Three ride wind of change

Local | Carine Chow 19 Oct 2021

Carine Chow

Three low-profile senior counsels deemed politically impartial are expected to run for the Hong Kong Bar Association's chairman and two vice-chairmen positions.

The move will be seen as a sign of change in the barrister-regulating body, which has been criticized by Beijing and the pro-government camp for its perceived pro-democracy leaning.

The three senior counsels are Victor Dawes, 44, Derek Chan Ching-lung, 42, and Jose-Antonio Maurellet, 43. Chan is currently a Bar Council member.

Concern about the legal body's future has risen in recent months, after pro-Beijing quarters attacked chairman Paul Harris, who has announced he would not seek a second term.

It is said that Dawes intends to run for chairman while Chan and Maurellet will run for the two vice-chairmen positions. None of them has commented about their reported plans.

Previously, former chairman and senior counsel Paul Lam Ting-kwok said it is the association's last chance to bring things back on track and patch its relationship with Beijing.

Lam has said leaders of the association should not have close connections with political parties and their speeches should come from a legal perspective after balancing all viewpoints.

The association should also patch relationships with stakeholders and rebuild trust especially with Beijing, he added.

Meanwhile, the first Hong Kong Legal Walk will be held on March 26 next year, with participants starting from Taikoo Shing and finishing at Central.

Fund raised from the walk will benefit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, the Changing Young Lives Foundation, the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims and HELP for Domestic Workers.

Jonathan Bell, a Bar Council member who is responsible for the project, said the walk would be deemed a success if one-tenth of the 10,000 lawyers in the SAR take part.

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