Judges for national security cases only based on judicial, professional qualities, chief justice says

Local | 2 Jul 2020 4:54 pm

Judges designated by the Chief Executive Carrie Lam to hear cases under the National Security Law are to be appointed on the basis of their judicial and professional qualities, the Chief Jusice Groffrey Ma Tao-li, says.

“These are the only criteria relevant to the appointment of judges,'' he says in a statement issued by the Judiciary.

“This, means, for example, that judges should not be designated on the basis of any political considerations. This reinforces the principle that in the handling or determination of any legal dispute, only the law and legal principle will be considered.''

The Chief Justice says foreign judges are not excluded.

“They are expressly permitted to be appointed as judges in Hong Kong under the Basic Law. Such judges include the Non-Permanent Judges of the Court of Final Appeal from common law jurisdictions, whose immense contribution to Hong Kong has repeatedly been acknowledged by the Chief Executive.''

Under Article 44, the Chief Executive shall designate judges at each level of court to handle cases and appeals in relation to the National Security Law. 

Chief Justice Ma will retire in January 2021 after more than a decade of service.


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