The vice chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee, Maria Tam, says four pan-democratic lawmakers ousted by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) are free to go to local courts to challenge their disqualifications, even though they will be almost certain to lose.
Tam also insisted on Thursday that the four – Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung – have not been stripped of their legal rights.
On an RTHK programme, she said they could file election petitions or judicial reviews against the disqualifications.
“The decision absolutely hasn’t affected anyone’s rights to judicial remedy under Hong Kong’s legal system. But the NPCSC decided that it would not wait until the cases go to the Court of Final Appeal. It decided that these lawmakers should leave the Legislative Council immediately. It’s another matter if they are allowed to come back after winning their legal cases,” she said.
However, she said their chances of them winning a case would be slim.
Tam said NPC Standing Committee decisions are not challengeable, and any judicial review would almost certainly fail because the authorities would cite the NPCSC.
Meanwhile, the sole local deputy on the committee, Tam Yiu-chung, told a radio programme that although it would have been better if the issue was resolved before the Legco session resumed last month, the central government needed time to consider the matter.
He said there were many items on the NPCSC’s meeting agenda, so the timing didn’t match.