Thursday, 19 June 2014

Legal Sector Protests with its Feet

Next Friday will be the third time in Hong Kong's history when lawyers will march in silence to protest Beijing's white paper claiming its "comprehensive jurisdiction" over the city.

Yesterday solicitor Kevin Yam, a member of the Law Society's Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Committee proposed a vote of no confidence in society president Ambrose Lam San-keung, after he praised the document.

Yam wants to table a motion urging Lam to retract his statement, saying the white paper was a "positive document", and to file at least 75 signatures from solicitors to call for a special meeting on the paper.

Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok has urged participants to wear black for the march, that will travel from the High Court in Admiralty to the Court of Final Appeal in Central.

There have only been two similar protests by the legal sector that led to the reinterpretations of the Basic Law. Lawyers first marched in 1999 when the government asked the National People's Congress to reinterpret the Basic Law on the issue of right of abode in Hong Kong.

The other time was six years later over the term length of the new chief executive after the resignation of the first one, Tung Chee-hwa.

It will be interesting to see how many do come out to march -- if there is a huge turnout it could be a huge boost for Hong Kong and a bigger headache for Beijing...

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