Legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok said he fears that more foreign non-permanent judges (NPJ) may resign from Hong Kong's courts, after the authorities announced that an Australian judge has resigned from the city's top court.
Kwok, who belongs to the Civic Party, said the resignation of Justice James Spigelman from the Court of Final Appeal came as a surprise. Kwok also said it was "a very sad day for Hong Kong", and thanked him for his work in the SAR.
He said that if reports are true that Spigelman resigned for reasons related to the Beijing-imposed National Security Law, then it shows how the law is causing Hong Kong and the international community to lose confidence in the rule of law in the SAR.
"I fear there may be more NPJs who for whatever reason might feel that they would also not accept the appointment, or resign in future, and again dealing a great blow to the Hong Kong legal system," said Kwok.
He told RTHK's Joanne Wong that the news might discourage some countries like the UK from sending their own judges to Hong Kong to sit on the CFA.
Kwok referenced the July statement by the president of the UK Supreme Court in London who said they will monitor the situation very closely, and will review in future whether to continue sending judges to Hong Kong to sit on the CFA.
Kwok said: "That’s a very polite way of saying ‘look, we're watching very carefully and we are worried'."