Two legal academics have urged the government to explain why certain provisions in the proposed national security legislation go beyond what is required by Article 23 of the Basic Law. University of Hong Kong associate law professors Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Carole Petersen, in articles to be published in the Hong Kong Law Journal this week, said linking Hong Kong and mainland law was a bad idea, no matter how indirectly it was done. Professor Petersen said Article 23 did not require the security chief to be empowered with the discretion to outlaw groups in Hong Kong that are subordinate to mainland organisations banned on national security grounds. 'This proposal could open a 'connecting door' between mainland and Hong Kong concepts of national security that is potentially much wider than that required by Article 23, which only refers to ties between local and foreign political organisations,' she wrote. 'Once this legal door is opened, it is hard to imagine our secretary for security defying the central government by taking the opposite view.' Professor Tai also criticised the outlawing of groups based on an open decree from the mainland because it meant the Hong Kong system must rely on one which was 'completely arbitrary'. He also called for the government to do only the minimum required when introducing the new legislation. For example, Professor Tai said there was no need for sedition to be made an offence. He said that because sedition was defined as incitement to commit treason, secession or subversion, this would already be covered by offences dealing with the aiding and abetting of such crimes. Mr Tai added that as Hong Kong was under no imminent danger, the government carried a heavier burden in justifying stringent legal measures, particularly since it was not democratically elected. 'There is always a concern that the government will be tempted to use the wide powers . . . to suppress political opposition, and history shows that this concern is not without grounds,' he wrote, referring to the recent prosecution of protesters for holding unauthorised rallies under the Public Order Ordinance. Professor Petersen dismissed the government's consultation as a 'massive publicity campaign', criticising the Security Bureau for dismissing opposing views as 'myths' on its Article 23 Web site. However, she stressed that it was not too late for the Security Bureau to demonstrate its sincerity by respecting the public's views and not rushing the legislation through.