News / Asia

Hong Kong Lawyers March Against China Judicial Policy

Hundreds of Hong Kong lawyers dressed in black march in silence in Hong Kong, June 27, 2014, to protest a recent Beijing policy statement they say undermines the Asian financial hub’s rule of law.
Hundreds of Hong Kong lawyers dressed in black march in silence in Hong Kong, June 27, 2014, to protest a recent Beijing policy statement they say undermines the Asian financial hub’s rule of law.
VOA News

Dressed in black, over 1,000 Hong Kong lawyers silently marched in the city Friday to protest what they say is China's attempt to infringe on the territory's judicial independence.

Pro-Beijing protesters interrupted the march, although there were no reports of violence or arrests. The rally ended with lawyers observing three minutes of silence outside the Court of Final Appeal.

Earlier this month, China released a policy document outlining its position on Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” principle.

Hong Kong’s Bar Association opposes Beijing’s position that judges be patriotic as part of the requirement for appointment. The association says labeling judges as administrators would portray Hong Kong’s courts as subservient to the mainland’s government.

Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, a former bar association chairwoman, told VOA that Beijing's position is worrisome.

"Most people support the Basic Law of Hong Kong, one country, two systems," she said. "But you put out a white paper, but without a high degree of autonomy, and there is absolute governance."

Chinese human rights lawyers Teng Biao said the people of Hong Kong must remain committed to protecting their freedoms.

“Beijing is trying to use a mainland Chinese concept to form the rule of law of Hong Kong," he said. "We absolutely can not give an inch on this. If we give an inch, our individual freedoms, basic human rights and other rights will not be guaranteed.”

In response to the march, the Hong Kong government said “there is no intention to interfere with the rule of law and judicial independence of Hong Kong.”

The release of the policy document was seen by many as a response to a 10-day unofficial referendum by pro-democracy supporters that allows Hong Kong citizens to choose among three electoral reform options.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Mandarin service.

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Comment Sorting
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 13, 2014 2:28 PM
People ask me why before 1997 H K people did not object to UK administration they do now after 1997? The short answer is: even though it was colonial rule and the representative from the Queen was a white man, the administration respected the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. Now the yellow Emperor reigns, he has no such concepts.

by: Frankie Fook-lun from: Los Angeles
July 13, 2014 1:47 AM
In Hong Kong. lawyers take pride in being a member of the common law family and they invite judges from UK or Australia to sit at their highest courts. To china, that is unpatriotic. Why invite foreigners to judge your own people? Soon, lawyers who are foreign nationals have to swear allegiance to China, not to mention judges have to be even more patriotic than lawyers.

by: Tuan from: Vietnam
June 29, 2014 3:14 AM
There is no rules in China. They don't need lawyers, just dogs serving masters. I see a lot of chinese dogs on this board, China will be screw for another 100 years.

by: Dolly
June 29, 2014 12:59 AM
Many of these lawyers and judges have British citizenship or foreign passports. Thier loyalty is to Britain, not China.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
June 28, 2014 12:36 PM
Majority Chinese support the central governments policy over HK.
HK, your freedom is decided by China, stop pushing your luck.
Freedom is western culture not oriental culture. In China we value sacrification, loyalty and self control!

by: So So from: US
June 28, 2014 8:03 AM
@Frankie Fook-lun Leung
I agree.

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2014 9:52 PM
First, I think these lawyers are courageous. However, they don't make an impact of China's determination of shaping the future of Hong Kong. Secondly, China look at them as western corrupted souls or instigated for foreign influences. Soon, I expect the barristers and solicitors professions will be merged. Foreign nationals will not be appointed judges. Hong Kong will not be as independent or autonomous as even Singapore.

by: Hawot from: US
June 27, 2014 6:41 PM
Communist China dont need your lawyers. Lawyers are not recognized by the Communist Politburo...

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