Bar Association writes to NPCSC over new law - RTHK
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Bar Association writes to NPCSC over new law

2020-06-03 HKT 11:45
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  • The Bar Association says it is crucial that there is 'meaningful consultation' on the national security legislation Beijing is preparing for Hong Kong. File image: RTHK
    The Bar Association says it is crucial that there is 'meaningful consultation' on the national security legislation Beijing is preparing for Hong Kong. File image: RTHK
The Bar Association has made public a letter it has written to the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) urging it to consult the Hong Kong people about the national security legislation being drawn up for the city.

Writing on behalf of the association, chairman Philip Dykes says they believe "meaningful public consultation" on the new law is "crucial".

"Whilst the proposed legislation is yet to be drafted by the NPCSC, having regard to the momentous significance of the proposed legislation, the said [NPC] decision has already generated widespread concern within the local community," he writes.

"The proposed legislation, once promulgated, will affect the entire seven-million strong population in the HKSAR, including resident overseas nationals and businesses."

"We hope to be provided with a copy of the draft legislation when it is ready, to consider the same and give constructive comments on its form and content," Dykes says.

Dykes also notes in the letter that Article 18 of the Basic Law states that national laws shall not be applied in Hong Kong except for those added to Annex III, and these laws shall be confined to those relating to defence, foreign affairs and matters outside the limits of the SAR's autonomy.

Last week, the association issued a statement saying it had found a number of "worrying problems" regarding the national security law plan, not least that it believes Beijing has no power to impose the legislation on Hong Kong.