Bar Association queries structure of security bill - RTHK
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Bar Association queries structure of security bill

2020-06-16 HKT 10:01
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  • The chairman of the Bar Association, Philip Dykes, has questioned the structure of the planned national security legislation. File photo: RTHK
    The chairman of the Bar Association, Philip Dykes, has questioned the structure of the planned national security legislation. File photo: RTHK
The chairman of the Bar Association said on Tuesday that Beijing's intention to take control of the most serious national security cases in Hong Kong amounts to a "reverse engineering" of the failed extradition bill.

The bill has caused widespread protests in the SAR amid concerns people could be taken across the border to be tried.

Philip Dykes was commenting after a deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) indicated that Beijing might exercise jurisdiction in rare cases.

Dykes said the proposed national security law sounded like a weird hybrid between common and mainland law, stressing that he had not yet seen details of what was proposed.

"At the moment it sounds like a reverse engineering of the ill-fated extradition bill. Rather than you going to the mainland, the mainland comes to you," Dykes told RTHK.

HKMAO deputy director Deng Zhonghua said on Monday that Beijing must be able to exercise jurisdiction over the most serious national security cases that arise in Hong Kong, but SAR authorities should be responsible for the majority of enforcement work and trials in relation to the upcoming national security legislation.

Deng said the mainland would need jurisdiction over "extremely rare cases" where national security has been severely threatened, adding that this would not undermine Hong Kong's independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.