Hong Kong Chief Executive Criticizes British Judge’s Resignation, Accuses UK of Attacking City’s Rule of Law

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee, has strongly criticized the resignation of British Judge Jonathan Sumption from Hong Kong’s top court, attributing his departure to dissatisfaction with the political climate in Hong Kong. Lee accused the UK of leveraging its judicial influence to undermine China and Hong Kong, emphasizing the need to shield judges from such external pressures. Amid these tensions, Lord Sumption warned of Hong Kong’s potential slide into totalitarianism under the National Security Law, highlighting the law’s liberal application and China’s power to overturn local court decisions. The situation unfolds as Hong Kong’s judicial system faces scrutiny following the conviction of 14 pro-democracy activists under the controversial law.

  • Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee, condemned British Judge Jonathan Sumption’s resignation from the city’s top court, suggesting political dissatisfaction as the cause.
  • Lee criticized the British government, politicians, and media for attacking Hong Kong’s rule of law and attempting to use judicial influence against China and Hong Kong.
  • Lord Sumption warned that Hong Kong risks becoming a totalitarian state under the National Security Law, which he described as “extremely illiberal.”
  • The National Security Law and a colonial law against sedition have been applied in ways that Sumption believes could have been more moderate.
  • China has the authority to overturn Hong Kong court decisions it disagrees with, a power that has been increasingly exercised recently.
  • Recent convictions of 14 democracy activists under the National Security Law mark a significant application of the legislation, highlighting its impact on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
  • The judicial system in Hong Kong allows for the involvement of foreign judges, including those from the UK, Australia, and Canada, in its highest court due to the “one country, two systems” arrangement.
  • The resignation of two British judges, along with a Canadian judge, underscores the growing tensions and challenges within Hong Kong’s judicial system.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster headquartered at Broadcasting House in London. Originally established in 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company, it evolved into its current state with its current name on New Year’s Day 1927.

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