Hong Kong barristers’ train of thought is simply bizarre

Argument against proposed joint border checkpoint at express rail terminus is on the wrong track and those travelling between the city and the mainland will not be impressed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 March, 2018, 1:51am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 March, 2018, 1:50am

We all know the Bar Association is against the proposed joint border checkpoint at the express rail terminus.

This happened after a group of yellow-ribbon barristers forced an early election and took over its leadership. But its latest argument against the plan is downright bizarre.

Officials have argued the proposed legal arrangement would apply only to travellers entering a designated floor controlled by mainland officers and therefore not to the whole city.

If you get nowhere near the area, how could mainland laws possibly apply to you? It does, according to the association. “The bill applies to all persons in Hong Kong as every person is a potential passenger of the high-speed rail,” it said in a statement.

Bar Association raps officials for ‘flawed’ argument, says mainland laws at joint checkpoint will affect all Hongkongers

Say what?! To disprove this statement, all you need is one Hong Kong person to declare he or she will never travel on the express rail or set foot on the mainland.

I am sure we have plenty of such people, say, all those self-styled localists who hate and despise anything to do with the mainland.

But wait, the association’s statement gets better. Just because something, say a law, that doesn’t affect you in any shape or form can still “apply” to you.

“The fact that a law may not have immediate practical consequences for a person unless they step into a particular arena does not mean that the law does not apply to all persons,” it said.

“The University of Hong Kong Ordinance applies to the university and its students, but that does not mean that the ordinance does not apply to all persons in Hong Kong. Likewise, the mere fact that one does not choose to enter into or to deal with a trust does not mean that the Trusts Ordinance does not apply to all persons.”

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Now I get it. If the government only hands HK$4,000 to low-income people, I will not be seeing a cent of that, but the handout still applies to me and every one else.

Well, if that’s the “legal” definition of application, who am I to argue? I am no lawyer.

But as a Hong Kong permanent resident, I only care when mainland laws would actually AFFECT me. And that will only be when I step into the designated area for mainland law enforcement in the West Kowloon terminus.

But I won’t care, because I will be travelling to the mainland anyway.