Martin Lee says no part of Hong Kong can be exempted from Basic LawLocal | 2 Jan 2018 1:57 pm
A former member of the Basic Law drafting committee said today Article 18 applies to the entire city and the decision to set up a joint immigration checkpoint at West Kowloon has "clearly breached" this, RTHK reported.
In an interview with the public broadcaster, Martin Lee Chu-ming, the veteran democrat, said the article – which states that national laws shall not be applied here – is effective to the entire Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and no part can be exempted from this.
Lee said during the drafting of the laws, Lu Ping, the then director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, had suggested that some national laws should apply in the SAR.
"I jumped. I said 'It can't be. It cannot be because we have already agreed so far in the articles of Basic Law and in the Joint Declaration under China's basic policy of Hong Kong that Hong Kong's system of law will continue and the mainland laws shall not apply to Hong Kong at all'," Lee said.
Lee said then he asked Lu to list out national laws, like those linked to national flag, and they were listed in Annex III.
"Any law applicable to mainland China which is not contained in Schedule III, has no effect in Hong Kong. That was the agreement spelt out in Article 18 of the Basic Law," he said.
"You cannot allow any area within the Hong Kong SAR to be an exception because the protection promised to Hong Kong people is everywhere within the SAR administrative region," he said.
He also told the public broadcaster that he can't understand what Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor meant with her criticism that local lawyers are adopting an "elitist" attitude in this issue.
"I doubt if she knows what she is talking about."
The Hong Kong Bar Association said last Thursday it was appalled by the National People's Congress Standing Committee's co-location decision, adding that it is the most 'retrograde step' since the implementation of the city's mini constitution.