HK's legal system as robust as ever: Carrie Lam - RTHK
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HK's legal system as robust as ever: Carrie Lam

2020-09-22 HKT 11:33
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  • HK's legal system as robust as ever: Carrie Lam
Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday gave assurances that Hong Kong’s legal system is “as robust as ever” as she expressed hopes that an Australian judge who resigned from the city’s top court last week would soon be replaced by another foreign judge.

Justice James Spigelman had told Australian broadcaster ABC that his decision to step down as a non-permanent judge from the Court of Final Appeal two years before the end of his tenure was "related to the content of the national security legislation", without elaborating further.

Speaking to reporters ahead of her weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said Spigelman did not mention any specific reason or consideration for resigning.

"I could not speculate on his rationale for doing so, except to stress that under the Basic Law, we welcome judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal, and right now we have 13 such eminent judges from common law jurisdictions and I’m sure Hong Kong will continue to benefit from their wise counsel and expertise in adjudicating cases," she said, adding that more foreign judges will hopefully join in the near future.

Lam added that both the local and central governments have done all they can to address what she described as incorrect perceptions by some people about the national security law.

She said officials have been stressing that “the legal system is as robust as ever under the national security law, that judicial independence is not undermined in any way, that Hong Kong now restores law and order, which makes Hong Kong an even more attractive place for doing business, rather than the contrary as some have misrepresented the Hong Kong situation."

When asked why the government did not issue a customary press release thanking Spigelman for his service, she said: "It’s very simple; he tendered a resignation, and we followed a simple procedure, we made an announcement, we communicated with the judiciary, and announced that to the public, there are no other reasons, you don’t have to guess," and ended the press briefing.

Meanwhile, Lam also announced that existing social distancing measures will be extended for a week from Friday until October 1.

Even though there has been a steady drop in Covid-19 cases in the territory, Lam said there were still sporadic cases where the source of infection cannot be traced, which means there are still a number of silent carriers in the community.