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International Bar Association: NSL attacks HK's rule of law

Finally lawyers from the international democratic rule of law community, who are stakeholders in HK, as 'frontliners' have now engage CCP and HK government.

N.B. the issue is the Joint Declaration, the Constitution, and not as such the Basic Law, a document that was drafted by CCP and which must remain unchanged until the natural termination of this international treaty on 30 June 2047.

Security law attacks Hong Kong’s rule of law, threatens global financial standing: International Bar Association

Apple Daily 21 January 2021 (format added)

Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong has put the “one country, two systems” paradigm in a precarious state, said Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association. Last week, the global body of lawyers issued a statement condemning the sweeping arrest of more than 50 pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong. The activists were accused of violating the national security law for organizing and participating in an unofficial primary election for the city’s legislature. The Association also questioned the legal premise of the accusations. In a written interview with Apple Daily, Ellis further elaborated on the concerns. The law aims at suppressing opposition to the Chinese Communist Party by slowly eliminating democratic freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong and not mainland China, he wrote. The legislation “represents an accelerated and pernicious expansion of Beijing’s influence over the territory and dilution of individual rights,” he continued.

It also undermines judicial and legislative independence by circumventing the protections afforded to Hong Kong under the Basic Law. The vague terms of the legislation allow politically focused prosecutions as shown in the recent arrests, Ellis added.

“The attack on the rule of law in Hong Kong threatens Hong Kong’s position as a major global investment and financial center,” he wrote, adding that the city’s Legislative Council has been purged of opposition lawmakers, leaving Beijing in full control.

Ellis urged the Chinese government to “dramatically reform” the legislation. “If it is not, the international community should collectively consider counter measures against the government.”

He also called on the Hong Kong administration to advocate for the law to be interpreted in accordance with the Basic Law and through common law jurisprudence to protect basic freedoms.

The Association was founded by representatives from 34 national bar associations in 1947. Its membership comprises more than 80,000 individual lawyers and some 190 bar associations and law societies from over 170 countries.

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