HKFP Law Blog Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Bar Assoc. chair trusts Justice Sec. tried his best to stop Beijing intervention on oath-taking legal challenge

Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Bar Association Winnie Tam Wan-chi has said that they believe Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung tried his best to ensure that the recent LegCo oath taking controversy would be solved in Hong Kong’s courts.

Tam was addressing the possibility of Beijing issuing an interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

winnie tam

Winnie Tam. Photo: Stand News.

“We believe he has pushed strongly for the matter to be solved within Hong Kong’s legal system,” Tam said on an RTHK radio show on Wednesday.

Concerns were raised after a “credible source” told local media on Tuesday that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) will discuss making an interpretation of the Basic Law during their meeting on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Yuen said he was “confident that our court, our judges, could absolutely solve this matter fairly, justly, and professionally – I have not changed my view.”

The Chief Executive has also openly said that the possibility of a Basic Law interpretation by the NPC cannot be ruled out.

Protect judicial powers

“To interpret the Basic Law at this stage will give the public an impression that the judge has no chance to decide on the case according to Hong Kong laws,” said Tam. She also said that many in Hong Kong might not agree with the actions of the Youngspiration duo, but “we think there is a responsibility to protect Hong Kong’s judicial powers.”

Baggio Leung chung hang Yau Wai-ching

Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

The legal challenge lodged by the government against the two Youngspiration lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chun-hang was heard by the High Court on Thursday.

During a LegCo swearing-in session last month, Leung and Yau swore their oath to the “Hong Kong nation,” pronouncing China as “Chee-na,” which some took to be a derogatory term for China.

Bar Assoc. chair trusts Justice Sec. tried his best to stop Beijing intervention on oath-taking legal challenge