What do education reform and boiling frogs have in common? Everything, according to the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong. Speaking on the first day of a judicial review into the Education (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, Philip Dykes SC, for the diocese, said reform relating to the management of government-aided schools represented the first step in the depletion of certain liberties at the heart of Hong Kong's existence. A parallel could be drawn between the reform, which the diocese argues undermines certain Basic Law protections for religious education, and the age-old story of the boiling frog experiment. Drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, so the story goes, and it will leap out in terror. But put it in lukewarm water over a slow heat, and the frog will not notice the water has heated up until it is too late to do anything about it. In much the same way, Mr Dykes said, the reform might seem fairly innocuous at first, but it would build over time until people suddenly began asking where their freedoms had gone. At the heart of the diocese's challenge to the reform, which was promulgated in 2004, is a requirement that school management committees switch to being incorporated entities, with teachers, parents, alumni and the community accounting for at least 40 per cent of their members. In the past, the diocese - the sponsoring body for its government-aided schools programme - was able to nominate and install all the members of the management committee. Mr Dykes said that ability was protected by Article 141 of the Basic Law. The review continues today before Mr Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung in the Court of First Instance.