Two British judges in Hong Kong have resigned in protest of the National Security Act

Two judges of the British Supreme Court sitting in Hong Kong’s Supreme Court resigned on Wednesday, March 30. The British government determines their position “Unacceptable status” Due to the National Security Act imposed by China on the former colony of the United Kingdom.

This decision calls into question the rules governing the territorial return to China, which comes in response to repression from the pro-democracy movement of 2020. “I agree with the government that Supreme Court judges cannot continue to sit in Hong Kong unless they support an administration that deviates from the values ​​of political freedom and freedom of expression.”Supreme Court President Robert Reid has announced the resignation of Vice President Patrick Hodge. “With immediate effect” Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal.

China said Wednesday “Strongly condemned” UK results. “By playing the cards of foreign judges, [Londres] Seeks to undermine China’s policies for Hong Kong and undermine the rule of law in Hong Kong. “, Estimated by the Office of the Commissioner representing the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the region. The decision of the Supreme Court judges to former local leader Leung Chun-ying “Disgusting”. “This is an indelible stain on the independence of the British judiciary.”He added on Facebook that he believes London has them “Strength” To resign.

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“The situation has reached a critical juncture”

The UK Supreme Court had previously expressed concern When the National Security Act came into force. Proclaimed at the end of June 2020 after a wave of protests for independence in Hong Kong, the law punishes separatist activities, “Terrorists”Even disruption or foreign intervention in the territory of China.

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“We have seen a systematic erosion of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. Since the enactment of the National Security Act, the authorities have cracked down on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of association.The British Foreign Secretary has condemned Liz Dres Was contacted Individual. “The situation has reached a crisis point where British judges cannot sit in Hong Kong’s main court at the risk of legalizing repression.”She added.

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His ministry did not say whether other British judges were planning to retire, but said it was “Increasingly unacceptable by the British government [les] To support “.

“Reputation feet” for the area

Hong Kong Watch, NGO in the UK hopes other foreign judges will attend “Follow it” To two senior judges. There is their resignation “A plate” To Hong Kong authorities and “Fame” Of the territory brought by the judges “A blanket of respect”Johnny Patterson, one of its managers, told Agencies France-Press.

Leonard Hoffman, one of the other non-permanent British judges in Hong Kong, said a spokesman. “Noticed” The resignation of the Supreme Court judges and he will consider it in his own decision. For Eric Loy, an expert in Hong Kong justice at Georgetown American University, it is not There is no doubt that the remaining judges will reconsider their position (…) In light of the ongoing political repression in Hong Kong. “.

A “disgusting” result

The British government had condemned the National Security Act “Obvious Violation” Autonomy, enjoyed by its former colony, decided to extend the rights to immigration, eventually granting access to British citizenship, to many who lived in the area.

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“We support the citizens of Hong Kong and the principles of freedom and democracy, as promised in the joint statement.” Signed in 1984 “We will express our concern directly if the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities are not respected.”Brian Davidson, Consul General of the United Kingdom in Hong Kong, said on Twitter.

Under the 1997 agreement to return the former British colony to China, British judges sit in the Hong Kong High Court, the final appellate court in Hong Kong. There are also retired judges from the UK, Australia and Canada.

In all, eight of the twelve non-permanent foreign magistrates are British, including the Supreme Court.

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World with AFP

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