The Hong Kong Bar Association warned on Wednesday that an interpretation of the Basic Law by Beijing over the oath-taking saga will "deal a severe blow" to the independence of judiciary.
In a statement, it also warned that the move will seriously undermine the confidence of Hong Kong people and the international community in the territory's high degree of autonomy under the One Country, Two Systems principle.
The association issued the statement after media reports emerged overnight that Beijing was planning to interpret the Basic Law over the row, as the High Court is about to hear a judicial review on the matter on Thursday.
The association said "the irreparable harm" an interpretation will do to Hong Kong far outweighs any purpose it could possibly achieve.
It pointed out that Hong Kong's judiciary "is well capable of arriving at a fair adjudication on the issue".
The association urged the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to "exercise the highest degree of restraint in handling this highly sensitive incident".
Meanwhile a principal law lecturer at the Hong Kong University said that if Beijing hands down a Basic law interpretation, it will be aimed at stopping anyone who advocates Hong Kong’s independence from becoming a lawmaker or principal official in future.
Professor Eric Cheung told Janice Wong that it won’t be meant solely at stopping the Youngspiration's Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching.