It's right not to reveal entire bill: Elsie Leung - RTHK
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It's right not to reveal entire bill: Elsie Leung

2020-06-25 HKT 12:02
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  • The former deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, Elsie Leung, says Beijing officials have consulted different groups over the impending national security bill. File photo: RTHK
    The former deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, Elsie Leung, says Beijing officials have consulted different groups over the impending national security bill. File photo: RTHK
The former deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, Elsie Leung, on Thursday defended the decision not to release the full text of the national security law, saying it could prevent social unrest.

Speaking on RTHK's Legco Review programme, Leung said it may not be a good idea to publish the entire draft of the national security law if it would lead to strong opposition, vandalism and even disturbances.

She said that's why Beijing had instead released an explanatory report, outlining some of the details in the proposed legislation, such as setting up a national security office in Hong Kong.

She added that Beijing officials had also consulted different people.

The contents of the bill were only outlined in a report by the official news agency Xinhua on Saturday, following a meeting by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in Beijing.

The former justice secretary also insisted the chief executive is in a better position than the chief justice to designate judges to handle national security cases, because the chief executive would have access to confidential information - because of their role chairing the future national security committee.

Ms Leung said judges could still adjudicate a case without interference.

Critics of the law have slammed the lack of consultation by mainland officials, after they held closed-door sessions at the Liaison Office on Tuesday, but the public were informed after the event.

According to a statement later released on the liaison office’s website, a total of 120 people attended the sessions. They included politicians and representatives from the legal, business, financial, education, technology, cultural, religious, youth, and labour sectors.

On Thursday, Democratic Party legislator James To again hit out at what he described as Beijing officials' "selective hearing" over the national security law.

To told RTHK's Millennium programme that it would spell the end of justice if the chief executive was given the power to choose judges to handle national security cases, saying the chief executive would be looking at the matter from a political standpoint.