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HomeGeneral NewsHong Kong’s Highest Court Has Seen Senior UK Judges Quit:

Hong Kong’s Highest Court Has Seen Senior UK Judges Quit:

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Hong Kong’s Highest Court Has Seen Senior UK Judges Quit:

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Two UK Supreme Court judges will no longer sit on Hong Kong’s top court, according to the UK. The judges stated their position on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal had become untenable due to the threat to civil liberties. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, expressed “regret and dismay” over the resignations.

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The UK government, on the other hand, backs the move, claiming that the situation in the territory has reached a “tipping point.” In 2020, China passed a national security law in Hong Kong that limited freedom of speech and made it easier to prosecute demonstrators. Many of the territory’s most high-profile cases are heard by the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, which frequently rules on key civil and political liberties issues.

Senior British justices have served on the court since 1997 when the UK handed Hong Kong over to China as part of a deal. The decision was backed by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss,

who said that the participation of top British judges in Hong Kong’s legal system risked legitimizing authoritarianism. The United Kingdom, which administered Hong Kong for 150 years, says that the 2020 law violates the 1997 deal under which the island was handed over to China.

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China claims the law is necessary to restore calm to Hong Kong following large pro-democracy protests in 2019, and a Chinese government official stated on Wednesday that the judges’ decision to resign was “seriously regretted.”

The territory is controlled by the rule of law, according to the representative, who also chastised the UK for its “attempts to deliberately slander China’s policies for Hong Kong.”

Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said the decision meant the UK government was effectively abandoning a 1997 agreement and pushed back against criticism of the national security bill.

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Hong Kong’s Highest Court Has Seen Senior UK Judges Quit:

“We could find no justification or evidence to substantiate sweeping remarks accusing the Hong Kong administration of violating the foregoing fundamental rights and freedoms,” a Hong Kong government spokesperson noted.

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Since the island was handed to China, the function of foreign judges in Hong Kong’s courts has been legally protected, with the goal of maintaining the common law tradition established under the British administration. Non-permanent judges from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as other judges of British nationality, sit on the court.

The remaining six British judges on the Hong Kong court, according to a representative for the UK Supreme Court, would be permitted to decide on their own whether or not they want to keep their jobs.

Nathan Law, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist living in exile in the United Kingdom who has previously had a high-profile case considered by the court, praised the judgment but said it came too late.

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Mr. Law stated that any judge on the court must “think the rule of law is still intact in Hong Kong,” and urged the remaining British and international justices to resign.

“All judges from democratic nations who are currently sitting in Hong Kong’s court should retire,” he told the BBC, “in order to underscore the fact that Hong Kong’s rule of law has been gravely harmed by the national security law.”

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