Hong Kong's justice chief has hit out at legislator Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, saying unfounded attacks against the proposed national security laws would only deepen public misunderstanding. But Ms Eu stood by her allegation that Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie had failed to defend the rule of law. The war of words comes as Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong is due to gauge the views of the Democrats and the barrister-led Article 23 Concern Group today on the way forward for the legislation. Ms Eu said in an interview with a Chinese-language magazine that the secretary for justice should have discharged her role as the protector of the rule of law and advised the government against rushing through the law on July 9. Responding in an article published in three pro-Beijing newspapers yesterday, Miss Leung was adamant that she played her role in ensuring the legislation was in line with the Basic Law while upholding basic rights and public freedom. She said it was necessary for her to respond to avoid deepening misunderstanding over the legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law or undermining confidence in Hong Kong. But she conceded there was a lesson for the government. 'As far as Article 23 legislation is concerned, we have to review why a law which we think is acceptable to the public would still face strong opposition.' Ms Eu said she understood Miss Leung had to defend herself, but insisted the facts spoke for themselves. 'Whether she is right in saying that she discharged that duty is best judged by what happened in July and by what the government admits has gone wrong,' she said. Mr Lee's press secretary said yesterday it was too early to say if a new consultation document on the security legislation would be published this month as promised. 'It remains our hope to do that in September. But the secretary for security is still meeting various parties on the issue.' The timing and content of the forthcoming consultations would depend on the outcome of these meetings, he said.