be handled in a way which is seen to uphold the rule of law and independence of the Courts in Hong Kong,' said the letter. Hong Kong Bar Association chairman Ronny Tong Ka-wah SC said he was surprised by the 'unsolicited support' from the international legal community. 'I think it is because of the high-cost and high-profile campaign undertaken overseas by the Government to explain its position,' said Mr Tong. 'It has generated some negative reaction.' Mr Tong said he had not appealed to any of the organisations to support the Bar's stance but their reaction had proved the Bar was correct in its stance. A spokesman for the Government said the IBA would be told reinterpretation was legal and constitutional, that it was committed to the rule of law and that the court's power of adjudication remained intact.