Hong Kong’s secretary for justice Rimsky Yuen is currently in London, where he gave a speech at a seminar organised by Chatham House, an independent British policy institute, on “Constitutional Reform and the Rule of Law in Hong Kong”.
Yuen, ever the hero, said it was his “duty to defend Hong Kong” in response to the comments made by the Fraser Institute in their report on economic freedom worldwide.
The city was given the number-one ranking for economic freedom on their list, but the institute expressed concerns about the undermining of the rule of law due to the “encroaching mainland influence on Hong Kong’s legal system”.
The justice secretary first pointed out the fact that judges from other Commonwealth countries are often invited to sit on the Court of Final Appeal.
He then cited several important figures who made statements expressing confidence in Hong Kong’s judicial system, including Lord David Neuberger, the UK’s most senior judge, and the chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association.
Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen giving his speech at Chatham House on Oct. 15
Lastly, he listed statistics that show the judicial review system in Hong Kong is healthy, and that many who apply for judicial review are granted legal aid. The process allows people to review decisions made by the government, including LegCo.
In regards to Hong Kong’s constitutional development, Yuen said that the future chief executive election system must give Hongkongers genuine choice, but also ensure that Beijing would not have an excuse to reject the elected candidate.
So Hongkongers should get to choose their leader for real… as long as it doesn’t upset the authoritarian regime up north. Okey doke.
Yuen also made a “courtesy call” on the Ambassador of China to the UK, who rose to internet fame after comparing Japan to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort. Bonus points if you know what he meant when he likened a contentious Japanese shrine to a Horcrux.
Full text of Yuen’s speech here.