Five seeking Law Society seats shed political labels

Top News | Maisy Mok 22 Jul 2021

Five lawyers will stand in the election for council members of the Law Society of Hong Kong next month, saying they do not want political labels for their professional group.

For the election on August 24, five new members will be chosen.

Careen Wong Hau-yan, who was supported by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu in the past election, announced yesterday that she will stand for reelection.

Four other lawyers also declared their candidacy: Tom Fu Ka-min, Ronald Sum Kwan-ngai, Justin Yuen Hoi-ying and Jimmy Chan Kwok-ho.

The five declared that they do not belong to any camp, despite some potentially seeing them as pro-establishment.

Wong said she would maintain neutrality and professionalism.

"How will society trust our lawyers if we bring political factors and issues to the Law Society? [If so,] our analysis and opinion will not be made from a legal, professional standpoint," she added.

"We will not categorize ourselves as any camp. We will stick to the objective that we are lawyers, and each will do their best to follow professional ethics."

There are allegations that the government may take away the Law Society's power as a regulatory body if "liberal" candidates are elected.

Sum said whether regulating power will be stripped has no relevance to their team, saying the most important thing is whether the Law Society can perform its duty.

Another candidate, Chan, said he is committed to promoting equal rights for LGBT and ethnic minority communities.

He added that lawmaker Ho's recent criticism of the hit drama Ossan's Love is "old-fashioned."

Ho criticized the show for opposing Chinese traditional family views and said the promotion of homosexuality may be a breach of the national security law.

One of the candidates, Yuen, is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Fangchenggang committee. He said he will not bring politics into the Law Society.

Currently, there are 20 Law Society council members, seven of whom are from the "liberal camp," which will dominate the council if candidates from the camp win four or more seats in the coming election.

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