The Government was to blame for the turnabout in the Court of Final Appeal's ruling on the right of abode, Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming said yesterday. 'On January 29, the Court of Final Appeal delivered a judgment on the right of abode case which was hailed as a landmark decision for Hong Kong,' he said. 'About 10 months later, the same Court of Final Appeal handed down another judgment in which the court effectively abandoned everything it said in its judgment in January. 'Who is to blame? I think the Hong Kong Government,' Mr Lee said on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong. It was the Government which had asked the National People's Congress Standing Committee to reinterpret the Basic Law provisions on right of abode. This had, in effect, led to the overturning of the court's judgment. Mr Lee said the common law had become 'the common law with communist characteristics'. 'There can be little doubt that the Hong Kong Government has won. Indeed, it has won in a big, big way but at what cost to Hong Kong?' he said. 'The common law which is so important for this community for the protection of human rights and individual freedoms has now become the common law with communist characteristics, or if you like, uncommon law.' Mr Lee said Tung Chee-hwa wanted to send a 'subtle but very strong message' to the judges that they would be 'corrected' if they were wrong again in future. 'He was really saying to them: 'Look, gentlemen, you were naughty. You knew what we wanted from you but you failed to deliver. Now we'll say that you were wrong although you are the Court of Final Appeal and we'll have you corrected in Beijing. ' 'So in future when you have to try other similarly political sensitive cases, you'd better think about it before you pronounce judgment'.'